Andy Miller III
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John Wesley and Aldersgate, What Happened? with Mark Olson

May 23, 2024

May 24, 1738, is a sacred day in Methodist History. It’s the day that John Wesley had his ‘heart warming’ experience on Aldersgate Street. But what happened that day? Was this a moment of sanctification, was it salvation, was it regeneration? How did John Wesley understand this moment? Are moments even that important? Today I am joined by Dr. Mark Olson who has researched this critical event with an exegetical eye.

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Welcome to the more to the story. Podcast and this podcast is coming out on May 20, third, 2024, and those of you in the Wesleyan world know that that is the eve of a great day. Aldersgate Day, May 2417 38, a key event happen. And today we are going to cover that

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Andy Miller III: event. What happened? And and you might not even know that there's been controversy for years, decades, centuries, almost as people have interpreted what happened on that day on Alder's Gate Street. But we're Gonna cover that in just a second. First.

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Andy Miller III: this moment in Methodism as a whole, which I think is probably why people are tuning into this podcast at this moment. And when I say, Methodist, I'm not just meaning United Methodist or global Methodist. I'm putting everybody into that camp who is a kind of sees John Wesley as a significant character in their denominations or their even theological biography, I would look at him as like a theological grandfather of sorts.

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Andy Miller III: alright. I am glad to welcome into the podcast, Dr. Mark Olson, who's a scholar of John Wesley. He's done his doctoral. He did his doctoral work on Alders Gate. He teaches adjunct at Indiana, Wesleyan, at Nazarene Bible College in West Africa Theological Seminary mark, welcome to the Podcast.

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Mark: Hey? It's great to be with you, Andy.

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Mark: and of course I'm excited to talk about all this gate.

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Andy Miller III: Yes, absolutely well, you've thought a lot about it, and here we are. This is coming out. I imagine people will listen to this who knows? Not on May 20, third or May 20 fourth, but I always joke around that if if you're at a any sort of Methodist institution. And there's a there's a Co. A box, you know, where you are like a code where you have to get into a building.

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Andy Miller III: Your best get is bet is 1738, right?

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Mark: Yeah, yeah, definitely.

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Andy Miller III: So you could get it that way and and and I've heard about you for a long time. You have a website, maybe, just as we before even talk about Alder's gate. Tell us about yourself, and and make sure to include the information that you have at Wesley Scholar com. I I want people to learn about that.

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Mark: Sure. Yes. Well, I'm present. Living in Arizona. Lived in California for 20 years pastured churches up till about 11 years ago, been teaching in higher education for the last 12 years.

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Mark: and I've always been a scholar even before I even pursued Phd. Degree, and most mostly it was on Biblical scholarship.

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Andy Miller III: Okay.

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Mark: And that's actually where my my doctoral thesis work.

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Mark: Oh, I got the title Exergy in Alder's Gate, because we do Biblical exerges.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah.

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Mark: And that literally inspired me, and how I approached the subject.

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Andy Miller III: Interesting.

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Mark: And and so, anyways, I'm born raised Washington State, north of Seattle, up in Mount Vernon area for those someone might know Washington State up there

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Mark: and lived up there. And anyways today my wife and I, we live here, and we're blessed. Now, Wesley, is almost. I like to think about almost like the Walmart of want to find information on on the works of Wesley or the sources I provide. I got, you know tons and tons of source materials of the of the the works that the Westies read that influence their theology.

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Mark: I I include a lot of first editions, a lot of materials from the to 17 hundreds. And so this, the focus of the site, is promoting scholarship on the west season and early Methodism. So I got a lot on the early Methodist, and people need to just check it out. Wesley,

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Andy Miller III: I love it, and part of I've I've seen stuff come from Wesley for a while, you know. Sometimes when I've just done. Google searches. It's led me to Wesley, anyway. So I've loved that. But your doctoral supervisor is was Jordan Hammond, who is my doctoral supervisor and I I'm I may maybe I maybe he wouldn't want me to say this, but I'm I think I'm coming close to the end like I've I probably have another 1,000 words right in my conclusion. Then I have a you know, several.

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Mark: Awesome.

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Andy Miller III: Of working at putting it all together. But I asked him. I said, Jordan, could you send me some examples of a of a good conclusion like I was. I had just finished all of. I finished my chapters, and he sent me your dissertation amongst others, and so, when I was looking at it, I thought, Oh, my, this is great! I was. I was fascinated by your thesis, and, like you said even your title. There it is.

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Mark: Yeah. Got it? Here it is.

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Andy Miller III: Messaging. I'll always gate. Yes, and it's and I'll I'll acknowledge, too, that you publish. It's been published with Rutledge. There it is, Wesley.

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Mark: There.

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Mark: Yeah.

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Andy Miller III: They're they're slightly different. And you updated it, which is great. So but here's the thing interesting, mark, like, what is it that interested you. And well, okay, no. Actually, before I get to what interested you, I you you peaked my interest. We talked about almost like a hermeneutical approach by thinking about ex of Jesus, about. So before we get into Wesley before we get even to topic. That was interesting. Me Biblical studies informing this this dissertation.

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Mark: Yes. Well, it really inspired me. And a lot of it's just like, you know, Biblical studies. We use a variety of tools to to exam the text, to to discern the authors, meaning intent everything. Of course, there's professional tile like form, criticism, redaction, criticism, all these different tools.

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Mark: And I've also been an avid reader on historical Jesus research.

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Andy Miller III: Okay.

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Mark: Like James Don Nt, writes some of my favorite authors, and and just their methodologies, how they approach a subject, how they examine it!

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Mark: Really influenced me because Alder's Gate, as you mentioned earlier, is May. Most people think of it just as Wessex conversion, but scholars debate the whole. That's the big

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Mark: big elephant in the room wasn't his conversion, and what does even conversion mean?

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Andy Miller III: Wow, yeah.

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Mark: You know.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, this is interesting. Yeah.

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Mark: Yeah. So so really, the whole task of Biblical exegesis which I had done as a pastor, I need this even as a lay scholar. I I class by myself on Biblical studies, in shape, influence. How I approach this task of studying Aldersgate to to discern Wesley's interpretation, not scholars, interpretations. But what was Wesley's interpretation of the event?

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Andy Miller III: Yes, that that I I think that's a fascinating approach. Because, like, when we think about what's happening in Biblical studies as we're recording this I entered into a little bit of controversy as somebody was critical of the Methodist tradition out. Well, Albert Moler, President of Southern Baptist Seminary, who, I appreciate on so many fronts. Well.

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Andy Miller III: it was challenged the idea that well movement towards Lgbtq inclusion was it probably came about because Methodists already just jumped over or or didn't really interpret Scripture faithfully. And so they just opened the door when they had women in ministry. Why, I felt like that's a the fallacy of a slippery slope. And so, like I, I wanna challenge that. But but what that highlighted for me is the real challenge is for people to look at things that might seem inconsistent

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Andy Miller III: with within Scripture, like, okay, you have this verse over here, this for how do we present a continual theme of what's happening in Scripture. And this is what's interesting like with with Wesley is, I've heard, some outside of the Wesleyan tradition critique, John Wesley and Critique alders, gates. Oh, you have Alder's gate, but then not much long. Mu, not much later, he ends up saying, Oh, I'm not even a Christian. So you have this, this, the same problem

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Andy Miller III: problems that you have in Scriptural interpretation at work when we deal with John Wesley. So was that part of your interest is that when you're looking at John Wesley's Alders gate experience, it's like trying to figure out what actually happened there, or or tell us what was it that drew you to this.

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Mark: What what drew me to? Well, one thing is that the diversity of opinion over all the State is almost unending. I mean, it's just.

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Mark: You know what you, as you know when you do doctoral studies, and your first chapter is always you review literature on the subject.

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Andy Miller III: Yes.

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Mark: Do a literature review. Well, I review over 40 scholars. I covered 200 years of interpretation and all the major and it's just it's it's it's a it's a smallest bore.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah.

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Mark: All these interpretations which leads a lot of people just almost well, throw up your hand, saying, Well, who knows what it is, you know. And I thought, you know, here is a subject that really needs ex Jesus.

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Andy Miller III: Yes.

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Mark: We really need to. So one of the things that we know on one of the things I notice, Andy.

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Mark: I'll just share here, and if you got questions, just go ahead and jump in.

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Andy Miller III: Go ahead. Go ahead. Jump in. Yeah.

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Mark: One of the things I noticed that through going through all this literature, reviewing all these scholars where it deals with Wesse's first biographers back in the late 17 early 18 hundreds

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Mark: up to modern scholars is that no one examined the language of the text.

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Andy Miller III: Interesting.

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Mark: You think like a in Biblical studies, you examine words, how those words are used elsewhere, when no one ever examine the language of his testimony, and how that language pops up elsewhere, and how is it used elsewhere that can illuminate the meaning of the text?

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, sure.

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Mark: And same thing, you know. For those are in the No Battles Gate in the 1770. That means almost 40 years later, Wesley added, like footnotes to the text

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Mark: which he sought to clarify. He and include these footnotes, really reveal his mature perspective on it.

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Andy Miller III: Okay.

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Mark: But yet, while scholars would argue over these footnotes, what they mean, or what they what's the meaning? What's the intent of them a bit but no one's ever examined the language, and how was he used it elsewhere? And what you know? And so one of the things I noticed was that the text, the actual text, all Wesi's comments about it through his life needs close analysis.

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Andy Miller III: Hmm.

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Mark: Okay. So that's one of the things that I that really, that's why I got exiges. You need to exege all this game.

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Andy Miller III: That's great to to to tell us like I remember the first time I my my impression of Alder's Gate was

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Andy Miller III: the tradition I grew up in, generally saw it as a moment of sanctifying grace happening in his life like almost like a second work of grace. And and that was just my, and then I got into my kind of a first Wesley class, and all of a sudden, like you, I became Whoa! There is such a diversity. I had no idea the landmines that were all around me.

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Mark: Yeah.

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Andy Miller III: So could you outline some of those area differing interpretations? What have scholars? Oh, I know it's like summarizing a whole chapter, summarizing 200.

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Mark: Right.

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Andy Miller III: But what are some of the major interpretations of Alder's Gate? And then I of course, I wanna get to what you did with the actual language. But but tell us about some of the alternative interpretations.

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Mark: Okay? Well, just what some see it. What's called the traditional view is that it was Wesse's conversion to even jerkle face. So it's evangelical conversion.

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Mark: Some see it. Course, there's a lot of debate, or what is conversion

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Mark: by the scholars? Some see it as his moment of entire sanctification.

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Mark: Okay. Christian perfection.

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Mark: Different languages used there.

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Mark: Another interpretation is that it was this an experience of assurance. But it's not his conversion. This is kind of Richard Heights, heights, and road. It was a significant moment when he received assurance. But it's really not his conversion.

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Mark: So you can see how they start to slice and dice up everything.

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Mark: Another view that developed in eighties was that basically what even starts with Robert Southey's who's an Anglican? His biography back in 18 twenties that really it wasn't

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Mark: it was a it was an assurance that didn't assure him cause he had all his doubts afterwards.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, sure.

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Mark: Yeah, there's those that say that it was really a non event.

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Andy Miller III: Oh, wow!

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Mark: Though it might been my appeared significantly.

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Mark: Wesley never talks that much about later, and so therefore it really turned into a total non-event. And all this hype over is just hype.

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Andy Miller III: Hmm!

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Andy Miller III: Wow!

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Mark: And so.

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Mark: and you even got method of scholars with a lot of different views. And then there's a lot. Then one of the thing that that complicates things is that Wesley had a pretty dramatic experience in 1725.

