Sources for Further Study
Abraham, William J. Wesley for Armchair Theologians. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005. Part of the publisher’s Armchair Theologians series, designed to introduce the most important Christian thinkers to a lay audience. Lively and engaging. Illustrations, bibliography, index.
Flew, R. Newton. The Idea of Perfection in Christian Theology: An Historical Study of the Christian Ideal for the Present Life. 1934. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1968. Holds that despite appearances to the contrary, Quakerism, Pietism, and Methodism were a return to a more Catholic view of Christianity obscured by the Protestant Reformation. Chapter 19, “Methodism,” while deeply sympathetic with Wesley’s teaching, makes most of criticisms that occur to the reader of A Plain Account of Christian Perfection.
Hattersley, Roy. The Life of John Wesley: A Brand from the Burning. New York: Doubleday, 2003. Shows the human, social, and spiritual sides of Wesley. Includes a fifteen-page bibliography and index.
Knox, R. A. Enthusiasm: A Chapter in the History of Religion with Special Reference to the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. 1950. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. Chapters 18 through 21 are on Wesley and Methodism. Critical but respectful treatment of Wesley by an English monsignor.
Rack, Henry D. Reasonable Enthusiast: John Wesley and the Rise of Methodism. 3d ed. London: Epworth Press, 2002. A tome at 662 pages, covers Wesley and his theology from his youth through the consolidation of Methodism and the 1780’s. Bibliography, index.
Turner, John Munsey. John Wesley: The Evangelical Revival and the Rise of Methodism in England. London: Epworth Press, 2002. Places Methodism in the context of the worldwide revival of the early eighteenth century, along with Wesley’s political and social influence. Bibliography, index.
Wesley, John. The Journal of John Wesley: A Selection. Edited with an introduction by Elisabeth Jay. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. Based on the “standard” Journal, deciphered in 1909. Provides a nice snapshot, in 290 pages, of Wesley’s journals.
Wesley, John. The Works of John Wesley. Edited by Albert C. Outler. Nashville, Tenn.: Abingdon Press, 1984. Representative sermons, letters, theological statements, and polemical writings, with helpful introductory material by the editor. Contains the sermon “Christian Perfection” and “Thoughts on Christian Perfection.”