A book cover with minimal design featuring a stylized portrait of John Wesley

Howard A. Snyder

Howard A. Snyder’s book “The Radical Wesley and Patterns for Church Renewal” is 189 pages long and is divided into 12 chapters. Its main focus is on the history, thought, practice, and applicability of John Wesley’s early Methodist system for mission today. In particular, the interlocking system of small groups (known as classes, bands, and select societies), circuit riders, societies, and lay leadership was instrumental in the emergence of a massive revival movement in the late 1700’s of over 100,000 people in over 10,000 small discipleship groups in Britain and the USA.

There are several strengths. First, the author is a long-time professional theologian who specializes in Wesleyan studies. He knows the source material well and knows what he is talking about. Second, it is written in an easy-to-read style that makes the work accessible to a wider audience, thus, you don’t get bogged down with a lot of the technical jargon and details. Third, there is a massive number of endnotes which will allow super curious and diligent readers to follow up on various details of interest for themselves. Fourth, the book is fairly comprehensive, dealing with the story of Wesley and his movement (chapters 1 to 5), Wesley’s thought and practice for church life and mission (chapters 6 to 8), Wesley’s “synthesis” of a radical restoration of early church patterns combined with his steps to stay within an Anglican framework (chapters 9 to 11), and an application of Wesleyan thought to the church today (chapter 12). Fifth, it helped me understand not only the methods, but also the motivations, for many of Wesley’s decisions, which have to some degree influenced my own efforts in catalyzing a network of house churches. Rad Zedero (from his review on Amazon)

Topics

  • Biography & Testimony
  • Church history
  • Church planting & Ecclesiology
  • Discipleship & Training
  • Missions