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Mark: So all this gate happened in 1738,

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Mark: 13 years prior. He had a pretty significant experience. This is when he had a real spiritual awakening.

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Mark: and he really rededicate his life to God.

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Andy Miller III: Yes.

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Mark: And and so a lot of people, scholars and and students. Wesley historians think. Well, that's his real conversion.

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Mark: So it gets into the argument and debate? What is conversion?

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Andy Miller III: Right.

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Mark: Now one of the things that I learned. I'll just throw this out right now.

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Andy Miller III: Go! Do it, do it!

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Mark: I learned through the whole process. I took 5 years to write this, and since I teach Wes in theology

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Mark: then one of the things I try to always instruct my students on is that our understanding conversion today is different than how early method is understood.

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Andy Miller III: Right help!

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Mark: Today, especially in even darkful circles. I can't talk about all the different denominations and Christian traditions.

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Andy Miller III: Right, right.

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Mark: Within even jerkle circles like in America. Conversion today is to make a decision for Christ.

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Mark: You accept Jesus in your life, you respond to an altered call, or you raise your hand, you pray the sinner's prayer.

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Mark: Every one of these methodologies about conversion and understanding involves the the person making a decision.

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Mark: They hear the gospel, they reach out, they commit their life to Christ. Even when we talk about evangelists, we talk about how many decisions were made.

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Mark: You know.

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Andy Miller III: Right, right.

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Mark: That is the concept of conversion today. That was not John Wesley's concept or early Methodist concept. Conversion.

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Mark: Conversion to them is something that God did in your heart. It was spontaneous.

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Mark: and there it was not a decision person made.

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Andy Miller III: Yes.

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Mark: It's something that happened to you

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Mark: now. You waited for it.

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Andy Miller III: Yes.

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Mark: You, you would pray you would. You would be seeking God you'd attend the religious meetings and hearing the preaching.

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Mark: but at some point you never knew when God was going to kinda like you have that God moment when God would this witness to your heart that He has given you, and that you were born again, and you're part of the body of Christ. And so Wesley was convinced that he was lost and needed salvation. April 20, fifth. It took a month him waiting for it to happen.

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Mark: and when you read his testimony at Alder's Gate

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Mark: he doesn't make any decisions. He doesn't do anything. He's just there sitting there listening to someone read

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Mark: a commentary by Martin Luther.

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Andy Miller III: Right, right.

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Mark: And when Luther describes the change that God works in the heart through faith in Christ, he said, I felt my heart strangely warm. Nois. He didn't make a decision. He didn't pray. He didn't raise his hand. He didn't do anything. He's just sitting there, and it just happens to him.

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Mark: Yeah, he feels his heart strangely warm, fills his strength through strange warmth in internally. And then he says, I knew

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Mark: I trusted in Christ alone.

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Mark: and that, and God gave me assurance that he'd taken away my sins and saved me from the law. Sin of death.

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Mark: And so it's something that happened to him.

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Mark: He's passive

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Mark: where conversion today is is that the seeker is active in the process, and that is a major shift, because if we go to the always gate like Wesley's testimony, and we have in our minds, you gotta make a decision. Well, when did G. When did Wesy make a decision? Well, in 1725 he recommended his life to God.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah, yeah.

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Mark: You. You can see how scholars, with their own definitions, how they, how that kind of bleeds into their interpreting, or what they read.

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Andy Miller III: Yeah. So it's really what you're doing. And what you're suggesting is like, we go back to what he actually said and what those words would have meant to him. Instead, we want to take our understanding of our from our culture and our theology, and assert that on top of Wesley I, I look at what you're you're saying. And I just had a podcast, if you go back, it's called my God is so big because we move away from

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Andy Miller III: this idea that too often we or we need to move away from this idea, that we enter into kind of like an evangelical Pelagianism, where we are so kind

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Andy Miller III: to accept Christ, you know, like, isn't it great of us just to make a little room for him and our lives? But this misses, and and I've even heard some Methodist Mark say this like, well, the difference between a Methodist and Baptist is, you know, Baptist. God chooses you, but Methodist, we choose God, you know. It's like.

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Mark: Yeah.

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Andy Miller III: This real like, as if that's what the the decision like we emphasize free will so much.

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Mark: Oh, yeah.

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Andy Miller III: That we forget that it's God's initiative, and it's something that we receive as opposed to something that we choose. That's just art. Of course there is a synergistic aspect to that. But that I think that that's pro. It's interesting to hear that's foundation. Now, how does a like pervenient grace come in and be a a part of this discussion? And did Wesley understand what was happening ahead of 1738 as pervenent grace.

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Mark: Oh, yes, he had a I mean Wesley was Armenian. He was High Church, Anglican, and he had a strong doctrine of provenient grace and Praveen. Grace in his theology, really starts to take shape and influence his thought more from the 17 sixties on in his mature period of his theology. But even all through his life he believed in prevenient grace. So that God is that work in our lives before we ever come to Christ. That's what convenient grace means that God's at work in us as centers.

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Mark: He he's at work at us from the moment we're born.

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Mark: Is it working our lives to reveal Himself, to reveal truth to us, to to draw us closer to him.

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Mark: And so Wesley understood that you have to respond to grace. When God you gotta respond to God's working.

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Andy Miller III: Yes.

00:20:51.030 --> 00:20:54.530
Mark: But in the moment, in the instant of regeneration.

00:20:55.210 --> 00:21:17.059
Mark: This is when Wesse stress, that really that in that instant when God justifies and regenerates the heart. And that instant the person's actually passive. Before that moment they're active. They're seeking their praying. They're seeking God or reading the Scriptures. They're they're they're exercising their faith. But in that instant it's a work of God alone.

00:21:17.060 --> 00:21:21.040
Andy Miller III: Yes, Amen, and that's why Martin Luther was so helpful right, though.

00:21:21.040 --> 00:21:21.430
Mark: You know? Yeah.

00:21:21.430 --> 00:21:26.939
Andy Miller III: That was emphasizing his preface to Romans. Tell us about that text. I mean what was happening in that text.

00:21:26.940 --> 00:21:33.040
Mark: Okay. In Luther's preface to Romans. That's his introduction to his commentary on Romans.

00:21:33.200 --> 00:21:39.350
Mark: ruther gives a kind of synopsis of the book, a Paul theology and a Paul's gospel.

00:21:39.560 --> 00:21:46.473
Mark: And so he talks about the law. Okay, and how we will operate. Send the law. But

00:21:47.230 --> 00:21:53.639
Mark: Luther boiled it all down to that. The fundamental problem that makes us sinners is unbelief.

00:21:54.970 --> 00:22:04.489
Mark: And of course the Moravians, who were the ones who really kind of were Wesse spiritual mentor towards his even drople conversion at all. His gate.

00:22:05.205 --> 00:22:06.840
Mark: They were Lutherans.

00:22:06.940 --> 00:22:13.609
Mark: and the this preface to Romans. This document was like.

00:22:13.680 --> 00:22:18.560
Mark: you know, one the authoritative text on evangelical conversion for them.

00:22:18.820 --> 00:22:20.270
Mark: And so

00:22:20.500 --> 00:22:35.140
Mark: anyways, Luther talks about how we're all centers to the law. Be under the law that we cannot save ourselves. That's only by faith that we come to I. We've come where we're broken. We're empty of ourselves. We got nowhere to turn.

00:22:35.300 --> 00:22:37.630
Mark: and so we reach out to Christ.

00:22:37.630 --> 00:22:38.310
Andy Miller III: Yes. Yeah.

00:22:38.310 --> 00:22:39.700
Mark: And and and

00:22:39.850 --> 00:22:55.089
Mark: Luther stress how much that by when we have faith in Christ, that saving faith it does, God works a grand transformation inside the human heart versus born again, they're justified. They're adopted in God's family.

00:22:55.160 --> 00:22:58.439
Mark: and this begins a new life in the person.

00:22:58.530 --> 00:23:07.359
Mark: So I would encourage the audience find you go online Google Luther's preface enrollments and read it. It's a fascinating short document.

00:23:07.360 --> 00:23:07.895
Andy Miller III: Hmm,

00:23:08.450 --> 00:23:11.580
Andy Miller III: I bet they can find, i'm sure.

00:23:11.580 --> 00:23:14.970
Mark: Oh, yeah, they can. Yeah, I got kind of Luther's works on there.

00:23:14.970 --> 00:23:42.190
Andy Miller III: So. Could you, Mark? Tell us just a little bit about some of the historical pieces that happen ahead of Alder's Gate? There's some misunderstanding there as well. And kind of like popular telling of the story. I know how it goes like sometimes you just we start to describe an event, and we summarize, and then our summarizations become people's reality. And that kind of determines what's happening as opposed to what

00:23:42.360 --> 00:23:46.330
Andy Miller III: what we know from the actual sources. So tell us what what came before Alder's gate.

00:23:46.520 --> 00:23:55.779
Mark: Okay. Well, I would try to share this way that Wesley's. When Wesley published his account of all his gate, he published it 2 years later.

00:23:55.780 --> 00:23:56.110
Andy Miller III: Okay.

00:23:56.110 --> 00:24:01.100
Mark: June of 1,740, so he had time to reflect back on his life.

00:24:01.560 --> 00:24:06.540
Mark: and in June, the 1740, he published his first extract of this journal.

00:24:07.360 --> 00:24:12.579
Mark: and it it starts with him, leaving to America, to Georgia as a missionary.

00:24:13.010 --> 00:24:16.270
Mark: and he encounters these storms at sea.

00:24:16.680 --> 00:24:19.289
Mark: and he experiences fear of death.

00:24:19.320 --> 00:24:22.040
Mark: And that's what is focused on in the Journal.

00:24:22.630 --> 00:24:24.330
Mark: Wesley also kept

00:24:24.360 --> 00:24:28.060
Mark: a daily diary of his spiritual progress.

00:24:28.500 --> 00:24:31.600
Mark: One of the most interesting little tidbits here

00:24:31.660 --> 00:24:54.379
Mark: is that in Wesse's diary during his journey. Well, he makes a few comments about the storms, and his fear of death. They really is is not emphasized at all. What he stresses is his ministry to the people on board the ship. How successful it was! But it's in the journal that all goes away, and all that the focus is on these storms and this fear of death.

00:24:54.889 --> 00:24:55.080
Andy Miller III: Steve!

00:24:55.080 --> 00:24:57.749
Mark: That's where the seed was planted

00:24:57.860 --> 00:25:02.920
Mark: that there was something he he realized there was something wrong in my spiritual life.

00:25:03.670 --> 00:25:14.379
Mark: Because Wesley had spent. He was, I mean. Wesley was deeply dedicated and devoted and committed. He was very specific and exact, and how he lived his life

00:25:14.600 --> 00:25:19.250
Mark: because he wanted to please God in every area, and he had

00:25:19.260 --> 00:25:26.269
Mark: being a High Church Anglican, and being reading a lot of what's called the holy living tradition all these authors on holy living.

00:25:26.410 --> 00:25:46.209
Mark: that he had this understanding, that the more holy you become when we think about the more close we become to somebody, the more assurance we have in the relationship. The tighter a husband and wife are in their relationship and their love, the more bond they have, of course, the more assurance they have of that love and that bond, and of their relationship.

00:25:46.260 --> 00:25:49.850
Mark: So assurance was a byproduct of holy living.

00:25:50.260 --> 00:25:50.780
Andy Miller III: Okay.

00:25:50.780 --> 00:25:53.120
Mark: This is a clue to staying early, Wesley.

