By William J. Abraham
In his day, John Wesley provided very important insights on tips on how to receive wisdom of God that bears fruit in our personal occasions. As ideal Wesleyan student William Abraham exhibits, Wesley's most renowned non secular event is rife with philosophical value and implications. all through, Abraham brings Wesley's paintings into fruitful dialog with essentially the most very important paintings in modern epistemology. Lyrically and succinctly he explores the simultaneous epistemological quest and non secular pilgrimage that have been valuable to Wesley and the Evangelical Revival of the eighteenth century. In so doing, he presents a realized and eye-opening meditation upon the connection among cause and religion.
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Yet the combined effect of their work is beginning to bite deep into the standard opposition of charismatic phenomena. More importantly, we now have the extraordinary development of forms of Christianity that unapologetically lead in their witness with appeals to the present power of God in our lives. In the West this occurrence is represented by a resurgence of some forms of Evangelicalism and by the appearance of the Charismatic Movement and Pentecostalism. Outside the West it is represented by the extraordinary growth of forms of Christianity that unashamedly give testimony to personal encounter with God and that look to signs and wonders as authenticating evidence for the truth of the gospel.
We can and should expect this kind of intellectual hostility, and I shall return to this at the end. Wesley’s second argument (the argument from complexity) is also extremely weak when we explore it with care. The argument from charismatic phenomena is as complicated or as simple as the argument from personal experience of God. Wesley was clearly well aware of the complexity at issue in the case of the argument from perception of the divine. He knew that while the claim is initially “simple,” that is, it is an appeal to inward perception of the divine, the articulation and defense of this evidence was complicated.
24 Faith and Personal Experience of God 37 Moser even deploys two of Wesley’s favorite scriptural texts on the topic. God’s self-revelation of transforming love will take us beyond mere historical and scientific probabilities to a firm foundation of personal acquaintance with God. As Paul remarks, in our sincerely crying out “Abba, Father” to God (note the Jesus-inspired filial content of this cry), God’s Spirit confirms to our spirit that we are indeed children of God (Romans 8:16). We thereby receive God’s personal assurance of our filial relationship with God.