Revival and Revolution: From the Publisher

WARM HEARTFELT THANKS to the many of you who have written in response to our “inaugural” issue devoted to Count Zinzendorf and the early Moravian missionary movement.

Requests and inquiries for subscriptions flow in on a daily basis and we regret that final plans for frequency of publication and subscription are still not settled. We hope to reach commitments and decisions on this shortly.

We are already at work on the life on John Wycliffe. This coming issue of Christian History will commemorate the 600th anniversary of his translation of the Bible into English.

This present issue, devoted to John Wesley, will prompt you to dig into his writings. And what a study is John Wesley! The essence of his message bursts forth from its eighteenth century shell with a contemporary prophetic and evangelistic power. Especially see the sermons in the special foldout section.

In the book Lord Vanity Samuel Shellabarger (we thank Frederick Maser for this citation) described the impact of Wesley on one of the characters in this novel:

In the churches of Venice and at his Jesuit school, Richard had heard sermons on this theme before, but Wesley had the gift of making it seem both new and ultimate. He spoke with an authority lacking to the urbane, rhetorical Abbati in their lofty pulpits. Why? Because of his own absolute singleness of purpose. It occurred to Richard, that behind Wesley’s voice, behind the thoughts he uttered, amplifying and authenticating them, lay the thousands of miles on horseback up and down England, lay the hardships, dangers, courage, poverty, effort, and persecution of the twenty years. Whatever he said was backed by that sanction. His power derived not only from believing but from living his doctrine. It was the power of Paul of Tarsus or Francis of Assisi or Loyola.

Many have been curious as to where we are coming from and what is our purpose. The questions are fair because every communicator or communications presentation has an agenda whether conscious or unconscious.

Christian History is published by Christian History Institute. We have no particular denominational or sectarian position to actively promote. We come from a variety of Christian denominations. Our conviction is that the Lord of history will continue to direct and lead his people to new levels of understanding and obedience in the future as he has in the past. We believe that we are better prepared to discern his leading as we are grounded in our heritage.

So it is not our intention to romanticize the Christian past but to examine it. We will draw upon qualified specialists and scholars and communicate in a way that can be understood by the lay person. We do not seek to contrive any particular response to the historical materials presented but trust that as individuals and groups deal with them they will be moved to see, learn and respond and grow.

Recall the words from the Book of Isaiah 51:1–2

Hearken to me, you who pursue deliverance, you who seek the Lord; Look to the rock from which you were hewn, And to the quarry from from which you were digged.
By the Editors

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #2 in 1983]

Next articles

John Wesley: Did You Know?

Fascinating facts about John Wesley and the Methodist movement.

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Wesley’s Rule for Christian Living

A principle to live by.

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Wesley: A Gallery of Family, Friends and Foes

Who was who in Wesley’s circle.

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Wesley’s Gift for Organization

Secrets of the Wesley organization.

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