00:25:53.220 --> 00:26:03.480
Mark: but once he. And so when the storms the seed happened, he experienced this fear, he realized. Wait a minute. If I was really that close with God, I would want to die. I'd want to.

00:26:03.480 --> 00:26:04.379
Andy Miller III: So be the cheese.

00:26:04.640 --> 00:26:06.650
Mark: Why don't I want to die?

00:26:06.930 --> 00:26:07.670
Andy Miller III: Right.

00:26:08.430 --> 00:26:11.149
Mark: That planted the seed that made him question

00:26:11.190 --> 00:26:17.460
Mark: his own spiritual journey, his priorities, how he's living his life, and it just kept building from there

00:26:17.700 --> 00:26:26.280
Mark: and then when he came back from America about 2 and a half years later, that's when he met Peter Booler, an a Moravian missionary, and to America.

00:26:26.410 --> 00:26:46.129
Mark: and he had had encounters with the Moravians, and during that period of time had been reading law, their writings, their emphasis on salvation by faith and everything, and Buller really kinda nailed Wesley's feet to the to the fire, kind of held him to the ground, said, Hey, you know what you're you're missing something, and he realized he was.

00:26:46.240 --> 00:26:49.639
Mark: And through that process what I find leads to

00:26:50.000 --> 00:26:51.540
Mark: May 20, Fourth.

00:26:51.540 --> 00:26:52.550
Andy Miller III: Yeah. Dirty.

00:26:52.760 --> 00:26:59.129
Mark: Yeah, we should say Charles, his brother was was converted 3 days earlier on pending cost Sunday, on May 20, first.

00:26:59.560 --> 00:27:15.119
Andy Miller III: Yes, amazing. So so, as a as this has been into interpreted in Wesley's experience, you mentioned the journal in 1740, but then the other times that he refers to his life. What's the differences in the way? He even talks about Alder's Gate later.

00:27:16.260 --> 00:27:22.469
Mark: Okay. Wesley's initial interpretations. I have to kind of put this in very brief form.

00:27:22.470 --> 00:27:23.770
Andy Miller III: Okay. So I didn't know it's.

00:27:23.770 --> 00:27:27.739
Mark: When he was when he was initially experienced.

00:27:28.050 --> 00:27:42.539
Mark: I'll just get on May 20. Fourth, he, because of his understanding of holiness tied to the Christian life and everything he thought he was entirely sanctified. This is one of the things that I probe into and my doctoral work, and also I'll just flash it up here. My book.

00:27:42.870 --> 00:27:43.199
Andy Miller III: Go!

00:27:43.200 --> 00:27:48.960
Mark: Back. You could rent it from Amazon from before for a few bucks for a month on, on kindle

00:27:49.440 --> 00:27:50.195
Mark: anyways.

00:27:50.950 --> 00:27:54.060
Andy Miller III: You say that because those th those Rutledge books are like over.

00:27:54.060 --> 00:27:54.969
Mark: Our pricing.

00:27:54.970 --> 00:27:57.040
Andy Miller III: So you want to buy it? Yeah, yeah, I got it.

00:27:57.040 --> 00:27:59.262
Mark: It's about 50 bucks, a soft code.

00:27:59.824 --> 00:28:00.069
Andy Miller III: You!

00:28:00.070 --> 00:28:04.019
Mark: But the hardcover is like over like 80 90 a hundred bucks. So

00:28:05.610 --> 00:28:12.790
Mark: anyways, he initially did, he initially thought, because Wesley at that point did not distinguish. See he.

00:28:12.840 --> 00:28:21.999
Mark: In Western theology we understand that entire sanctification, perfection, is a second experience after conversion after regeneration.

00:28:22.650 --> 00:28:26.699
Mark: Wesse didn't develop that view till 1739, 1740.

00:28:26.850 --> 00:28:43.020
Mark: In 1738. He kind of put it. I I like to use the analogy of a basket. He had all the eggs in the basket. When you came to Christ you had the whole thing. You were entirely sanctified. You were generated you were, you were justified. You were adopted the whole things in the basket.

00:28:43.090 --> 00:28:53.940
Mark: What he, his struggle after his journey after Alder's gate, is where Wessei learns what's correct and what's not, and he starts to take eggs out of the basket.

00:28:53.940 --> 00:28:55.699
Andy Miller III: Hmm! Interesting. That's good enough.

00:28:55.700 --> 00:29:10.520
Mark: Version. And so the first thing he does is that he learns right away, and his struggles is is a doubts that that follow, that I'm not entirely sanctified. So does that mean, then, the ravens? This she said, well, you're not converted.

00:29:10.930 --> 00:29:16.080
Mark: and Wesley could not accept that. So he came to an understanding of degrees of faith.

00:29:16.970 --> 00:29:19.420
Mark: Okay, I'm not entirely sanctified.

00:29:19.460 --> 00:29:21.130
Mark: but I am converted.

00:29:21.913 --> 00:29:26.150
Mark: And so he that's one initial reinterpretations he did of the event.

00:29:26.870 --> 00:29:28.210
Mark: and

00:29:28.540 --> 00:29:36.089
Mark: by dissecting his journal, I propose the idea that he thought he was entirely sanctified for about one week.

00:29:36.410 --> 00:29:37.310
Andy Miller III: Okay.

00:29:37.470 --> 00:29:41.719
Mark: Because one week after all this gate he records, and his journal is for sin.

00:29:41.800 --> 00:29:43.419
Mark: and he questions himself.

00:29:43.420 --> 00:29:44.330
Andy Miller III: Okay.

00:29:45.347 --> 00:29:59.519
Mark: And then, you know, he goes through other doubts, through through the summer and through the fall, sees himself as a weak Christian. This is because the Moravians had this idea that you truly converted, you will never have a single doubt.

00:29:59.520 --> 00:30:00.630
Andy Miller III: Right, right.

00:30:00.630 --> 00:30:05.079
Mark: Doubt your conversion. If you doubt anything in relation with God, then you're not converted.

00:30:05.350 --> 00:30:08.149
Mark: Well, it's called Moravian stillness.

00:30:08.310 --> 00:30:08.870
Andy Miller III: None. Okay.

00:30:09.278 --> 00:30:18.260
Mark: You know that's the title I won't try to delve into that. But anyways, it took Wesley several months, works through this.

00:30:18.350 --> 00:30:29.520
Mark: and what he does in this journal. This is where many scholars miss it, and where a lot of people understand is that Wesley did not publish his struggles with doubt, after Alder's gate.

00:30:29.530 --> 00:30:31.629
Mark: because he's working on his soul.

00:30:31.660 --> 00:30:33.120
Mark: 2 years later.

00:30:33.580 --> 00:30:41.860
Mark: No, he published them to warn his followers. If you embrace his Moravian teaching of stillness. This is what it will do to your soul.

00:30:41.860 --> 00:30:43.040
Andy Miller III: Oh, wow! Interesting!

00:30:43.040 --> 00:30:50.559
Mark: He used himself as a guinea pig, so to speak, in his journal, to show the ramifications of stillness, doctrine.

00:30:50.670 --> 00:30:59.030
Mark: Look what it did to me. It led me from having a a genuine conversion to Christ to the point several months later. I'm saying I'm not a Christian.

00:31:00.270 --> 00:31:09.219
Mark: and after that last confession. In January fourth of 1739, Wesse drops the subject and never brings it up again

00:31:09.670 --> 00:31:11.290
Mark: because he made his point.

00:31:11.960 --> 00:31:16.870
Mark: Now, one of the things that people often don't understand is that when he published

00:31:17.040 --> 00:31:18.140
Mark: these.

00:31:18.150 --> 00:31:21.339
Mark: his journey of his doubts and struggles, after all, to escape.

00:31:21.600 --> 00:31:26.840
Mark: That's when he was splitting with the Moravians in 1740 and 1741.

00:31:26.840 --> 00:31:27.590
Andy Miller III: And okay.

00:31:27.880 --> 00:31:35.870
Mark: So it's right in the mid of when he's splitting with them. Over these issues he publishes a journal in his own stroke, dealing with their doctor.

00:31:36.890 --> 00:31:44.230
Mark: And so this is. This is why it's it's an important piece, because he is not a lot of people. See.

00:31:44.290 --> 00:31:45.609
Mark: here's an air thing

00:31:45.620 --> 00:31:47.970
Mark: we live in the age of psychology.

00:31:48.850 --> 00:31:57.379
Mark: and we're very introspective on our our ego, the subconscious part of us all this kind of stuff, a modern psychology

00:31:57.390 --> 00:32:12.609
Mark: that Wesse predates all that he has. No, he doesn't think in those terms. He's just he's just re publishing these materials. He publishes everything in the journal that he wants people to read and see.

00:32:12.900 --> 00:32:17.899
Mark: and so he's doing it for his followers, because by then the Methodist movement's already taken off.

00:32:18.770 --> 00:32:21.179
Mark: and and so he wants to

00:32:21.250 --> 00:32:23.809
Mark: teach them. Hey, don't fall for this trap.

00:32:24.120 --> 00:32:28.259
Mark: There's degrees of faith. You can have some doubts after you have your conversion.

00:32:29.680 --> 00:32:41.290
Andy Miller III: So this and this is time th what he starts to do. Then, as he tells his story, what I hear you saying is that he's using his story to help shape the Methodist revival, the Evangelical Revival that's happening.

00:32:41.290 --> 00:32:41.660
Mark: Yeah.

00:32:41.660 --> 00:32:42.200
Andy Miller III: Frank.

00:32:42.410 --> 00:32:44.860
Mark: He's he's using his own story

00:32:45.466 --> 00:32:53.749
Mark: to try to teach what is genuine conversion, what's authentic Christian experience and what to stay away from

00:32:54.050 --> 00:33:02.249
Mark: what teachings to stay away from cause it will. And this is another thing that a lot of people don't know today

00:33:02.440 --> 00:33:14.929
Mark: is that when I, of course, doing my research. On this I started reading conversion stories from from the 17 hundreds, and it was common for people to go through struggles of doubt following their conversion.

00:33:15.270 --> 00:33:33.430
Mark: And the reason is once again think about conversions, not you, making a decision like, you know. If someone asked me, I accepted Christ in my life when I was 15 knows the language. I made a decision for Jesus. I know what I did. I made a decision, and and I experienced the change of Christ in my life.

00:33:33.520 --> 00:33:39.289
Mark: Well, back then, you don't make a decision, something that happened to you. Well, did it really happen.

00:33:39.610 --> 00:33:40.060
Andy Miller III: Find a way.

00:33:40.060 --> 00:33:47.849
Mark: Up the next day. What happened? What did you know? And so often for many of these early Methodists? They had to work through

00:33:48.280 --> 00:33:56.679
Mark: their conversion. Is it real? Is it genuine? This is why Wesley, he preached. He has 3 sermons on the witness of the Spirit.

00:33:56.680 --> 00:33:57.413
Andy Miller III: Yes. Yeah.

00:33:57.780 --> 00:34:01.620
Mark: Catalog of sermons, because the witnesses spirit was

00:34:01.680 --> 00:34:07.679
Mark: the apex of conversion. I mean, without it you're not converted with it. You're born again, Christian.

00:34:07.760 --> 00:34:11.029
Mark: and so that assurance that felt assurance.

00:34:11.120 --> 00:34:14.019
Mark: I mean was the crutch of the whole thing.

00:34:14.449 --> 00:34:20.240
Mark: And this is reason why his experience at Oldsgate is an experience of assurance of salvation.

00:34:20.250 --> 00:34:25.129
Mark: because his readership would would have seen it that way. Hey? Wesley's converted.

