The New Creation

John Wesley's Theology Today

By Theodore Runyon Published
Paperback ISBN: 9780687096022 $27.99 Buy

Commissioned by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry for use in United Methodist doctrine/polity/history courses.

Runyon sets Wesley's own discussion of the "way of salvation" in the larger context of Christian doctrine, beginning with the Creation (and the Fall) and moving through the drama of salvation towards its eschatological fulfillment in the "new creation" of all things.

"This is for me the Wesley book at the end of the century, with new perspectives for the next millennium. Reliable in historical research, brilliantly written, it offers the social witness of John Wesley for today's crises. Professor Runyon gives a coherent picture of Wesley's theology for the Christian oecumene and far beyond. I am very grateful for this book."--Jürgen Moltmann

The New Creation has been translated into 5 languages: Korean, Portuguese, Russian, German, and Spanish.

Reviews

This is for me the Wesley book at the end of the century, with new perspectives for the next millennium. Reliable in historical research, brilliantly written, it offers the social witness of John Wesley for today's crises. Professor Runyon gives a coherent picture of Wesley's theology for the Christian oecumene and far beyond. I am very grateful for this book."
-Jurgen Moltmann, University of Tiibingen, Germany

"Perhaps the fact that Professor Runyon did not specialize in Wesley's theology at the beginning of his career but re-discovered it after struggling with contemporary 'critical theology' and the great theological issues of our time has given him the possibility of recovering in that theology meanings and a relevance which do not necessarily appear when you begin with Wesley's own historical location. In this sense, his book breaks new ground and challenges us to a new understanding of Wesley's evangelical praxis and theology. Runyon's re-visiting Wesley is not, however, merely an attempt to correlate today's issues and Wesley's answers. It looks carefully at Wesley's theology in its own historical context and tries to grasp in its very heart the fundamental core to which our present questions can be related. In my own reading, what he does is to challenge us to read Wesley's understanding of sanctification, not as merely the development of the new birth experience but as the anticipation of 'the great salvation,' the total renew- al of creation. Working back from Wesley's eschatology to conversion, new birth and sanctification, his social, economic, even ecological and health concerns do not appear as peripheral or anecdotic but as necessary dimensions of his ‘evangelical renewal.’”
-Jose Miguez Bonino, lnstituto Superior Evangelico de Estudios Teologicos, Buenos Aires, Argentina

"Professor Runyon 's new book offers a consistent, comprehensive, and compelling interpretation of Wesley's theology for today’s readers-students as well as experts. It reveals superior knowledge of Wesley's own writings, as well as familiarity with recent Wesley scholarship, combined with a strong systematic competence, which together make possible a persuasive interpretation of the core, the developments, and the interdependencies of Wesley's thought. Runyon 's intimate acquaintance with European theologians, Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic as well as Protestant, is most impressive. His comparison of the concept of sanctification in Zinzendorf and Wesley is illuminating, and provides the starting point for a rediscovery of Wesley's distinctive trinitarian understanding of sanctification. This book is highly recommended to all who are interested in a critical and creative dialogue with Wesley, who is-as Runyon so skillfully shows-a surprisingly relevant theologian for our age. "
-Manfred Marquardt, Theologische Seminar der Evangelisch-methodistischen Kirche, Reutlingen. Germany

"Having heard Dr. Runylo speak on more than one occasion about the Wesleyan motivation for faithful social wit- ness, I have been eagerly awaiting this more comprehensive account of the theology that provides both the impetus and criteria for such action. I have not been disappointed, Nor will the reader, for here is a lively, scholarly, and comprehensive discussion of what lies at the heart of John Wesley's own faithful witness in word and action-the limitless grace of God for the transformation of the human condition in every generation. And by bringing the whole work into focus around the theme of new creation, Runyon illuminates the thought of Wesley himself, at the same time addressing major themes of contemporary concern such as human rights, poverty, the rights of women, care of the environment, and ecumenism. Wesley’s theology is here no just transcribed for a different century, but powerfully developed sto direct and sustain the living witness of a new generation.”
-Norman Young, United Faculty of Theology, Melbourne, Australia

About the Author

Theodore Runyon

Theodore Runyon is Emeritus Professor of Systematic Theology at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.