(Ministry Matters) Clifton Stringer–John Wesley: A ”˜man of one book’ and a thousand

John Wesley, like him or love him, could not be accused of neglecting the biblical idiom. His sermons glow, or sometimes sag, with Scripture’s peculiar phrasings. He famously called himself homo unius libri, “a man of one book.” You got it ”” he means the Bible. Yet, as Randy Maddox notes, Wesley owned over 1,000 books, ranging from Christian history to medicine, politics, poetry, and beyond. The elegant harmony Wesley (like Hamann) saw between the thousands of books and the One Book is already inscribed in his bold self-moniker ”” do not let the humor pass you by ”” Wesley announces that he is homo unius libri in Latin. He is an Oxford Bible Moth, to be sure.

In Wesley, Wesleyans, and Reading Bible as Scripture (Green and Watson, ed.s.), Maddox observes how John Wesley himself read the Bible, with an eye to hinting at how we might follow Wesley’s lead.

Wesley’s practices which Maddox unpacks in his chapter are:

1. Reading the One Book comparatively in its many different versions
2. Reading comparatively the many books in the One Book
3. Reading comparatively in light of God’s central purpose ”” our salvation
4. Reading the One Book in conference with the Holy Spirit
5. Reading the One Book in conference with other readers
6. Reading the One Book in conference with Christian tradition
7. Reading the One Book in conference with the Book of Nature

Read it all.


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