00:34:25.330 --> 00:34:48.130
Andy Miller III: Yeah, I mean W. What? Some of the language from Alder's Gate description there, I mean, he says, like that. I'm a child. God, even me, I mean we I know you have it. What's the exact link I mean, cause you. You see this witness of the spirit language at work and what he's saying, and there's like this sense of of him waiting on the spirit like Wait, and and this can be a challenge while you're looking that up, you know, with.

00:34:48.130 --> 00:34:49.190
Mark: Yeah, I've got it rolling.

00:34:49.190 --> 00:35:10.490
Andy Miller III: Okay, police move it a a oftentimes. And you know, as. And this is true in many traditions, that I've been a part of where maybe emphasis, Phoebe Palmer, that if we testify to them, we actively engage, then that happens as opposed to something happening to us and us agreeing with God. So what's the exact language? There.

00:35:10.840 --> 00:35:12.790
Mark: You know. What can we just jump in just a little.

00:35:12.790 --> 00:35:13.210
Andy Miller III: Go ahead!

00:35:13.210 --> 00:35:16.670
Mark: Historical information about what you just mentioned about Phoebe Palmer.

00:35:16.670 --> 00:35:18.340
Andy Miller III: Yeah, yeah, correct me, if I'm wrong.

00:35:18.340 --> 00:35:20.300
Mark: I used to say a lot of Charles Vinnie

00:35:20.340 --> 00:35:27.610
Mark: and Finney is one of the key leaders in early 18 hundreds that spearheaded this whole thing about making a decision for Christ.

00:35:27.610 --> 00:35:28.650
Andy Miller III: Yeah, sure.

00:35:28.650 --> 00:35:35.829
Mark: He went, cause he he was. He went into all these well, their Calvinist churches and people were waiting to be converted.

00:35:36.020 --> 00:35:43.009
Mark: and he just said, you know his message was, well, what are you waiting for? God's waiting for you to make a decision?

00:35:43.270 --> 00:35:47.399
Mark: And of course that was totally like something totally new to these people blew them away.

00:35:48.070 --> 00:35:57.119
Mark: In America. I can say this is that the rise of democracy, the idea that we vote for our leaders altered. How we view the Christian life too.

00:35:57.180 --> 00:35:58.320
Andy Miller III: Hmm, interesting.

00:35:58.320 --> 00:36:04.857
Mark: Lot of ways. One of those ways was that, hey? We need to have a we need to vote for Jesus. We need to decide of Jesus.

00:36:05.550 --> 00:36:06.000
Andy Miller III: Interesting.

00:36:06.250 --> 00:36:08.439
Mark: And I'm not saying it's right or wrong.

00:36:08.440 --> 00:36:09.000
Andy Miller III: Right, right.

00:36:09.000 --> 00:36:18.489
Mark: This is just historical trend, and how, our understanding of conversion and and the Christian life has evolved over time.

00:36:19.570 --> 00:36:42.760
Andy Miller III: Yeah, there, there are some. I will let you get to read that quote just a second. But like, there are some challenges with this individualistic approach. Of course, that's one of the things about the United States is. It's a very individualistic country, like lifting up the rights of individual people in society and in their own homes, whatever it is like. It's a free country, and that says, but at the same time, like there are some.

00:36:42.760 --> 00:36:52.019
Andy Miller III: There are some important things about agreeing with the work that God has done, but the the weakness is is the overreach. I think probably you and I would both be in the camp

00:36:52.020 --> 00:36:53.560
Andy Miller III: for today.

00:36:53.570 --> 00:36:57.450
Andy Miller III: thinking of finding a balance between the monologistic and synergistic approach.

00:36:57.450 --> 00:36:57.850
Mark: Yes.

00:36:57.850 --> 00:37:04.699
Andy Miller III: But what you're trying to do, I think it's so helpful is help us see what was actually going on in the eighteenth century. So like.

00:37:04.700 --> 00:37:05.070
Mark: Like, yeah.

00:37:05.070 --> 00:37:11.310
Andy Miller III: And that's the that's the point. And so to tell us like, where is the witness of the Spirit? Then in this Alders Gate Gate quote.

00:37:11.490 --> 00:37:13.773
Mark: Okay, let me read the paragraph. Okay.

00:37:14.360 --> 00:37:21.780
Mark: Wesley writes in the evening I went very unwillingly to a society that's a religious meeting small group

00:37:21.910 --> 00:37:24.500
Mark: in Aldgus Gray Street, London.

00:37:24.780 --> 00:37:29.239
Mark: where one was reading Luther's preface to the Epistle to the Romans

00:37:29.420 --> 00:37:32.000
Mark: about a quarter before 9,

00:37:32.200 --> 00:37:37.939
Mark: while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ.

00:37:37.990 --> 00:37:40.839
Mark: I felt my heart strangely warmed.

00:37:41.150 --> 00:37:48.970
Mark: I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given me, and he's talking about right then

00:37:49.260 --> 00:37:54.690
Mark: that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.

00:37:55.940 --> 00:37:59.009
Mark: Now, what I did in chapter 3

00:37:59.120 --> 00:38:01.899
Mark: is that I break this down

00:38:02.110 --> 00:38:06.070
Mark: into 3 parts. It's one paragraph, but it's 3 sentences.

00:38:06.160 --> 00:38:25.640
Mark: and each sentence serves a different purpose. So the first sentence is the setting. Wesley says, I went very unwillingly to this society meeting, which is a which is this, an eighteenth century term for what we might call a Bible study, or a small group, or what you know, however, language we would use, because that's what it was.

00:38:25.800 --> 00:38:29.849
Mark: they would often have maybe a dozen, maybe 15 people, Adam

00:38:30.257 --> 00:38:36.670
Mark: on these small. And then maybe it was a little larger than that. But we're not talking about like you did a church or something. Church service.

00:38:37.120 --> 00:38:39.489
Mark: The second sentence

00:38:39.740 --> 00:38:45.930
Mark: the event. What happened to him about a quarter before 9? Notice. He marks down the exact time.

00:38:46.260 --> 00:38:57.479
Mark: wants to stress instantaneous change. That's what Buller had said. God will change your heart in an instant. You don't need to spend 5 years

00:38:57.720 --> 00:39:05.404
Mark: working on this. God will come down, Wesley mentioned. God will change the heart like a bolt of lightning. Well, well, that's a good illustration

00:39:05.780 --> 00:39:13.909
Mark: just about core before 9, while the reader and course, reading Luther Luther is describing the change, God works in the heart through faith.

00:39:14.060 --> 00:39:19.540
Mark: I felt my heart strangely warm. This strange warmth went through his heart.

00:39:19.890 --> 00:39:23.329
Mark: Then the third sentence is his interpretation.

00:39:23.520 --> 00:39:24.000
Andy Miller III: Okay.

00:39:24.000 --> 00:39:26.349
Mark: He says, he says, I felt

00:39:26.790 --> 00:39:38.569
Mark: that my heart was strange, and what I felt I did trust in Christ Christ alone for salvation. There's the first point. Second was an insurance was given me that one he'd take away my sins.

00:39:38.730 --> 00:39:43.160
Mark: and that he had saved me from a wall, sin and death. So this language.

00:39:43.160 --> 00:39:43.569
Andy Miller III: 3 things.

00:39:43.570 --> 00:39:50.650
Mark: To be examined? Because what do we mean by by being saved for Lawson and death? What does Wesley mean by it?

00:39:51.010 --> 00:39:54.510
Mark: What did Weston mean by that? He'd taken away my sin?

00:39:54.580 --> 00:39:59.469
Mark: Does that? Is that sanctification that we have our habits of sin taken away?

00:39:59.510 --> 00:40:07.830
Mark: Or what does he mean by that, and that's what I did is that I went through his works. His writings, looking for this language.

00:40:08.280 --> 00:40:08.800
Andy Miller III: Yeah.

00:40:08.800 --> 00:40:12.059
Mark: And what I learned through it is one

00:40:12.300 --> 00:40:25.280
Mark: course I felt I did trust in Christ Christ alone for salvation. So he received an assurance that he was trusting in Christ alone and not his own works anymore. He knew that I'm not trusting me. I'm trusting Jesus only to save me.

00:40:25.500 --> 00:40:26.210
Andy Miller III: Nothing.

00:40:26.390 --> 00:40:36.449
Mark: The second part was, Take away. My sin is taken from John, chapter one, verse 29, where John about to, says, Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.

00:40:36.660 --> 00:40:37.480
Andy Miller III: Okay.

00:40:37.480 --> 00:40:42.840
Mark: That as a and an eighteenth century, that verse was, quote a lot with conversion testimonies.

00:40:42.840 --> 00:40:43.920
Andy Miller III: Okay.

00:40:43.920 --> 00:40:54.869
Mark: And that's found throughout Wes's journal within a conversion environment. So it's conversion ways using it. The readers back then was said, Hey, we're talking about conversion here.

00:40:55.340 --> 00:40:55.770
Andy Miller III: Okay.

00:40:55.770 --> 00:41:02.089
Mark: And then their thing the last point they'd save me from the law. Send death is Romans 8, 2.

00:41:02.510 --> 00:41:13.190
Mark: And what Paul says that that there's no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walked off after the flesh. But the Spirit has saved us from the law of sin and death.

00:41:13.610 --> 00:41:17.720
Mark: and Wesley understood Roman 7.

00:41:17.900 --> 00:41:22.990
Mark: To to say that that that's describing a person under the law.

00:41:23.760 --> 00:41:27.199
Mark: Romans 8 is describing a person under gospel salvation.

00:41:27.480 --> 00:41:32.689
Mark: So back then, they would talk about 3 spiritual states, the natural man.

00:41:32.880 --> 00:41:35.250
Mark: the legal and the gospel.

00:41:35.650 --> 00:41:37.170
Mark: or even joyful.

00:41:37.360 --> 00:41:51.749
Mark: So the natural person is the person who is lost in their sin, and they don't care. They're asleep. That's the analogy they use. They're asleep in their sin, and they have a fault sense of peace because they don't even have any concern about it. They don't care about relation God.

00:41:51.780 --> 00:41:53.400
Mark: but then they get awakened

00:41:53.690 --> 00:42:04.090
Mark: by the law of God. God's demands, God's requirements, the reality of God awakens the heart, and now they want to please God, they want to find God, they want to. They want to be right with God.

00:42:04.210 --> 00:42:07.490
Mark: and so they. They use their own efforts. The law.

00:42:07.800 --> 00:42:32.550
Mark: and that's the legal state. And then the even jerkle state is when you, when you realize that you can't save yourself under the law, it's frutal, at least a frustration. You then turn to Christ, who who's alone can save you, who regenerates the heart and justifies. And so that phrase, save from the law and sin and death. Wesley used that as marking the transition from the legal state.

00:42:32.550 --> 00:42:33.050
Andy Miller III: Yes.

00:42:33.050 --> 00:42:36.590
Mark: The gospel State. He's saying I transitioned

00:42:36.620 --> 00:42:39.490
Mark: I was under the law, but I'm no longer under law.

00:42:39.670 --> 00:42:42.369
Mark: I'm now under grace and the gospel.

00:42:42.650 --> 00:42:47.270
Mark: And this is like, Okay. Now we know what all his gate meant to him.

00:42:47.860 --> 00:42:53.040
Mark: He believed that Allsgate truly was his evangelical conversion.

00:42:53.170 --> 00:43:01.809
Mark: Now conversion is a word that can have different meanings. He talks about people being converted to Deism, or people can be converted from one religion to another.

00:43:01.850 --> 00:43:06.329
Mark: Wes is already a Christian. He's a minister, he's ordained.

