May others come to that realization as well!
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
From assent to trust
If Böhler was correct in this estimation, the problem lay with Wesley’s attempts to reason his way through to a relationship with God. This was due to his continued practical understanding of faith as assent, even though he had intellectually come to see it primarily as trust. The critical phrase here is Wesley’s reliance on the propositional truth of Scripture as comprehended by the intellect, rather than a personal experience of God in the heart. Wesley, by his own confession, had a very limited personal experience of God prior to Aldersgate and all of his theologising up till this period was largely an intellectual affair...He was desperate for the experience Böhler described, but at this critical juncture he explicitly returned to the “testimony” of Scripture. It is of paramount importance to notice however, that it was not simply the written text to which he appealed, but the direct testimony of God himself through the written text. In a way that he had not yet clearly articulated, Wesley had come to realise the inadequacy of an intellectual comprehension of the text alone, and the vital importance of a direct spiritual encounter with God in and through the text, as well as in and through personal testimonies.—Wesley as a Pastoral Theologian, page 81