Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Crossing the Divide by Jake Hanson

book cover
Crossing the Divide
by Jake Hanson

ISBN-13: 9781634090209
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press
Released: April 1, 2016

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
John Wesley entered the scene of 18th century England facing greater hostility than exists today in the West. He forged his ministry in the midst of mobs, riots, and angry diatribes, yet this fearless evangelist found a way to reach the very enemies in need of transformation. This complex personality drove one of the most significant renewal movements of the English-speaking world--a movement that transformed the spirituality, morality, and work of the church for the next three centuries.

My Review:
Crossing the Divide is a biography of John Wesley (including the beginnings of the Methodist movement). It's based on and included many quotes from his journals, letters, sermons, and various writings. The author provided a balanced view of John Wesley, showing both his strengths and weaknesses while remaining respectful of all he accomplished. The writing flowed well and was easy to read. The author picked interesting things to focus on but didn't get too in-depth on any one topic. I'd highly recommend this book to teens and adults.

The book started with John's childhood, education, relationship with his brother Charles, and their unsuccessful mission to America. When they returned to England, they struggled with "by faith alone" and found personal transformation. John's preaching on this and other topics put him in conflict with the Established church, so he dealt with a variety of theological controversies. His new viewpoint also meant that he pursued those who would normally not set foot in a church.

A friend convinced him to do open field preaching, and John created groups to teach the converts resulting from his preaching. We learn about how these groups worked, problems John faced in keeping the organization going and in his personal life, and how he organized his movement to last beyond his death. We also learn about his teachings on and efforts toward helping the poor and the sick and against social evils like slavery.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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