00:43:06.350 --> 00:43:14.720
Mark: He's been a missionary. He's deeply dedicated to Christ. He always believes in Jesus, but he realizes I'm missing something, and I'm not born again.

00:43:14.740 --> 00:43:16.410
Mark: There's something not right.

00:43:16.450 --> 00:43:26.809
Mark: And now he says, you know what. I tried to serve God as a Christian by doing all these things in a way, but now I realize it's Christ alone.

00:43:26.820 --> 00:43:32.960
Mark: The Christ came in touch. My heart changed me from the inside out. I transitioned from the legal state

00:43:33.120 --> 00:43:37.109
Mark: to the evangelical state. That's all this game.

00:43:37.930 --> 00:44:02.379
Andy Miller III: Wow! Beautiful! Thank you for taking time to unfold that for us. That is a a it's. It's really helpful to think about just even looking at that text and what is within it like it, and and then analyze it within the context of conversion. Narratives of that time is so helpful. And and those degrees, too. You! You talk about concentric circles to.

00:44:02.380 --> 00:44:02.740
Mark: Yeah.

00:44:02.740 --> 00:44:17.329
Andy Miller III: Explain the movement and Wesley's testimony. So like as we have this, this state, this description of alders gate itself, then, like there is a movement within it. So tell us about that, like what you mean by these concentric circles.

00:44:17.960 --> 00:44:18.455
Mark: I.

00:44:19.400 --> 00:44:21.550
Mark: This was kind of like a breakthrough

00:44:21.670 --> 00:44:24.435
Mark: in my studies on the subject. Okay,

00:44:25.118 --> 00:44:29.419
Mark: actually, kind of what happened, Andy, is that we I had a death in the family

00:44:29.470 --> 00:44:31.609
Mark: and of the close family.

00:44:31.760 --> 00:44:46.717
Mark: and and so I mean, I remember, at Ntc. They were encouraged me, hey? Maybe you just need to take like a Sabbath this drop, you know, and just kind of work through the process. I said, No, because I need to. You know, I need to get something to keep going.

00:44:47.000 --> 00:44:52.851
Andy Miller III: Wow! And you'd say, just to clarify Ntc. Is a Nazarene Theological College, where you, you and I both.

00:44:53.130 --> 00:44:59.030
Mark: Doctoral studies, and of course Jordan was my supervisor, and and so

00:44:59.070 --> 00:45:08.109
Mark: but what I did was I kind of did step back, and I just kept chewing on it, reflecting on on everything, on the text. You know the journal narrative and everything.

00:45:08.370 --> 00:45:11.669
Mark: And all of a sudden, after several months, it just dawned on me

00:45:11.990 --> 00:45:16.550
Mark: that Wesley. I don't know if he deliberately did this.

00:45:16.640 --> 00:45:38.819
Mark: but he, the text is so structured in the journal, starting with the first, second into the third journal. There, where he tells a whole story from 1735 into 1739, this whole transition from Oxford to him being advantages and field preaching, and all this gets right in the middle of that, that it operates like concentric circles. So what do I mean by this

00:45:38.890 --> 00:45:47.499
Mark: is that the you have the event of Alders Gate on the evening of May 20 fourth, and he records I just read it testimony.

00:45:47.720 --> 00:45:49.700
Mark: but that is part of

00:45:49.940 --> 00:45:52.749
Mark: what's called the Aldersgate Memorandum.

00:45:53.100 --> 00:46:07.949
Mark: Wesse would write on significant events in his life. He would write, you know, like a a little story about it, or make notes about it, or you know. And so he writes his 18. They're they're numbered. Paragraph 18 numbered paragraphs.

00:46:08.170 --> 00:46:21.880
Mark: and that tells his he puts all his gate in the framework of his spiritual journey starts. When he's just a child, he is baptized. What he was taught his spiritual journey he couldn't find assurance, and then he clearly finds it at Alder's Gate.

00:46:22.310 --> 00:46:32.839
Mark: And and but then that is part of a larger journal section. So you got the the event that's in this memorandum that tells us spiritual journey.

00:46:33.190 --> 00:46:36.590
Mark: But this is part of a larger section of the journal.

00:46:36.660 --> 00:46:39.130
Mark: the the year 1738.

00:46:39.300 --> 00:46:49.350
Mark: And as what's interesting. About that year that Wesley begins his journal in January, 1738, with 4 confessions.

00:46:49.350 --> 00:46:50.280
Andy Miller III: Okay.

00:46:50.710 --> 00:46:54.879
Mark: He ends the year with 4 examinations, the pattern of 4.

00:46:55.030 --> 00:46:57.389
Mark: It's just like in this first journal.

00:46:57.750 --> 00:46:58.930
Andy Miller III: I've never heard this.

00:46:59.120 --> 00:47:11.149
Mark: Yeah, yeah. I know when he tells the story of him traveling to America. He has 4 episodes of fear. Now, why he chooses 4. I don't know but there's a pattern of 4,

00:47:11.290 --> 00:47:21.069
Mark: and it kinda for his journal. In 1738 the 4 confessions start the year, and the 4 examinations. Evaluations end the year.

00:47:21.660 --> 00:47:23.509
Mark: And so it and it.

00:47:23.670 --> 00:47:33.970
Mark: What is significant is this in that year is he's dealing with his theological change. How all this get fits in this theological change becoming an evangelical Christian.

00:47:34.420 --> 00:47:41.500
Mark: Then you have the larger narrative. In 1735. He's at Oxford. He's going to America to be a missionary, he comes back.

00:47:41.590 --> 00:47:47.729
Mark: gets converted, and then, in 1739, he starts preaching to the masses, and his career really takes off.

00:47:47.790 --> 00:47:48.710
Andy Miller III: Make them.

00:47:49.340 --> 00:48:00.700
Mark: And and so you got this a larger transition. And I started to realize that all skate sits within these different narratives, and each narrative offers a different interpretation of the event.

00:48:00.990 --> 00:48:06.219
Mark: You have the event itself. What he experienced that night and that moment.

00:48:06.440 --> 00:48:12.440
Mark: then you have that put in the context of his life is spiritual journey of his life.

00:48:12.740 --> 00:48:18.070
Mark: Then you have it put into context of the theological changes you went through that year.

00:48:18.330 --> 00:48:25.849
Mark: Then you have it put in context of his ministry out. Loud change from Oxford to being an open-air preacher, preaching to the masses throughout.

00:48:25.850 --> 00:48:26.340
Andy Miller III: Single,

00:48:27.320 --> 00:48:31.539
Mark: And it brings all a different each. Each layer, so to speak.

00:48:31.900 --> 00:48:36.560
Mark: brings a different interpretation to the advance, and this is the lesson

00:48:36.650 --> 00:48:42.010
Mark: is that all? His gate is a complex event, and Wesley actually saw

00:48:42.160 --> 00:48:44.279
Mark: many different meanings to it.

00:48:44.480 --> 00:48:45.150
Andy Miller III: Okay.

00:48:45.820 --> 00:48:48.850
Mark: Depending on which area of his life he'd be looking at.

00:48:48.980 --> 00:49:02.519
Mark: whereas related to his ministry, becoming an evangelist, leading the Methodist movement where it's dealing with his theology and its development, or deal with his own personal spiritual journey, trying to find assurance of salvation with Christ.

00:49:03.030 --> 00:49:07.430
Mark: It all it it all plays these things. Now.

00:49:07.560 --> 00:49:10.220
Mark: how does this affect interpretation?

00:49:10.230 --> 00:49:16.829
Mark: Is that different scholars come from different backgrounds, different traditions, different different religious experiences

00:49:17.050 --> 00:49:23.450
Mark: gravitate for different aspects of different interpretations, and that becomes like their interpretation of it.

00:49:24.554 --> 00:49:29.679
Mark: And so it they don't try. I'm trying to bring a comprehensive understanding

00:49:29.820 --> 00:49:32.829
Mark: to it that it's actually a complex event.

00:49:34.040 --> 00:49:39.609
Mark: and as many strands to it. And you'd like rabbit trails. You could follow them out.

00:49:39.880 --> 00:49:55.949
Andy Miller III: Yeah, that's so helpful to think of it. The the circles, and like these various ways that you end up looking at it be. Ca, and it's it can be disappointing, because, you know, it'd be nice if you could just say in one sentence what it meant, you know, like, yeah, like this. This was that

00:49:55.950 --> 00:50:11.019
Andy Miller III: you know you experience this when you're 15 and you were saved. You are sorry for your sins. You acknowledge God's at work in your life. That's what Wesley had, or when you went and you sought sanctification. That's what Wesley had. But yeah, but but it is that. But it's also more than that.

00:50:11.020 --> 00:50:13.974
Mark: Yeah, the thing is that I like to just

00:50:14.630 --> 00:50:17.939
Mark: If I could just chime in there, cause you might do a very good point

00:50:18.040 --> 00:50:23.820
Mark: is that, like I mentioned earlier, I was 15 years old when I accepted Jesus in my life

00:50:24.090 --> 00:50:36.739
Mark: now, because least even Charles would sit and say, oh, they already know what I'm talking about, because they know what means to accept Jesus. That's language we use to speak about conversion.

00:50:37.050 --> 00:50:37.740
Andy Miller III: Yes.

00:50:38.020 --> 00:50:44.909
Mark: Okay. Wesley is in his testimony. He's actually using language that people back then knew.

00:50:45.590 --> 00:50:46.269
Mark: Like up to.

00:50:46.270 --> 00:50:46.640
Andy Miller III: Wow!

00:50:46.640 --> 00:50:47.610
Mark: Our language.

00:50:47.610 --> 00:50:48.490
Andy Miller III: Right.

00:50:48.490 --> 00:50:57.420
Mark: Be like, for example, nowadays we don't use John 1 29, the, you know. Lord take away my sin as a conversion testimony you don't need. We don't use.

00:50:57.420 --> 00:50:57.980
Andy Miller III: Right.

00:50:57.980 --> 00:51:14.635
Mark: But back then, that's the language they used. Now we use that language more like, for May, we might draw some other totally different meaning like the law like you know the Lord save me from the law! Send death well from a Nazarene background that's like that sound like sanctification to me.

00:51:14.950 --> 00:51:16.050
Andy Miller III: Sure, sure.

00:51:16.050 --> 00:51:24.600
Mark: In in our circles. But back then, that's not what it meant. It meant that Wesley saying, Oh, he transitioned from the legal state to the evangelical state.

00:51:25.110 --> 00:51:33.069
Mark: So it was clear to them. It's not clear to us, because evangelical Christianity has evolved over the centuries.

00:51:34.050 --> 00:51:36.269
Mark: and we use different language today.

00:51:36.270 --> 00:51:37.110
Andy Miller III: Yes.

00:51:37.210 --> 00:51:52.899
Andy Miller III: so no, that's really helpful. It's we have to. And this is the job of historian is to go back into a Matt to see what these words meant in that time, and what was going on with these experiences? W. Were there later, like we top think, you mentioned earlier, like

00:51:52.900 --> 00:52:13.539
Andy Miller III: they're different. Like provenant. Grace became more prominent in Wesley's thinking into in the 17 sixties and 17 seventies. Things are going on 17 eighties, you know, there's like significant different movements are happening within the Methodist movement. But what what else changed in the way that he interpreted Alder's gate later.

00:52:14.150 --> 00:52:18.321
Mark: Well, one of the things I I'll point out a few things. One things I

00:52:19.180 --> 00:52:20.250
Mark: dug up

00:52:20.300 --> 00:52:22.430
Mark: was that throughout his life

00:52:22.530 --> 00:52:25.819
Mark: Wesley continued to have episodes of doubt.

