Synopses & Reviews
John Wesley created an independent Methodist Church in 1784 in order to provide the sacraments to its members in America. The system created, however, did not seem to have the same understanding of the Lord's Supper that Wesley had, and it did not allow for the frequency to receive Communion that Wesley desired. Steven Bruns analyzes the writings of Wesley and those early Methodists involved in this process to discover what actually happened and why. In this book, Bruns looks at figures such as Francis Asbury, Freeborn Garrettson, Thomas Coke, William Waters, and many other leading figures of American Methodism to uncover their understanding of God's grace, the Lord's Supper, and the nature of the Church. ""Steven Bruns tells the story that explains why American Methodists did not follow John Wesley in observing the Lord's Supper as 'the means of grace par excellence.' This book is a must-read for anyone who cares about recovering the spiritual substance of the original Methodist movement in England, for genuine reform begins with understanding. Fortunately for us, this story is told clearly with just the right amount of pertinent detail. --Timothy W. Whitaker, United Methodist Bishop, Retired ""Here is a book for the church-at-large that can also be read and appreciated by academics. Bruns reminds us that the basic elements for salvation are contained in the Eucharist (the serious call to repentance and faith within a community of believers). Furthermore, he captures the history, essence, and significance of the sacrament that motivated the creation of an indigenous church for America but was soon sorely neglected."" --Robert G. Tuttle, Asbury Theological Seminary Steven David Bruns is the Chair of the Ministry and Theology Department at Central Christian College of Kansas. He is an ordained Elder in the Free Methodist Church.