Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Christian Studies) - MA (CSt)

Department

Theology

First Advisor/Committee Member

Kevin M. Watson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Wesleyan and Methodist Studies, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

Keywords

Free Methodist Church U.S.A., Sacraments, Lord's Supper, Means of grace, Wesleyan tradition, Methodist tradition

Abstract

As descendants of the Wesleyan heritage, the Free Methodist Church USA maintains the belief that the Sacraments, particularly the Lord’s Supper, function as a means of grace within the church. Given the significant role that the Lord’s Supper played in early Methodist thought and practice, this thesis seeks to discover the level of fidelity the Free Methodist Church USA has when it comes to its understanding of the Lord’s Supper as a means of grace in the Wesleyan tradition. By exploring the current Free Methodist Church USA’s understanding of the sacrament, along with the historical Wesleyan relationship with the Lord’s Supper, this thesis seeks to show how the Free Methodist Church USA can be strengthened in both their Wesleyan heritage and their pursuit of holiness through recovering a robust understanding of the Lord’s Supper as a means of grace.

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