the free methodist church in canada

Topics Worth Thinking About

John Wesley read broadly and sought God’s truth wherever it could be found.  Free Methodists follow Wesley’s example in exploring issues that are being discussed in church and secular cultures.

This site, maintained by the Study Commission on Doctrine of The FMCiC, is intended to be a place where articles can be found on topics of interest to Free Methodists as well as the general public.  There are also several helpful pastoral resources.

Much of the material found here has been written either by the Study Commission on Doctrine or other Free Methodists.

Interesting as the articles are, only two communicate the official positions of the Free Methodist Church in Canada: The Articles of Religion of The Free Methodist Church (denominational doctrinal statements) and The Christian Journey (pastoral teaching followed by personal and social lifestyle applications).

These two documents excerpted from The Manual of The Free Methodist Church in Canada are the first documents you will encounter. They are placed as a convenient reference for those who wish to clarify the official position of The Free Methodist Church on various issues.

Note:  A reference to a writer’s work in a footnote or bibliography is not a blanket endorsement by the Free Methodist Church of that writer’s perspective

Topics Worth Thinking About

Papers Written by FMCiC Authors

The following authors, who are members of the FMCiC, have written substantial papers on pastoral, theological, biblical or ecclesiological topics (i.e. they are academic theses which have been approved by an academic institution or are papers that have been presented at a recognized public forum).  The titles of their papers are listed below.

In an effort to protect the work of these authors from misuse, if you are interested in obtaining a copy of any of these papers, please contact the Ministry Centre. Your request(s) for a copy of a paper will be sent to the author(s).

The Story of Christian Perfection: the Perfection Narrative of George Clark and Other Friends of John Wesley by Amy Caswell. 
The doctrine of Christian perfection was both a distinctive of eighteenth-century Methodism and the source of much debate. John Wesley spoke often of Christian perfection and yet never claimed to have had the experience himself. This paper examines the doctrine by looking at the narratives of the experience of Christian perfection that were shared among the early Methodists, particularly the narrative of Mr. George Clark, of London.

The Quest for the Historical Wesley: An Analysis of the Early Biographies, 1791-1825 by Rob Clements.
This paper explores controversies surrounding the publication of the first biographies of John Wesley, and discusses the ways in which these publications shaped Methodist self-identity in the early nineteenth century.

Sacramental Discipleship as a Pathway to Ecclesial Reformation In the Free Methodist Church by Cliff Fletcher.
Discipleship and sacrament are potential avenues of renewal in the Free Methodist Church in Canada. Growing out of Jesus’ own model, history (noting the Wesleyan contribution) and current cultural realities, the proposed model shows how discipleship, integrated to the themes and practice of the Eucharist (sacramental discipleship) can ignite reform and renewal.

Heirs of the Earth:  A Ministry Related Study of the Biblical Connections between Ecology and Faith (2008) by Dale Harris.
This paper develops a theology of Creation Care, arguing that the church’s witness to the Gospel should include a biblically grounded response to contemporary ecological issues, and proposing some ways in which this might happen.   It A) develops a biblical framework for discussing ecological issues by examining 6 biblical texts (Genesis 1:26-28, Genesis 9, Matthew 5-7, Romans 8:16-23, 2 Peter 3:10-13, and Revelation 21-22); B) explores the results of a 2008 survey of over 600 churches across Canada on the topic of Creation Care Ministry, and C) presents some case studies and practical ideas for environmentally-focused ministry that emerged from this research. 
Dale Harris is available to present this material as a seminar for Churches and Pastor Networks. Please contact the Ministry Centre for more information.

Concept of Sacrifice in the Theology of the Eucharistic Hymns of Charles Wesley by Matthew McEwen
This work explores the theology of the atonement through the use of imagery and poetry.

Wesley and the Environment: A Sacramental View by Matthew McEwen
This paper is an examination of Wesley’s Survey of the Wisdom of God in creation.

Be Thorough, But Be in Haste by Bob Munshaw
The focus of the paper is on the early missional impulse of the FMC.  Beginning with an examination of an article written by John Wesley Redfield, I assess both the theological anthropology and normative praxis in late 19th and early 20th century FM missions.

A Theology for Reaching the City by Howard Olver
“A Theology for Reaching the City” explores a biblical perspective on why Christians should be concerned with reaching the city with the transforming power of the Gospel and the guidance God gives us in how to do it.

Prevenient Grace and Missiology: “John Wesley’s Doctrine of Prevenient Grace & Its Import for Christian Mission by Chris Payk.
The Wesley brothers believed that salvation begins with prevenient grace, wherein God reaches incorrigibly sinful and spiritually depraved people, provides the spark of light needed to see the way to the Father’s Kingdom, and imparts the power to begin the journey.  In John Wesley’s Doctrine of Prevenient Grace & Its Import for Christian Mission, Chris Payk examines what the early Wesleyan-Methodist tradition says about how salvation begins: (prevenient grace) and addresses the following questions, “What did John Wesley think prevenient grace is and does,” and “What contribution does this Wesleyan doctrine make to contemporary Christian mission?”

A Strategy for Mobilizing Integrated Local and Global Ministry in Free Methodist Congregations, with an Emphasis on Gateway Cities by Mary-Elsie Wolfe
How can local Free Methodist churches live out Jesus’ commission in Spirit-led ministry that impacts, in amazing new ways, their Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and all the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8)?  Often local churches are neither equipped nor motivated to think missionally, but do want to make a difference globally.  The denomination can help them by ‘sharing of information’, ‘establishing boundaries’ and encouraging healthy local ‘teams’ through a B.U.G philosophy (Building Indigenous leaders, Seeking Unreached people groups and exercising Global stewardship). This model seeks to help churches break out of discouragement and passivity resulting from enormous and rapid cultural change everywhere in recent year.