Wesleyan Catechesis in Historical Conext

The Rev. Dr. Tory Baucum

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The Rev. Dr. Tory Baucum
June 17th, 2011

Rev. Dr. TORY BAUCUM, Rector of Truro Church, Fairfax, Virginia, on Wesleyan catechesis—historical and applied.

John Wesley purposely appropriated the deep memory of the Church in his new evangelization of England. In the context of High Church Pietism, according to Tory Baucum, Wesley retrieved many practices of the apostolic church: the canonical heritage of the means of grace, group formation and the sermon on the Mount as catechetical texts foundational to the pursuit of virtue. Christian perfection was not a moral reality as much as it was an ontological one, signifying unbroken communion with Christ. In many respects, these insights can be traced to Augustine, Calvin, Cranmer and others, but Wesley brought them together in his own ressourcement during the English Revival.

Here we see how Wesley’s evangelization was keyed closely to the transformative trajectory of his doctrine of salvation, which was reformed, patristic and apostolic in its foundations. Baucum demonstrated how this Wesleyan synthesis of practice and theory is a timely contribution to the missional challenges facing the Church in the West today.