Doing theology with Wesley

"Scripture and indubitable antiquity are the authority we appeal to; thither we refer our cause; and can heartily conclude with that [saying] of Vincent of Lerins, 'That is to be held, which hath been believed everywhere, always, and by all.'"

- Rev. John Wesley; final line of his "Reply to the Roman Catechism" (Works v. X, p. 128)

Methodist theologian Thomas Oden, following the example of John Wesley here, has made this saying of Vincent of Lerins something of a rallying cry for what is being called "paleo-orthodoxy" (or just plain "orthodoxy").  There really is a great historic and ecumenical consensus of the faith that is shared across denominational lines and cultural boundaries and across the ages.  You can find this faith expressed in the creeds and hymns, the liturgical practices and teachers which have been most widely embraced across the whole church across time.  It is in holding to this faith, this "Mere Christianity," that Christians find unity with one another and with the great communion of saints across time. 

Oden is quick to point out that he fears 'theological revisionism' leads us away from this great consensus of faith, and so his ongoing project to call fellow Methodists and Christians of all stripes back to the consensus of the early church (what Wesley above calls "indubitable antiquity" - that which was held without doubt by the ancient church) to help us rightly interpret sacred Scripture. 

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