|About the Book|
In “Thoughts Upon Methodism,” John Wesley shared his hopes and fears for the future of his religious movement. The article contains this well-known passage: “I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either inMoreIn “Thoughts Upon Methodism,” John Wesley shared his hopes and fears for the future of his religious movement. The article contains this well-known passage: “I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid, lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case, unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out.” The Form and Power of Religion unpacks this statement by explaining what Wesley meant by the form and power of religion, identifying what Methodist Doctrine, Spirit, and Discipline were according to Wesley, and discussing how these aspects of Methodism worked together to maintain the vitality of the Revival. The book concludes with an evaluation of Wesley’s theory of Methodist Vitality, and discusses its viability as a basis for contemporary Church Vitality programs.“Felleman takes us Methodists back to the source of the movement in order to move our church forward. She uncovers the distinctive shape of Wesleyan Christianity through a wonderful explication of Wesley’s sermons and writings. Then she gives a truly Wesleyan prescription for today’s church, whereby we might recover some of the spiritual power our church so desperately needs.”—Will Willimon, Professor of Christian Ministry, Duke University“Felleman provides a helpful guide to the core of John Wesley’s doctrine and practice, which was so central to the vitality of early Methodism. It will be of interest to all contemporary Wesleyans who are seeking to recover the ‘power’ of religion in churches that have retained only its ‘form.’”—Randy L. Maddox, Professor of Wesleyan and Methodist Studies, Duke Divinity SchoolLaura Bartels Felleman is the Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Plattsmouth, Nebraska. She has taught courses in Wesleyan theology and Methodist history at the seminary level. Her research focuses on British intellectual history and the influence that Wesley’s historical context had on his theological viewpoint.