A New Catechism from the Global Methodist Church

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[This post first appeared at GospelEncounter.wordpress.com]

The Global Methodist Church has released a new Catechism: PDF link.

This is an exciting step. It has been a long time since we had a new official Wesleyan-Arminianism Catechism. The previous ones available are archaic. And I know of more than a few attempts posted online or made by various churches or pastors to try to fill the gap, so this official Catechism is a welcome help.

Here are some of the questions and answers that reveal their Arminian Theology:

On Total Depravity

46. What is the natural state of humanity?
We believe humanity is fallen from righteousness and, apart from the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, is destitute of holiness and inclined to evil. (Gen. 6:5; Ps. 51:5; Eccl. 9:3; Jer. 17:9-10; Rom. 3:23; 5:12-14; Eph. 2:1-3; 1 John 1:8; CoF VII.)

47. Can we free ourselves from the misery of this condition?
No. In our own strength, without divine grace, we cannot do good works pleasing and acceptable to God. (Ps. 51:5; John 6:63; Rom. 7:14-24; Gal. 5:17; Eph. 2:1; CoF VII.)

On Prevenient and Convicting Grace:

51. How does preventing grace lighten the effects of original sin?

It prevents the full consequences of our alienation from God and awakens conscience, giving an initial sense of God and the first inclinations toward life. (Luke 24:45; John 6:37; 12:32; Acts 16:14; Rom. 8:7-8; 1 Cor. 2:14; D&D §102.)

52. How does preventing grace re-establish the freedom of the will?

While in our bound and helpless state, preventing grace breaks through and enables genuine response to God’s further grace. (2 Kings 6:17, 20; John 16:8-11; Acts 2:37; 8:31; 15:8; 16:30; D&D §102.)

55. How does God lead us to repentance?

God’s convincing grace awakens in us a desire to flee the wrath to come and enables us to begin to fear God and work righteousness. (Hos. 6:1; Mic. 4:1-2; Hab. 2:4; Zech. 8:20-23; John 16:8; Eph. 2:4-5; 2 Cor. 7:9-10; Heb. 13:18; D&D §102.)


19. How can we escape the wrath of God?
God justifies, or accounts righteous, penitent sinners who confess faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. (John 3:36; Rom 3:21-30; 4:6-8; 5:6-11; Eph. 1:7-14; 2:3-7; 5:5-10; Col. 3:5-17; 1 Thess. 5:8-10; CoF IX.)

22. How does the Holy Spirit lead us to repentance?

He convinces the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. (Mic 3:8; John 16:7-11; CoF III.)

23. Is salvation possible without the Spirit?

No. The Spirit leads us through faithful response to the gospel into the fellowship of the Church. (CoF III) (John 3:3-6; Rom. 8:9-17; Eph. 2:17-22; Titus 3:4-7.)

On Unlimited Atonement:

57. Is Christ’s atoning sacrifice for all humanity?
Yes. The offering Christ freely made on the cross is the perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. (Gen. 12:3; Isa. 56:8; John 1:29; 3:16-17; 5:24; 8:12; 11:25; 12:32; Rom. 8:11; 2 Cor. 5:14-15; 1 Tim. 2:3-6; Heb. 2:9; 10:12; 2 Pet. 3:9; 1 John 1:9; 2:2; CoF VIII.)

In an article at the Global Methodist website, they mention the principal authors were Dr. Phil Tallon (author of The Absolute Basics of the Christian Faith and co-author of The Absolute Basics of the Wesleyan Way, both published through Seedbed) and Rev. Teddy Ray, with contributions from Drs. Bill Arnold (Asbury Theological Seminary), David de Silva (Ashland Theological Seminary), Sue Nicholson (Asbury University), and David Watson (United Theological Seminary). It was then “reviewed, commented upon, edited, and ultimately approved” by more than 300 clergy and laity.

Dr. Jason Vickers was also recently interviewed about it on the Holy Conversations Podcast.