chapter  4
31 Pages

Witness of the Spirit as Pneumatological Operation

John Wesley's espousal of the possibility of religious inspiration was not unique. Perceptible inspiration marks John Wesley's emphasis upon the Spirit's economic operation which fosters relational participation in the divine life. God is the centre of all spirits, the ontological progenitor of creaturely existence, and the ultimate reality in whose image all intelligent spirits are fashioned. Soteriological grace is inextricably tied to the Holy Spirit in Wesley's pneumatology. Perceptible inspiration serves as a useful model for characterizing the pneumatological dimension of John Wesley's theological system, in response to the critique of inconsistency prompted by the charge of enthusiasm affixed to Wesley's theology during the eighteenth century. For Wesley, the indirect witness and assurance are linked, despite the latter's admitting of innumerable degrees along the spectrum of pardon and confidence. Refracting elements of Platonic and Aristotelian ethics, Wesley understood the purpose of human spiritual existence as true religion in terms of happiness in God.