Wesley and the Quadrilateral

Renewing the Conversation

By Ted A. Campbell, Scott J. Jones, Randy L. Maddox, Rebekah L. Miles, W. Stephen Gunter Published
Paperback ISBN: 9780687060559 $25.99 Buy
According to The Book of Discipline, Wesley believed that the "living core of the Christian faith" is revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, "vivified" by personal experience, and confirmed by reason. The thesis of Wesley and the Quadrilateral is that the Church needs serious conversation about reappropriating the Quadrilateral in a manner that is consistent with historical Methodist identity (beginning with Wesley), a conversation that takes the church's past identity with the utmost seriousness while recognizing present and future cultural trends.


Once they have overcome their bemusement at this book's title, Anglicans should find its content fascinating. Like our own Lambeth Quadrilateral, the Methodist version seeks to advance a clear understanding of their tradition's theological foundation. The choice of nomeclature apparently is incidental, for the circumstances and content of the Wesleyan version's rise differ in important respects from our own, and no reference is made to the Anglican alternative. But given Methodism's roots in Anglican tradition, and broader contemporary interest in elucidating and affirming basic components of Christian tradition, this volume holds considerable interest for Anglicans.
Where this volume makes an important contribution to Methodist as well as Anglican discussions is on this very point. The attempt to articulate a coherent sense of tradition concerns more than doctrinal consistency and purity. Tradition and experience stand in complex relation, not only historically but in present debates. It would be too much to say that this book makes a definitive statement. But it broaches a topic that should be addressed far more than it is. Anglicans may not follow their religious offspring in seeking a theological basis for the role and authority of the "conference." But we would do well to seek a more defined conciliar means to address our sense of how tradition and experience now intersect.
--William L. Sachs
Anglican and Episcopal History
September 2000 Issue

About the Authors

Ted A. Campbell

Ted A. Campbell is Professor of Church History at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University and has authored the following books for Abingdon Press: Methodist Doctrine, Wesley and the Quadrilateral, Wesleyan Essentials in a Multicultural Society, and John Wesley and Christian Antiquity. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

Scott J. Jones

Scott J. Jones is the Resident Bishop of the Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church and served as Bishop of the Great Plains area of The United Methodist Church. He was formerly the McCreless Associate Professor of Evangelism at Perkins School of Theology, where he taught courses in evangelism and Wesley studies. Previous books include The Wesleyan Way, The Evangelistic Love of God & Neighbor, Staying at the Table, and Wesley and the Quadrilateral, all published by Abingdon Press.

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Randy L. Maddox

Randy L. Maddox is William Kellon Quick Professor of Church History and Wesley Studies at The Divinity School, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; and Associate General Editor of the Bicentennial Edition of the Works of John Wesley. He is a recognized authority on both John Wesley's theology and the theological developments in later Methodism. Among his special interests are the science and religion dialogue, the nature of evangelicalism, and the theological distinctives of Eastern Orthodoxy. Maddox is an ordained elder in the Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Rebekah L. Miles

Rebekah Miles is Professor of Ethics and Practical Theology at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. She is a United Methodist clergy member of the Little Rock Annual Conference. Her service to The United Methodist Church includes membership on the General Board of Church and Society and of the national Genetic Science Task Force as well as a delegate and group leader at a World Methodist Conference.

W. Stephen Gunter

W. Stephen Gunter is President of Young Harris College - Young Harris, GA.