Home » Course Material » Syllabus





Tyndale Seminary
Winter 2004
Instructor: Reverend Victor Shepherd
416 226 6380 (ext. 6726)
Tuesdays at 8:30 a.m.
Office Hours as posted
e-mail: vshep@tyndale.ca  or  victor.shepherd@sympatico.ca


Prerequisite: successful completion of THEO 053 and 0532 or Theo 0530.

Course Description:
This course examines major aspects of Wesley’s theology as expounded chiefly in his Sermons on Several Occasions.  Theological, ecclesiastical, social and intellectual environments will be probed, as well as developments in post-Wesley Wesleyanism.  Attention will be given to the nuances of the denominations represented by those enrolled in the course

Course Objectives:
[1] to acquaint students with representative material from Wesley himself;
[2] to have students appreciate the multiform context (social, intellectual, religious and theological) in which Wesley wrote theology;
[3] to have students understand how theology, for Wesley, was always “practical divinity”; i.e., how it subserved the proclamation and exemplification of the Kingdom of God rather than subserving speculative concerns;
[4] to have students locate Wesley in the tradition of the church catholic;
[5] to have Wesley contribute to the students’ theological formation.

Text: Outler and Heitzenrater (eds.), John Wesley’s Sermons: An Anthology
(Numbers opposite readings refer to pages in the text.)

Course Requirements:
Essay (3000 words approximately, due July 12.) The essay is to be written in conformity with any accepted style manual.
(Essay and Examination are weighted equally.)



Weekly Classes  (numbers opposite readings refer to pages in the text.)

Jan. 20
Discussion of bibliography
Overview of Wesley’s Life and Work
Wesleyan “Quadrilateral”

Jan. 27
(Quadrilateral, continued)
V. Shepherd, “Catholic Spirit”

Feb. 3
“The Image of God” 13
“The Circumcision of the Heart” 23
“The One Thing Needful” 33 (Before 1738)

Feb. 10
“Salvation By Faith” 39
“Free Grace” 49
“The Almost Christian” 61 (After 1738)

Feb. 17
“Awake, Thou That Sleepest” 85
“Scriptural Christianity” 97
“Justification by Faith” 111

Feb. 24
“The Spirit of Bondage and of Adoption” 133
“The Witness of the Spirit (I)” 145
“The Witness of the Spirit (II)” 393

March 2
“The New Birth” 335
“The Marks of the New Birth” 173
“The Great Privilege of Those That Are Born of God” 183

March 9
“The Original, Nature, Properties, and Use of the Law” 255
“The Law Established Through Faith, I” 267
“The Law Established Through Faith, II” 277

March 16
No Class   Reading Week

March 23
“The Means of Grace” 157
“The Duty of Constant Communion” 501

March 30
“The Use of Money” 347
“The Good Steward” 419
“The Danger of Riches” 45

April 6
“On Sin in Believers” 359
“The Repentance of Believers” 405

April 13
“Christian Perfection” 69
Can You Conceive Anything More Amiable Than This?”
Anything More Desirable?”
A Note on Wesley’s Challenge Concerning Christian Perfection
(Paper by V. Shepherd)

April 20
“Upon our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, V”  207
“Upon our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, VIII”  239

April 27


Essay Topics

1] The Social Background of the 18th Century Revival

2] The Political Background……………………….

3] The Religious or Theological or Ecclesiastical Background…

4] The Puritans and Wesley: Convergence and Divergence

5] Wesley’s Theological Debt to the Church of England

6] Wesley and Whitefield on Predestination

7] Wesley and Whitefield on the New Birth

8] Wesley’s Understanding of Sanctification (Perfection)

9] Theological Differences between John and Charles Wesley

10] Wesley and the Church Fathers (Patristics)

11] Wesley’s Understanding of Prevenient Grace

12] Wesley on Faith or Justification or Repentance or Assurance

13] An Aspect of Charles Wesley’s Hymnody

14] Wesley’s Disputes with the Calvinists

15] Wesley’s Spiritual Pilgrimage: From Mysticism and Moralism to Saving Faith (Aldersgate)

16] Wesley’s Horror at Material Prosperity

17] An Overview of and Comment on “And Earnest Appeal to Men of

Reason and Religion” (1743)

18] Wesley’s Understanding of Holy Communion

19] Wesley’s Soteriology

20] Wesley and Calvin on the Law of God

21] Wesley’s Ecclesiology

22] The Wesley Brothers’ Understanding of the Lord’s Supper from an examination of Hymns on the Lord’s Supper or J.E. Rattenbury’s The Eucharistic Hymns of John and Charles Wesley.

