The Use of the Old Testament in a Wesleyan Theology of Mission

By Gordon L. Snider

An enlightening study of the role played by Old Testament theology in the development and practice of the Wesleyan approach to mission.

ISBN: 9780227176023


Following the theology of mission developed by John Wesley, thousands of men and women have engaged in domestic and international missions. But why did they go? Why do they continue to go today? In The Use of the Old Testament in a Wesleyan Theology of Mission, Gordon Snider examines the Wesleyan understanding of mission in the light of the Old Testament. What theology from God’s Old Covenant gave Wesleyans their drive to impact nations, and how did it shape their missionary strategies?

Drawing upon a range of primary sources, he examines how a number of influential speakers in the Wesleyan tradition, particularly the founders and spokespeople of the nineteenth and the early twentieth century, have used the Old Testament to inform their theology of mission. Snider provides an insight into the works of the important theologians Thomas Coke, Jabez Bunting, Adam Clarke, Richard Watson, Daniel Whedon and Edmund Cook. Focusing on the movement of Wesleyan Theology from Great Britain to North America, Snider analyses how this affected Wesleyan ideas of holiness, eschatology and divine healing. Readers of this volume will discover why Wesleyan Christians go into the world and gain a deeper understanding of missions.

Additional information

Dimensions229 × 153 mm


Trade InformationJPOD

About the Author

Gordon L. Snider is the lead editor for Herald & Banner Press and also a professor at Kansas Christian College, both in Overland Park, Kansas.


List of Illustrations


Section I: Toward a Wesleyan Theology of Mission – The Perspective of Founders of the Missionary Society of 1813
1. The Perspectives of Thomas Coke and Jabez Bunting
2. Adam Clarke: Methodism’s First Old Testament Scholar
3. Richard Watson: Theologian and Mission Motivator

Section II: Toward a Wesleyan Theology of Mission – The Perspective of the Methodist Episcopal Church
4. The Methodist Episcopal Church, Controversies, and the Perspective of Nathan Bangs
5. Daniel Whedon’s Old Testament Commentary
6. The Missionary Message of the Bible by Edmund F. Cook

Section III: Toward a Wesleyan Theology of Mission – The Perspective of the Wesleyan Holiness Movements
7. Wesleyan Holiness Denominational Leaders
8. Wesleyan Holiness Inter-denominational Mission Leaders
9. Holiness and Missions by Susan N. Fitkin




Endorsements and Reviews

This book effectively demonstrates that the Old Testament was widely used by key writers in the Wesleyan tradition in shaping their theologies of mission and promotion of overseas missionary activity.
Geordan Hammond, Senior Research Fellow in Church History and Wesley Studies, Nazarene Theological College, Manchester

This is a ground-breaking study. The subject of how Wesleyans used the Old Testament to construct theologies of mission has never been examined in detail before. Gordon Snider has undertaken this task in a thorough and convincing way. His work sheds fresh and important light on the history of world mission.
Ian Randall, Research Associate, Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide

Snider’s analysis of Wesleyans’ quest for an Old Testament Great Commission mandate is highly commendable… The book [is] a profound analysis of Wesleyans’ use of Old Testament texts towards successful world mission.
George Walters-Sleyon, in The Expository Times, Vol 129, No 1

In this interesting study, Gordon Snider; a professor at Kansas Christian College, sets out to examine if and how representative Wesleyan theologians and missionary leaders used the Old Testament to shape a theology of mission, and how far the outcomes corresponded with distinctive Wesleyan emphases.
Martin Wellings, in Wesley and Methodist Studies, Book Reviews, Vol 10, No 2