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Definition

Methodist theology, while starting from the 39 Articles of the Anglican Church, is a system of doctrine that clearly separates itself from many Calvinist distinctives while emphasizing the importance of Christian holiness and growth.

Summary

While taking the 39 Articles of the Anglican Church as its starting point, Methodism accepts the final authority of Scripture and affirms the theological and Christological orthodoxy of the first five centuries. Methodism affirms the spirituality and desire of conformity to Christ expressed in many of the spiritual writers of medieval Christianity. Methodism separated itself clearly from the leading distinctive doctrines of Calvinism. Divine foreknowledge is an effect of absolute omniscience in God and not in his decree. The atoning work of Christ is the root of prevenient grace as its retroactive effect is universal in removing the guilt of Adam’s sin from all men. The work of the Spirit also is a universal phenomenon restoring, because of Christ’s universal atonement, the intrinsic capacity to respond positively to God’s revelation. While maintaining an orthodox and evangelical core of doctrine, Methodism embraced the conviction of Wesley that the experience of many throughout Christendom may be genuinely saving and fundamentally Christian though elements of their theology have a corrupting tendency.

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