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Hannah SparksHannah SparksDr. Timothy CrutcherIntro to Theology24 March 2016 Wesley Vs. Calvin on ScriptureThe topic of Scripture has often been discussed within the doctrine and methodology of the Church. Of the numerous theologians who have given their input on this topic, this essay is goingto focus on the views of John Wesley and John Calvin on Scripture. In order to understand each one’s reasoning behind their beliefs, it is also important to understand who John Calvin and John Wesley are as individuals. John Wesley was born on June 17, 1703 at Epworth, Lincolnshire. Wesley was born nearly 100 years after the Reformation, so it is okay to take note that there wasn’t necessarily such a strong grip of Catholicism. He didn’t have to fight a whole lot to read and interpret Scripture on his own apart from the church. Wesley is known for his doctrine of holiness and as the founder ofthe Armenian Methodist Movement. John Calvin was born on July 10, 1509 in France. He is sometimes known as the successor ofMartin Luther, though they didn’t have the same beliefs on everything. John Calvin is also known as one of the key players during the Protestant Reformation. Calvin’s religious teachings emphasized the doctrine of elect and the authority of Scripture. With the role that Calvin played during the Reformation, it is okay to say that he was one of the main people to bring forth modern Protestantism. Now, Wesley is a man of One Book, that book being the Bible. The Bible is held as a “constant and ultimate source of knowledge and authority” (Burtner and Chiles). Through the 1
Hannah Sparksstudy of Wesley and his views on scripture, this statement absolutely proves to be true. Wesley’s view of experience is directly related to Scripture in the sense that he could start out with an experience, but then put his experience through the lens of Scripture to see the truth and the reevaluate his view on the said experience to fit the lens of Scripture. This cycle can be seen through the hermeneutical circle (Crutcher 209).One thing that took place during John Calvin’s role in the Protestant Reformation was his desire to institute a place for Scripture in theological reflection. He wanted to put the authority ofScripture above the church, which caused much dispute, for several disagreed with this placement of authority. Johann Eck, a defender of Catholicism, said, “The church is older than