00:52:26.510 --> 00:52:26.910
Andy Miller III: Okay.

00:52:26.910 --> 00:52:34.139
Mark: He never did ever, whereas, based on his personality type, wherever it is, Wesi never

00:52:34.250 --> 00:52:40.819
Mark: entered into a state where he had continual assurance of salvation, and never experience a doubt again.

00:52:41.780 --> 00:52:42.910
Mark: He did

00:52:43.010 --> 00:52:54.820
Mark: periodically, but, as he told Richard Thompson, in a letter to him he says, You know I do from time to time experience doubts, but these doubts have never been so severe that destroyed my faith.

00:52:56.056 --> 00:53:01.409
Mark: He wrote a letter to his brother Charles in 1766, where he basically.

00:53:02.540 --> 00:53:09.870
Mark: he's basically saying, Hey, man, I'm not a born again. Christian, you have a look down. Wesley in the seventies is not born again, Christian.

00:53:10.810 --> 00:53:19.170
Mark: but it it's we have to understand their environment that they lived in, how they understood conversion and the role. The assurance plate it was.

00:53:19.380 --> 00:53:25.720
Mark: Assurance, was a very emotional term. So emotions played a lot in the stinky.

00:53:25.960 --> 00:53:33.399
Mark: but these were episodes, you know they weren't. It's not like he's he lived ongoing with doubt as a student.

00:53:33.400 --> 00:53:34.340
Andy Miller III: Anything.

00:53:34.340 --> 00:53:59.600
Mark: It would just say it. Just like as we live our lives, times, we, we experience things, makes us quite ask questions, make us, you know. Look at things from a different way. You know we can experience doubts, you know. And so, Wes, he's not saying he's not a Christian, but he's he processes these things and private documents. The biggest thing that changed, and Wes's interpretation of all the state.

00:53:59.740 --> 00:54:06.679
Mark: He continued to believe it was the moment when he experienced evangelical Christian, he became an evangelical Christian, a born again Christian.

00:54:07.040 --> 00:54:10.719
Mark: but he no longer believed, as he reaches mature years.

00:54:11.120 --> 00:54:12.050
Mark: that

00:54:12.260 --> 00:54:15.389
Mark: he was going to hell prior to old escape.

00:54:15.812 --> 00:54:27.439
Mark: Now he did believe that in 1738, and for the next 2, 3 decades he believed that by the time he got in 1760 s. This is like 30, 35, 30 years later

00:54:27.870 --> 00:54:31.199
Mark: he started to develop what he calls the faith of a servant, and.

00:54:31.200 --> 00:54:31.680
Andy Miller III: Yes.

00:54:31.680 --> 00:54:37.010
Mark: Son, now the faith of a son. It's just the faith of a child of God, a born again Christian.

00:54:37.300 --> 00:54:45.929
Mark: but the servant is someone who they are Christian because they believe in Christ, but they don't have this assurance of salvation. They'll have evangelical experience.

00:54:46.460 --> 00:54:57.550
Mark: So it'd be like us meeting someone from another church, a Christian church. They're faithful in the Church. They definitely believe in Christ. They profess, believe from Christ and everything. But we know there's something lacking

00:54:57.750 --> 00:55:07.589
Mark: in their own spiritual vitality. They haven't experienced the even jerk experience of the new birth. And so Wesley saying, That's that was me. Before all this game.

00:55:08.250 --> 00:55:09.799
Mark: I did have faith.

00:55:09.800 --> 00:55:10.170
Andy Miller III: Yes.

00:55:10.170 --> 00:55:13.650
Mark: And I wasn't going to hell because I was living up to the knowledge I had.

00:55:14.010 --> 00:55:15.479
Andy Miller III: Yes, yes, but.

00:55:15.870 --> 00:55:22.410
Mark: Anyways. And so Wesley, in his mature years, start to explore this whole faith of a servant thing and the implications of it.

00:55:22.570 --> 00:55:36.850
Mark: He came to a point where he would acknowledge that even though that, like Judaism and Islam are not true, religions, doesn't mean that every single individual is going to be damned in the end. God is the final judge.

00:55:37.080 --> 00:55:41.770
Mark: and if they're living, what if they? You know he use? Ax 1035

00:55:42.200 --> 00:55:47.649
Mark: about Cornelius. Yes, whoever fears God and works righteousness is accepted of him.

00:55:47.880 --> 00:55:50.770
Mark: so acceptance is justification, was his mind.

00:55:50.930 --> 00:56:05.760
Mark: And so, you know, if those who reference to what you got and pointed the light they have. They live a a you know, a righteous life. They live it out best. They know how West. He believe that person in the end is not gonna go to hell.

00:56:06.910 --> 00:56:10.379
Mark: So that brings in the whole thing about you know

00:56:10.670 --> 00:56:13.089
Mark: what happens. Those never hear the gospel.

00:56:13.090 --> 00:56:14.080
Andy Miller III: Right, right.

00:56:14.080 --> 00:56:19.649
Mark: You know their final destiny and all those kind of questions. But the bob doesn't give really definitive answers on.

00:56:19.970 --> 00:56:25.630
Mark: Wesley came to the position that the atonement of Christ, the second look of Christ, God's grace

00:56:26.136 --> 00:56:27.999
Mark: reaches out to everybody.

00:56:28.010 --> 00:56:30.650
Mark: and that even those who've never heard the gospel

00:56:30.690 --> 00:56:32.390
Mark: that they can be saved.

00:56:32.857 --> 00:56:50.730
Andy Miller III: Well and soon. As somewhere around this time, I have a podcast coming out with a Dr. Jerry walls who's a a Scott, a philosopher in the Wesleyan tradition, who writes on heaven, hell, and purgatory. And so if you're interested in that kind of from a a philosophical perspective, look for that, podcast. It should be coming out.

00:56:50.730 --> 00:56:51.070
Mark: Yeah.

00:56:51.070 --> 00:57:13.129
Andy Miller III: Time this summer. So. But I've already had that conversation with them is just coming out in a little bit. Now I'm interested. You talk about the new birth. So later John Wesley sees this the Allers gate, are you? Am I hearing you correctly that it was like the new, his new birth experience, which is, how is that different from entire sanctification.

00:57:13.900 --> 00:57:17.020
Mark: Well, okay. And John Wesley's understanding.

00:57:17.220 --> 00:57:44.380
Mark: he he! He favored the term Christian perfection, using the King James Bible, which is what all they had back. Then, you know, the word perfect perfection is applied to mature Christians in different texts of the Bible. Old Testament saints are often called perfect and New Testament, you'll find Paul's writings the use of the word perfect. Modern translations will put like the word mature or some other term. They won't use perfect.

00:57:44.380 --> 00:57:45.189
Andy Miller III: Right, right.

00:57:45.552 --> 00:58:02.230
Mark: For for Christian experience. So you so for Wesley, he believed in Christian and Christian perfection is where God does a deeper transforming work in the heart in which the believers love for God is purified, to the point where they're wholly devoted to the Lord.

00:58:02.230 --> 00:58:02.630
Andy Miller III: Hey! Man!

00:58:02.630 --> 00:58:09.360
Mark: And and and they really the roots of worldliness and everything worldly desires is removed.

00:58:09.620 --> 00:58:13.090
Mark: and so perfect love is one. His favorite terms for.

00:58:13.090 --> 00:58:14.730
Andy Miller III: Yes, I love it. Yeah.

00:58:14.730 --> 00:58:24.089
Mark: And he did once again. He does not see it as a decision. People make a commitment to enter this experience. It's almost like a second. Same way

00:58:24.100 --> 00:58:33.760
Mark: God touched the the believer seeks it, and at some moment God does the work in the heart, and then the Spirit bears witness that that work has been done.

00:58:34.650 --> 00:58:44.720
Mark: and and so he, through his doubts and the struggles. After all this gate he realized that no crisp perfection is is

00:58:44.790 --> 00:58:48.610
Mark: distinct experience from regeneration being born again.

00:58:48.970 --> 00:58:51.589
Mark: it happens later for the Christian life.

00:58:51.650 --> 00:58:52.700
Mark: Now

00:58:53.340 --> 00:58:55.250
Mark: we're getting off all day a little bit.

00:58:55.250 --> 00:58:56.299
Andy Miller III: I know. Sorry. Sorry.

00:58:56.300 --> 00:59:03.599
Mark: Don't know that in the early 17 sixties there was a major perfectionist revival that broke out into the method of societies.

00:59:03.900 --> 00:59:08.739
Mark: and it was connected with eschatology. They believed the Lord was coming back.

00:59:09.220 --> 00:59:22.589
Mark: and that those were those who were entirely sanctified or perf perfected. You know they didn't need to take communion anymore. They didn't need. They didn't need to. Practice means grace because they were perfected. And the millennium was coming. Christ was coming.

00:59:22.760 --> 00:59:24.520
Mark: and and

00:59:24.530 --> 00:59:34.350
Mark: and so they believe you. You know they wouldn't die. They wouldn't be tempted anymore. They had this exaggerated views, of course. Wessei then wrote plain account of Christian perfection to correct it.

00:59:34.540 --> 00:59:36.010
Mark: People don't understand it.

00:59:36.050 --> 00:59:37.840
Mark: That classic work.

00:59:37.920 --> 00:59:39.850
Mark: paying account crisp perfection.

00:59:40.010 --> 00:59:44.729
Mark: was written to correct all these abuses of the doctor

00:59:45.070 --> 00:59:46.363
Mark: and and

00:59:47.230 --> 00:59:48.330
Mark: And so.

00:59:48.800 --> 00:59:55.290
Mark: anyways he, Wesley continued to believe and to teach that Christian perfection

00:59:56.050 --> 00:59:56.800
Mark: is

00:59:56.900 --> 00:59:58.949
Mark: is possible for believers.

00:59:59.420 --> 01:00:07.920
Mark: He does. He did do he didn't require his preachers to experience it, though, like, for example, from my denomination church and Nazarene.

01:00:07.960 --> 01:00:19.670
Mark: all your board members and your pastors are, for you know they're by the manual. It says they're supposed to profess the experience of entire sanctification. Wesley never put any requirements on anybody, for, in fact.

01:00:19.710 --> 01:00:26.140
Mark: as late as 1,067 in a public document, Wesley denies being entirely sanctified.

01:00:26.140 --> 01:00:26.740
Andy Miller III: Right, right.

01:00:27.064 --> 01:00:29.339
Mark: Never professed the experience his entire life.

01:00:31.600 --> 01:00:33.831
Mark: Now, probably most people believe he was.

01:00:34.150 --> 01:00:35.040
Andy Miller III: Right.

01:00:35.430 --> 01:00:37.690
Mark: Because he was such a dedicated, devoted

01:00:37.810 --> 01:00:51.789
Mark: follow a cries, I mean, where a person might think is theology. If you're countless, whatever might disagree with it. His his dedication, devotion, and his spiritual life is, is impeccable in so many ways that.

01:00:51.950 --> 01:00:54.189
Andy Miller III: I mean lays so much of it out there for us like.

01:00:54.190 --> 01:00:54.590
Mark: Oh, yeah.

