Wesleyan churches, Pentecostal churches, and the modern charismatic movement trace their theological roots to John Wesley. Yet these groups have gone separate ways in interpreting the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church, often regarding one another with suspicion or distrust.
In The Divided Flame, Dr. Howard Snyder, a Wesleyan minister, calls Wesleyans and charismatics to reexamine how they parted ways. He finds that they still have a great deal in common theologically, and he proposes that this common ground should serve as a basis for dialogue.
"How does a Wesleyan dialogue with charismatic Christianity?" asks Snyder. "Rather than comparing our theology or practice point by point, we have chosen to address the central question that charismatic Christianity raises for us: In what sense is Christian experience, the church, charismatic? If the charismatic movement raises valid biblical questions for us--and it does--then it is more important to deal with those questions than merely to catalog the pluses and minuses of the movement."
This book reviews the history of Wesleyan and charismatic thought, evaluating them in light of Scripture's norms for church life. A provocative study, The Divided Flame should bring fresh perspective to the controversy surrounding modern charismatic theology.
Howard A. Snyder Daniel Runyon
Professor of Wesley Studies at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto. He has been a pastor and has also taught at North Park Seminary (Chicago), United Theological Seminary (Dayton, Ohio), Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmore, Kentucky), and the Free Methodist Theological Seminary in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His previous books include The Problem of Wineskins, The Community of the King, and Salvation Means Creation Healed (2011).
Daniel V. Runyon is Professor of English and Communication at Spring Arbor University and an authority on the works of seventeenth century allegory writer John Bunyan