There is a growing need and hunger among those people who call themselves Methodist to understand better John Wesley. Perhaps this need is first introduced because they hear something they don’t think is quite right. Or maybe they finally experience a good theological discussion of what it means to be Wesleyan — infallibility, class meeting, holy conferencing and the like. Or maybe they are just new to the denomination and want to understand what (gently) separates us from others. Regardless, across the United States there is a move gaining ground that seeks to look once more to the founder of Methodism in hopes that we can reclaim something of our Wesleyan roots.
The “John Wesley Collection” from Logos contains 26 volumes of writings by John Wesley. These include his journals, letters, his notes upon the New Testament, as well as his sermons. (There is also a multi-volume biographical set included as well, bringing the total number of volumes in this package to 29). As many will know, Wesley’s sermons and New Testament biblical commentary are part of the doctrinal standards of The United Methodist Church. Perhaps each member of the UMC would do well to have this handy as they approach any sort of business meeting.
Like other Logos products, the “John Wesley Collection” comes ready to be explored and synced up to other Logos attributes, such as timelines and maps. Bible verses are likewise hyperlinked so that one can follow Fr. John easy enough as he exegetes and uses Scripture in his daily life. Unlike print copy reproductions, it is easy to read on your notebook or other portable device.
One of the highlights of this collection is the immediacy of information. I can search the times Wesley used “baptism” or “communion” as well as use topic searches to see how he felt about Calvinists and Americans. I can read (and use) what Wesley wrote not just as a proof-text, but in context and — more importantly — along a timeline. As most Wesleyan scholars know, Fr. John was not the same at the end of this life as he was at the beginning. He grew. So, we can find out when and what he said and place it on a graph, charting such growth. It really is a fascinating way to examine the beliefs of Fr. John, watching a mind shaped by his experiences, grapple with the things set before him.
I would highly recommend this set, especially for those Methodists who are still Wesleyan.