Here’s a development that holds great promise for readers interested in Wesleyan spirituality and ministry: The John Wesley Collection.
The John Wesley Collection (or “JWC”) is a new venture by Seedbed Publishing. Its purpose is to gather together and publish the writings of John Wesley and other early Methodist figures. These writings are collected into volumes aimed at people hungry for solid theological material related to how we should understand God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, grace, discipleship, salvation, and much more.
As the folks at Seedbed put it themselves: “Seedbed believes these writings are as relevant to our context today as they were in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Consequently, we consider it a sacred calling to join with those who are recapturing John Wesley’s publishing vision for the twenty-first century.”
Several months ago I took over as executive editor of the JWC. I’m truly excited about this project! So far, we have published volumes by Wesley that contain his discourses on the Sermon on the Mount and his Plain Account of Christian Perfection. We’ve also published The Tongue of Fire, a work on the Holy Spirit by a 19th century Irish Methodist missionary and pastor named William Arthur. Most recently, we have come out with a volume of nine sermons by Wesley on the nature of faithful discipleship called From Almost to Altogether: Sermons on Christian Discipleship.
Check out this video on the JWC:
It’s true that there a number of ways people can access much of John Wesley’s writings these days: student editions of Wesley’s sermons intended for seminary use, Wesley texts offered in online formats, and the scholarly Bicentennial Edition of the Works of John Wesley.
Yet none of these formats is really designed for reading and study with an eye to spiritual formation. Seedbed’s hope is that the volumes of the JWC will be used in churches: by pastors, youth ministers, laypeople in small groups, etc.
I recently gave a copy of From Almost to Altogether to every staff member of my church. Within a few days, two of those staff members had asked if I’d be willing to help guide them through a few of the sermons included in it. As you can imagine, my answer was an enthusiastic yes!
The great thing about the JWC is that it is an ongoing project. Seedbed will be producing new volumes of Wesleyan material in it for years to come. And I’ll do my best to keep you updated on it!