Calvin Vs. Wesley: Bringing Belief in Line with Practice (9781426743351)
Many people do not consciously select a belief system. They do not critically examine or compare various faith communities. Instead they breathe in the prevailing cultural air and with it, the theology de jour. Given recent discussions in the public square, it appears that Calvinism, with its vocal emphasis on God’s sovereignty and God’s will, is holding sway. In fact, there is so much Calvinism saturating the culture that some people do not even know that there is an alternative way of thinking about their faith, despite how they behave in their daily life. Consequently, people can be left thinking like Calvinists but living with a desire to change the world, offering grace and hope to hurting people in mission and ministry—loving the least, the last, and the lost. In other words, they may believe like Calvinist but live like Wesleyans.
In his new book, Calvin Vs. Wesley: Bringing Belief in Line with Practice, author Dr. Don Thorsen writes that what Calvinists and Wesleyans actually believe about human responsibility, salvation, the universality of God’s grace, holy living through service, and the benefits of small group accountability. Further he demonstrates how these concepts connect to how everyday people live out their faith. Calvinists and Wesleyans are different. And by knowing the difference, people will not only see the benefits of Wesleyan theology but will be inspired to learn more, so that they can make an informed choice. Then by knowing who they are through faithful living, they will be further motivated to reach out in mission with renewed vigor. They won’t be obstacles to grace and holiness; but with an open future and in freedom, they can choose to be better disciples and advocates for Christ through service in this world.
The idea behind the book is not that Wesley is right and Calvin is wrong but that what we believe is reflected in how we act.
Here is a video review of the book by Shane Raynor from the Ministry Matters website.