In Radical Grace, Dr Kimbrough brings together the writings of Charles Wesley on the theme of justice for the poor and the marginalized, drawing upon his sermons, manuscript journal, poetry and a few letters. The author studies the theology of these texts (most of which were unpublished at the time of his death) and evaluates its viability both at the time of writing and today. Wesley’s views of how Christians may ‘use the grace divine’ in seeking justice for the poor have radical implications, advocating behaviour that is often quite contrary to generally accepted Christian practise. This volume argues that the radical grace he espouses is consistent with Holy Scripture and should indeed be practised by Christians today. The liturgies and musical settings of some of the hymn texts addressing the poor and marginalized provide a pragmatic means for the worshipping community to integrate the principles of radical grace into their theology and praxis.
Foreword: Poetry and the Poor, by Stanley Hauerwas
I. The Sermons
II. The Manuscript Journal
IV. The Church’s Response to Radical Grace: Justice for the Poor and Marginalized
V. Worship Resources for a Theology of Radical Grace: Justice for the Poor and Marginalized
Appendix: Musical Settings for Congregational Singing for Liturgies 1-3
Index of Scripture References
Index of Personal Names
Endorsements and Reviews
S.T. Kimbrough has provided serious Christians with yet another practical and useful work grounded in the Wesleyan heritage. … Historically grounded, theologically sound, and poetically illustrated, this study fits solidly into the current attempts to apply careful interpretations of the Wesleyan tradition to contemporary life.
Richard P. Heitzenrater, The Divinity School, Duke University
S.T. Kimbrough has introduced us to Charles Wesley the great lyrical theologian. In this wonderful book, Radical Grace, he introduces us to Wesley the prophetic, poetic friend of the poor and the dispossessed. Here, in the genius of Wesley, we see poetry in service to a just and loving God. This book sings, and the song it sings is justice for the poor!
Bishop William Willimon, United Methodist Church
… describes how Charles and John Wesley responded in their day and generation, by way of a brief examination of two of Charles’ sermons and his journal, followed by a close analysis of the relevant parts of his poetry and verses from his hymns. … by drawing very close attention to his hymns alone, this book performs a valuable service.
Peter Murcott, in British Church Newspaper, 23 June 2017
Here is an insightful gathering across all the writings of Charles Wesley’s views on justice for the poor and marginalised of the world. … Very readable, scripturally connected, and carefully structured, there is much here to earth our preaching preparation into the radical grace that the gospel calls for in our faith and action to the world. Helpfully included is an extensive bibliography, worship resources, and musical settings for singing that make this both a thoughtful compendium of Wesley’s reflection and concern, and practical resource for worship today.
Mark Pullinger, in The Reader, Winter 2017
Radical Grace is a helpful addition to the field of Wesley Studies. It takes seriously the breadth of theological material available, not limiting the scope of sources to a particular form. It also expands upon contemporary scholarship concerning Charles Wesley’s unique contributions to early Methodist theology and practice, as well as supplementing the growing body of research on Charles Wesley as theologian in his own right.
Isaac N. Hopper, in Reviews in Religion and Theology, Vol 25, Issue 1