Wesley Bros: Calvin is my constant

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I was having lunch with a Presbyterian youth pastor.  We were totally hitting it off.  Then out of nowhere he realized I was Methodist and didn’t think Rob Bell was a heretic.  He literally said, “I can see we have nothing in common.”  I was thinking, well, we’re both middle-class American white dudes, so there’s a start, right?

John Wesley said his own theology was only a “hair’s breadth away from Calvinism.”  And then he throat-punched the concept that Christ’s death only atoned for the saved, and had no effect on anyone else.  Oops.  That’s where Wesley had to work out his concept of prevenient grace.  This means that because of the cross of Christ, God’s grace is freely offered to everyone, and the presence of the Holy Spirit is freely in everyone enabling them to accept that grace.


Charlie Baber

Rev. Charlie Baber is author and illustrator of the weekly web comic: Wesley Bros. When he isn’t finding new ways to mash-up church history with modern culture, he has actual responsibilities as a Deacon serving at Highland UMC in Raleigh, NC. Check out Charlie’s site at www.wesleybros.com.

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
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