The previous post is here.
… A final aspect of Wesley that is quite striking is his pragmatism. One reason it is so striking is the fact that we would not have guessed it given his personality. It is no coincidence that the groups he founded were called “Methodists,” for Wesley himself was methodical, idealistic, and quite a perfectionist by personality. His difficulty in relationships with women are notorious.
He is thus not the sort of person we might expect to find preaching in a cemetery, given that the gospel was strongly a matter of consecrated church space at the time. It greatly pained him to preach outside of coal mines instead of being a pulpit. We would not expect him to ordain bishops for the American church since by Christian tradition he did not have the authority to do so. Wesley did all these things because he believed the mission outweighed the preferred method.
The Western world scarcely requires the pragmatism of Wesley’s day, and the Wesleyan tradition holds no corner on creativity in the pursuit of the mission. But the current emphasis on being missional, being focused on God’s redemptive goal of saving the world strongly fits with the Wesleyan-Arminian tradition. We discuss this current emphasis in the light of the Wesleyan tradition in chapter 6.