01:00:54.590 --> 01:01:14.500
Andy Miller III: Know about his experiences in a way that we'd maybe compared to many other people in history. You know, we don't even have that much of a to be able to go on. But we have so much to know about John Wesley spiritual experience. So it's easy to to to go in that direction. Yeah, that's a helpful word for us to you know we

01:01:14.540 --> 01:01:32.280
Andy Miller III: I like I I tried to. I try. I try to avoid. I like I. I'm an institution that emphasizes the the doctrine of entire certification and holiness like it's an important important part of our experience. But at the same time there is some caution as saying this was completed, and is all done. When I was 16,

01:01:32.310 --> 01:01:57.300
Andy Miller III: I I tend to lean towards like I. I love his description and Scripture way of salvation, that Christian perfection. And, as he says in this sense, is love excluding sin, it's love purifying the heart, and like in in the language you use to describe it. It's like seeking these mo moments and allowing God to be the one who initiates it in a, in us, where we love him with all of our heart, soul of mind, and our neighbors ourselves. And I think, like

01:01:57.300 --> 01:02:03.050
Andy Miller III: it's a course, not just a a second work. It's a third, fourth, fifth, you know. It's like work. It's work.

01:02:03.050 --> 01:02:03.800
Mark: It's ongoing.

01:02:03.800 --> 01:02:10.169
Andy Miller III: Ongoing work, this denying of ourselves just death to ourselves, which needs to happen on a regular basis.

01:02:10.170 --> 01:02:24.769
Mark: Well, Wesley believed, but but entire certification. He believed that person entered in into it instantaneously, because if your if your faith is imperfect, then becomes perfect. There has to be some point some instant you cross the

01:02:25.230 --> 01:02:39.990
Mark: you cross the stream across the bridge, so he believed in the instant reception, you know instantaneous reception of it, but he believed you could. It's really just, just a step in your spiritual journey of sanctification. You just keep growing and maturing into faith.

01:02:40.180 --> 01:02:42.199
Mark: and a lot of people don't understand

01:02:42.380 --> 01:02:46.920
Mark: a lot of Wesley's. Don't know this now, when it comes to Wesley's doctrine of sin

01:02:47.000 --> 01:02:52.119
Mark: that, you know he popularized the notion of sitting as a voluntary transgression.

01:02:52.500 --> 01:02:57.190
Mark: No law of God, I mean. But Wesley also believed in involuntary sin.

01:02:57.190 --> 01:02:57.570
Andy Miller III: Yes.

01:02:57.570 --> 01:03:05.569
Mark: And that that nobody is ever cleaned from involuntary sin. For this life. Only at death do we stop involuntary sin.

01:03:05.890 --> 01:03:15.940
Mark: And so one of the things that I like to share with my Baptist colleagues and stuff like that is that they? We have different definitions of sin.

01:03:16.570 --> 01:03:19.890
Mark: Their definition. Sin is very comprehensive, includes everything.

01:03:19.940 --> 01:03:23.839
Mark: and in that sense well, we'll not save them all sin. Okay?

01:03:23.920 --> 01:03:30.299
Mark: Because but in the West End definition. Sin? No, we're saved from voluntary sin, but not from involuntary sin.

01:03:30.300 --> 01:03:31.270
Andy Miller III: Right.

01:03:31.270 --> 01:03:33.889
Mark: That's a distinction, Wesley made himself.

01:03:33.930 --> 01:03:40.519
Mark: And and so Wesley encourages followers to pray every day for forgiveness based on the Lord's Prayer.

01:03:40.520 --> 01:03:41.200
Andy Miller III: Hmm.

01:03:41.200 --> 01:03:46.909
Mark: And and what he's talking about is involuntary sins. This, you know, imperfections in our life.

01:03:46.910 --> 01:03:47.630
Andy Miller III: Yes.

01:03:48.400 --> 01:03:51.000
Mark: You know, mistakes we make. We can misjudge somebody, or we can.

01:03:51.000 --> 01:03:51.469
Andy Miller III: That's right.

01:03:51.470 --> 01:03:56.530
Mark: Get retired, we get irritable, or we get, you know, we might say something we shouldn't have said. You know what I'm saying. I mean.

01:03:56.530 --> 01:03:58.840
Andy Miller III: Yeah, there's implications of what we've done. Yeah.

01:03:58.840 --> 01:04:09.590
Mark: Yeah, we're human beings living in this fallen world. And Wesley says that you know we don't skate our fall in this. Okay, it's just that within our conscious

01:04:09.710 --> 01:04:18.279
Mark: devotion to God we are fully devoted, and and our love for law for God really kind of chumps everything in our life.

01:04:18.530 --> 01:04:19.140
Andy Miller III: Yeah.

01:04:19.630 --> 01:04:49.139
Andy Miller III: Mark, I'm asked a question that might seem overly practical in just a second. But let's just imagine that you had about 15 min with somebody in a hotel lobby, and they're a curious sort of person, and you sit down and maybe there's some water and cookies in the hotel, and they say, Well, what do you? They say? Well, tell tell me about that dissertation, and you get 10 min, and you describe Wesley's evangel conversion, Alder's gate, and so you explain it in a pretty tidy way. They kind of shake their head, they get it. But then they ask you this question, they say.

01:04:49.340 --> 01:04:53.819
Andy Miller III: Well, what? What am I? So what should I do with that? Then what should what should happen in my life?

01:04:53.980 --> 01:04:55.380
Andy Miller III: What would you answer then?

01:04:56.030 --> 01:05:05.539
Mark: Well we can that my last chapter of book is really is the legacy of all this gate. What is the message that Wesley, that all is gate leads to future generations.

01:05:05.540 --> 01:05:06.330
Andy Miller III: Yes.

01:05:06.330 --> 01:05:16.240
Mark: And it is really what's under the word. This is a term that he used a lot free grace that God can transform the heart in an instant.

01:05:16.240 --> 01:05:16.660
Andy Miller III: Hey, Matt.

01:05:16.987 --> 01:05:19.610
Mark: God is able to do this supernatural work.

01:05:20.150 --> 01:05:28.010
Mark: and He can take us as we are, and He just changes from the inside out and and sets us on a totally different path in life.

01:05:28.670 --> 01:05:29.110
Andy Miller III: Amen!

01:05:29.110 --> 01:05:42.870
Mark: And and that is really the message of all. This gate is instantaneous, transformating work of the spirit in our lives, whether it's conversion, whereas ha! Something happens before conversion. God touches our life in some significant way

01:05:43.050 --> 01:05:54.359
Mark: or after conversion. God touches our life in some significant way, these these moments, these God moments where God can touch the heart, he can change this from the inside out, and and

01:05:54.950 --> 01:05:57.676
Mark: well, only the Lord knows where it leads us.

01:05:57.980 --> 01:05:59.490
Andy Miller III: Yes, yes.

01:05:59.630 --> 01:06:05.590
Mark: So that is really the legacy of it that wow! God touched his heart in an instant.

01:06:05.710 --> 01:06:07.539
Mark: He can do that for me, too.

01:06:07.870 --> 01:06:08.740
Andy Miller III: Amen.

01:06:09.100 --> 01:06:12.869
Andy Miller III: So what? So what do you encourage people to do? How do they pursue that.

01:06:13.610 --> 01:06:18.140
Mark: Well, today, I bet you know, you would discern

01:06:18.160 --> 01:06:19.630
Mark: where the person's at

01:06:19.990 --> 01:06:24.079
Mark: what's going on their life. What do they need, you know, because

01:06:24.444 --> 01:06:29.470
Mark: if they're a believer they might have some area they might need to overcome a habit.

01:06:29.470 --> 01:06:29.920
Andy Miller III: Yes.

01:06:29.920 --> 01:06:36.909
Mark: They might be, they might be out, or something else in their, in, their, in their heart, in their mind, is like a blockage that keeps tripping them up.

01:06:37.060 --> 01:06:45.039
Mark: or if there are not, sometimes they might not even be a Christian, but they're struggling with belief in God, and maybe they can get breakthrough just on that.

01:06:45.040 --> 01:06:45.790
Andy Miller III: Yes, yes.

01:06:45.790 --> 01:06:49.270
Mark: You know. I mean, I'm just why I'm saying it can apply to a whole variety.

01:06:49.310 --> 01:06:54.910
Mark: Settings in our life. Situations regardless meets us where we're at.

01:06:55.230 --> 01:07:02.009
Mark: He does a transforming work in our heart, and it doesn't necessarily always. We don't always have to put it that conversion

01:07:02.630 --> 01:07:06.629
Mark: that that God's grace begins the moment we're born.

01:07:06.630 --> 01:07:07.590
Andy Miller III: Amen!

01:07:07.730 --> 01:07:09.549
Mark: The moment we're conceived.

01:07:09.550 --> 01:07:09.980
Andy Miller III: Yes.

01:07:09.980 --> 01:07:11.999
Mark: God begins working in our life.

01:07:12.040 --> 01:07:18.219
Mark: and and I'm sure we can look back at our lives. You know what one of the significant things happen. My life wise a child

01:07:18.550 --> 01:07:22.819
Mark: is that we lived in a small house we've lived up in Washington

01:07:23.130 --> 01:07:24.250
Mark: and

01:07:24.270 --> 01:07:28.819
Mark: on Whitby Island and out. My! I had this little small window, my bedroom.

01:07:29.120 --> 01:07:37.949
Mark: and one morning I woke up early, and the day I was starting to break. But you can still see the brighter stars. I saw these stars in the shape of a cross.

01:07:38.140 --> 01:07:38.530
Andy Miller III: Hmm.

01:07:38.530 --> 01:07:40.370
Mark: That impressions never left me.

01:07:40.630 --> 01:07:41.340
Andy Miller III: Yes.

01:07:41.340 --> 01:07:50.349
Mark: An impression of the cross. Because think, that's just the message of the reality of Christ, Worker Pervenue Grace, because I remember looking in other days, and I didn't see that

01:07:50.380 --> 01:07:57.809
Mark: now, whether it was like a I just saw some in my mind's eye, or whatever was I've net to this day.

01:07:57.940 --> 01:07:59.890
Mark: Yeah. Never forgotten that.

01:07:59.890 --> 01:08:00.590
Andy Miller III: Amen. Yeah.

01:08:00.590 --> 01:08:05.860
Mark: God witnesses Himself in our lives, and it changes us moment by moment.

01:08:06.840 --> 01:08:10.219
Mark: Yeah, that put into my heart belief in God.

01:08:12.050 --> 01:08:19.430
Andy Miller III: Yes, I love, I love, I think one of the key things that we can see is that we want to like, embrace these moments that God.

01:08:19.430 --> 01:08:19.810
Mark: Yeah.

01:08:19.810 --> 01:08:32.300
Andy Miller III: To have these instantaneous moments in our experience, and and maybe that's led to over emphasis, sometimes in some traditions, to like, exalt those moments, but at the same time we want those moments, you know, like.

01:08:32.300 --> 01:08:32.680
Mark: Yeah.

01:08:32.680 --> 01:08:45.749
Andy Miller III: These are, and and and to embrace them, and to testify to them. There's nothing wrong with that. And and it's a like I love hearing you talk about that moment of looking up and seeing the cross and the stars. What a beautiful expression.

01:08:46.140 --> 01:08:46.890
Mark: Well.

01:08:47.080 --> 01:08:49.719
Mark: you know, like with with early Methodist

01:08:50.145 --> 01:08:54.720
Mark: they believe you couldn't make these things happen. You had to wait. You could seek them.

01:08:55.100 --> 01:08:56.889
Mark: Yeah, you couldn't make them happen.

01:08:56.890 --> 01:08:57.420
Andy Miller III: Right.

01:08:57.420 --> 01:09:00.059
Mark: On the dangers today. In some circles

01:09:00.090 --> 01:09:02.389
Mark: they try to make it happen.

01:09:02.399 --> 01:09:03.259
Andy Miller III: Yes.

01:09:03.260 --> 01:09:04.560
Mark: You see what I'm saying?