(Any topic approved by Professor Shepherd)



Baker, F.;  Charles Wesley’s Verse
”      From Wesley to Asbury
”      John Wesley and the Church of England

Borgen, O;  John Wesley on the Sacraments

Bready, J.; England Before and After Wesley

Brown-Lawson, A.; John Wesley and the Evangelicals of the Eighteenth Century

Campbell, T.; John Wesley and Christian Antiquity

Campbell, T.; Gunter, S,; Jones, S,; Madddox, R,; Miles, R,; Wesley and the Quadrilateral

Clifford, A.C.;  Atonement and Justification
(Wesley and the Puritans compared with the Ref.)

Collins, K.; A Real Christian: The Life of John Wesley
A Faithful Witness: John Wesley’s Homiletical Theology
”        The Scripture Way of Salvation
”        John Wesley: A Theological Journey

Coppedge, A.; John Wesley in Theological Debate

Dallimore, A.; A Heart Set Free: The Life of Charles Wesley
”         Susanna Wesley

Davies, R.;  Methodism

Davies, R., George, R. and Rupp, G., eds.; A History of the Methodist Church in Great Britain (4 vols.)

Deschner, J.;  Wesley’s Christology

Green, J.B.; John Wesley and William Law

Gunter, Scott, Gunter, W.;  The Limits of “Love Divine”

Harper, S.;  John Wesley’s Message for Today

Heitzenrater, R.;  Mirror and Memory: Reflections on Early Methodism,
The Elusive Mr. Wesley (2 vols.),
”             Wesley and the People Called Methodists

Hildebrandt, F.;  Christianity According to the Wesleys

Jennings , T.W.; Good News to the Poor: John Wesley’s Evangelical Economics

Jones, S.;  John Wesley’s Conception and Use of Scripture

Kimbrough, S.;  Charles Wesley: Poet and Theologian

Langford, T.;  Practical Divinity

Lindstrom, H.;  Wesley and Sanctification

Maddox, R.;  Responsible Grace             ****
            “(ed.); Aldersgate Reconsidered
“(ed.); Rethinking Wesley’s Theology For Contemporary Methodism

Marquardt, M.; John Wesley’s Social Ethics

Newton , J.;  Susanna Wesley and the Puritan Tradition in Methodism
”       John Wesley: His Puritan Heritage

Oden, T.;  Doctrinal Standards in the Wesleyan Tradition
”     John Wesley’s Scriptural Christianity                                             ****
            (Note the references at end of each chapter.)

Oden, T. and Longden, L, eds.;  The Wesleyan Theological Heritage: Essays of Albert Outler

Peters, J.;  Christian Perfection and American Methodism

Pollock, J.;  George Whitefield
”        John Wesley

Rack, H.;  Reasonable Enthusiast                                                               ****

Rowe, K., ed.;  The Place of Wesley in the Christian Tradition

Rudolph, L.;  Francis Asbury

Runyon, T.; The New Creation: John Wesley’s Theology Today

Rupp, E.G.; Religion in England , 1688-1791

Ryle, L.;  Select Sermons of George Whitefield

Sangster, W.;  The Path to Perfection

Smith, T.;  Whitefield and Wesley on the New Birth

Snyder, H.;  The Radical Wesley

Stacey, J., ed.;  John Wesley in Contemporary Perspectives

Tabraham, Barrie W.; The Making of Methodism

Tuttle, R.;  John Wesley: His Life and Theology

”        Mysticism in the Wesleyan Tradition

Tyson, J.;  Charles Wesley on Sanctification

Wainwright, G.,;  Geoffrey Wainwright on Wesley and Calvin

Watson, D.L.;  The Early Methodist Class Meeting

Watson, P.; The Message of the Wesleys

Williams, C.;  John Wesley’s Theology Today

Wiseman, P., ed,;  John Fletcher’s Checks to Antinomianism