Since the inception of the Wesleyan tradition, Scripture has remained the primary source of religious authority. The functions of Scripture have varied, ranging from the theological to the devotional. But the place of Scripture has remained central to Wesleyans, and the variety of functions of Scripture has remained vital it its beliefs and practices.
In this essay we will delineate the place and functions of Scripture as they have been evident throughout the Wesleyan tradition, beginning with John Wesley. Although the Wesleyan tradition includes more than the theology of Wesley himself, his legacy provides the stimulus from which the tradition developed. We will begin by examining the place of Scripture in relationship to other sources of religious authority in the theology of Wesley and the Wesleyan tradition as a whole. We will continue by examining the functions of Scripture. Generally speaking, the functions of Scripture include the establishment of right beliefs (orthodoxy), a right heart (orthokardia), and right actions (orthopraxis).Gregory S. Clapper suggests orthokardia as complementary to the categories of orthodoxy and orthopraxis in studying the theology of John Wesley. We consider the three categories helpful to the study of Wesleyanism as a whole. See Gregory S. Clapper, John Wesley on Religious Affections (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1989), 154-56, 171-73.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Now that you've created a Bible Gateway account, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus, the ultimate online Bible reading & study experience! For just a few dollars each month, Bible Gateway Plus gives you:
• A complete digital Bible study library integrated with your Bible Gateway account, with no expensive software to install.
• Access to 40+ study & reference books including the NIV Study Bible, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, and the MacArthur Study Bible.
• Special during April only: full access to the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible
• An ad-free Bible Gateway experience.
• A risk-free, 30-day trial—you can cancel any time.