01:09:04.560 --> 01:09:05.270
Andy Miller III: Always right.

01:09:05.270 --> 01:09:06.830
Mark: Starts to set in there.

01:09:07.353 --> 01:09:19.260
Mark: So they do these instantaneous moments. God works in super natural way. He works in the in the moment by moment gradual in our lives. But there's also these moments of instantaneous God moments in our.

01:09:19.260 --> 01:09:20.100
Andy Miller III: Yes.

01:09:20.359 --> 01:09:42.099
Mark: And and they're both at work. You know God is working through both these means in our lives. And of course the testimony of all this gate is these God moments, these instantaneous moments, where God does something supernatural in our lives, bears witness of Himself, touches our heart, and it changes us whether it's a little or great. Hey? It's a work of grace.

01:09:42.100 --> 01:09:59.729
Andy Miller III: Amen! Amen! Oh, I love it, Mark, I have 2 more questions for you. One is, I wanna know what your are you working anything now. So you've you've done this. You've done your work on Wesley. In in Alders Gate. Exigene are alders gate ex and thinking about conversion narratives. But what? What are you working on these days?

01:09:59.920 --> 01:10:04.609
Mark: Well, I just published my new book, Messy's Doctor of Justification.

01:10:04.980 --> 01:10:07.809
Mark: and I would love to do a Podcast with you on this.

01:10:07.810 --> 01:10:08.530
Andy Miller III: Okay.

01:10:08.530 --> 01:10:13.910
Mark: It is some time. But this is my app. He didn't press. It was just released in January.

01:10:14.190 --> 01:10:15.990
Mark: and this is

01:10:17.000 --> 01:10:23.779
Mark: This is a comprehensive chronological study of how his doctorate justification developed. Starting from his childhood.

01:10:23.780 --> 01:10:24.350
Andy Miller III: Okay.

01:10:24.350 --> 01:10:25.830
Mark: All the way up to the end of his life.

01:10:26.430 --> 01:10:30.689
Mark: And there's a lot here that people don't know like, like, for example.

01:10:30.930 --> 01:10:40.580
Mark: and most studies of Wesse's theology and his doctrine justification. They only deal with his even, joyful views. But Wesie had a sacramental view of justification.

01:10:41.000 --> 01:10:50.480
Mark: He had, he also believed, in fine, you know, present and final justification at the last judgements part, our justifications never complete until the final judgment.

01:10:50.480 --> 01:10:51.349
Andy Miller III: Yeah, that view.

01:10:51.520 --> 01:10:54.870
Mark: Which was common in Anglican circles, even in Catholic theology.

01:10:55.050 --> 01:10:55.650
Andy Miller III: Hmm.

01:10:56.490 --> 01:11:10.089
Mark: he was, you know, and that he, even as a I, walk through, basically explaining his his early views as a trial, his first impressions he would have had that justification taken from the catechism. He was taught what his parents taught.

01:11:10.550 --> 01:11:16.000
Mark: and then I go through his, his Oxford period and everything, and how his views develop.

01:11:16.704 --> 01:11:24.260
Mark: William Wall profoundly shaped his views there, of course. Then the Moravians and all just gate. That's why he developed evangelical view of justification.

01:11:24.500 --> 01:11:25.300
Mark: But

01:11:25.770 --> 01:11:34.780
Mark: people understand is that he did not drop these other views. He continued to believe that baptism because they baptized infants. Everybody was baptized as an infant back, then.

01:11:34.950 --> 01:11:35.670
Andy Miller III: Yeah.

01:11:35.670 --> 01:11:39.820
Mark: 90% of England and Wesley's day was Anglican.

01:11:39.960 --> 01:11:43.040
Mark: The other 10% would have been Catholic or dissent.

01:11:43.670 --> 01:11:48.199
Mark: And and and so, but even part of them they want to go there Catholic.

01:11:48.220 --> 01:11:58.019
Mark: But even part of the scent that came out of the angry can move it. They all were baptized as babies. Okay? And so Anglican theology was that regeneration happened.

01:11:58.860 --> 01:12:01.899
Mark: And so Wesley, part of his, the

01:12:02.020 --> 01:12:11.570
Mark: there is development of physiology. Justification is that he came to understand that people lose their baptismal regeneration need to be regenerated over again.

01:12:11.780 --> 01:12:13.959
Mark: of course, be rejustified, too.

01:12:14.330 --> 01:12:26.220
Mark: and so. But he continues to believe in baptism, regeneration throughout his life. He doesn't drop it. I I I delve into his views on the Lord's Supper, and how that plays into his doctor justification?

01:12:27.054 --> 01:12:31.759
Mark: And so I just go through the whole thing. His controversy with the Calvinists and Moravians.

01:12:32.416 --> 01:12:33.050
Mark: Sheep is.

01:12:33.200 --> 01:12:38.110
Mark: how is the and this how his views of justification continued to develop through his life?

01:12:38.480 --> 01:13:02.539
Andy Miller III: Interesting. Well, I'm so glad that you've extended I mean, it is a natural kind of next step is to look at justification. I'm so glad to to hear about that. Okay, 1. One last question, I all my title, the title of my podcast. Is more to the story. So I like. I like to think of that as the continuing work of what happens, not just getting our sense forgiven. But this perfection of love that happens in our lives.

01:13:02.540 --> 01:13:11.169
Andy Miller III: But it also, I like to know, is there more of the story of Mark? You talk a lot about Wesley, Wesley, But is it? Is there a hobby or something that we could learn about? You? Mark that you like to do.

01:13:11.170 --> 01:13:13.309
Mark: Well, I play guitar.

01:13:13.550 --> 01:13:14.240
Andy Miller III: Yeah.

01:13:14.240 --> 01:13:23.888
Mark: Hey? You know, I I love to read. Yeah, I used to lead worship in a church years ago. I don't anymore. But I'm teaching my grandkids guitar.

01:13:24.200 --> 01:13:26.479
Andy Miller III: Okay, what type of guitar do you have.

01:13:26.670 --> 01:13:28.710
Mark: I have an acoustic and electric.

01:13:28.710 --> 01:13:29.140
Andy Miller III: Okay.

01:13:29.140 --> 01:13:32.580
Mark: But my granddaughter has my my electrics at her place, so she can play it.

01:13:33.218 --> 01:13:38.370
Mark: But yeah, play guitar we like to travel. Love like to watch movies.

01:13:39.050 --> 01:13:41.439
Andy Miller III: What's your favorite movie? Do you have a favorite movie.

01:13:41.690 --> 01:13:44.080
Mark: Well, my favorite movie of all time is better.

01:13:44.400 --> 01:13:45.330
Andy Miller III: Oh, interesting!

01:13:45.330 --> 01:13:48.769
Mark: You know I was born young, and I was born in the fifties.

01:13:48.770 --> 01:13:49.360
Andy Miller III: Okay.

01:13:49.628 --> 01:13:53.380
Mark: Girl, but yeah, Charlton Heston. He's, of course, one of my favorite actors, and

01:13:53.480 --> 01:14:01.349
Mark: and of course, John Wayne, you know, I mean through the and and of course, Clint Eastwood, you know I love Westerns, you know, and

01:14:01.380 --> 01:14:03.554
Mark: and good drama movies. But

01:14:04.510 --> 01:14:09.710
Mark: but yeah, of course, my love has always been reading study

01:14:09.880 --> 01:14:13.130
Mark: because I, when I was younger, I had a construction company.

01:14:13.350 --> 01:14:14.039
Andy Miller III: Oh, wow!

01:14:14.040 --> 01:14:17.409
Mark: I didn't. I didn't go into the Ministry of Pastry until I was 40 years old.

01:14:17.750 --> 01:14:18.590
Andy Miller III: Wow, interesting.

01:14:18.590 --> 01:14:33.089
Mark: And then I didn't start pursuing my degree after resign my first church because my wife asked me, What is it you really want to do life, I said, Well, I want to write on theology and teach, and I said, to do that I need to earn a degree.

01:14:33.510 --> 01:14:36.239
Mark: And so I started my early 40 S.

01:14:36.550 --> 01:14:44.500
Mark: And I earned my Phd. In my mid fifties, so I went to the whole. I had no college. I start from the beginning went all the way through.

01:14:44.500 --> 01:14:45.140
Andy Miller III: Wow!

01:14:45.140 --> 01:14:49.520
Mark: Point on my journey was, I was able to go from an ae degree in Biblical studies

01:14:49.540 --> 01:14:56.689
Mark: I was in. I was accepted on probation, but I went to Nts and started a master's program. I never earned a bachelor's degree.

01:14:56.690 --> 01:14:58.190
Andy Miller III: Oh, interesting. Yeah. Yeah.

01:14:58.400 --> 01:15:10.290
Mark: And that allow that cut and press the time down for me. But I was pretty knowledgeable cause. See, by time I was in my master's program and my! I was already publishing books on Wesley.

01:15:10.370 --> 01:15:15.370
Mark: Wow! I published a book on his plan, Count Christian, which is a commentary on it.

01:15:15.590 --> 01:15:20.389
Mark: I published a book on how his Theology of Christian Perfection develops.

01:15:20.390 --> 01:15:21.020
Andy Miller III: Hmm.

01:15:21.310 --> 01:15:25.739
Mark: Approach 2 books on that, and then I published a book on his Eschatology.

01:15:26.040 --> 01:15:28.990
Andy Miller III: Yeah, I've seen that one. Yeah, that's good. That's really helpful.

01:15:29.510 --> 01:15:32.460
Mark: Interesting. In fact, eschatology

01:15:33.330 --> 01:15:35.620
Mark: heavily influenced, early Methodism.

01:15:35.620 --> 01:15:36.070
Andy Miller III: Oh, man!

01:15:36.070 --> 01:15:42.050
Mark: And it's and it's so ignored by scholars. It's getting more attention today.

01:15:42.050 --> 01:15:42.400
Andy Miller III: Yeah.

01:15:42.400 --> 01:15:44.240
Mark: It really deserves more attention.

01:15:44.540 --> 01:16:02.390
Andy Miller III: Well, and and my my thesis suggests. Now it might get blown out of the water. We'll see that the that eschatology is the primary way to understand later traditions of Methodism. But in my Mike's what I'm writing about, and William Booth is like eschatology, and we think of eschatology being personal and cosmic, not just.

01:16:02.390 --> 01:16:02.820
Mark: Yeah.

01:16:02.820 --> 01:16:30.100
Andy Miller III: Into the universe for the end of into individuals. But well, we could go on forever, I think, Mark, so thankful for your time, and the way that you've like responded to God's leading in your life, even just describing that part of your journey. It's been a blessing to me, and I hope people will go to Wesley. check out your work and and take a look at some of these other documents, and particularly on this high, holy day of Methodism, and this coming out May 20 third, but may 20 fourth. So thanks so much.

01:16:30.360 --> 01:16:30.780
Mark: For.

01:16:30.780 --> 01:16:31.440
Andy Miller III: Time.

01:16:31.650 --> 01:16:34.690
Mark: And also May 20. First was when Charles.

01:16:34.690 --> 01:16:36.079
Andy Miller III: Yeah. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry.

01:16:36.080 --> 01:16:36.930
Mark: Yeah.

01:16:36.930 --> 01:16:50.789
Andy Miller III: I got them both back here, you see. Oh, and I also brought this out too late. I have my Wesley bust right here, my John Wes, and then I have John and Charles here, and then a little Martin Luther. So alright! Well, God bless you, Mark, thanks for your time.

01:16:50.790 --> 01:16:53.399
Mark: Yeah, God bless you. Thank you, Andy. Have a great day.

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