Matters of the Heart

The head and the heart ought not conflict. Intellectual knowledge ought not conflict with our emotions and sentiments. If Christianity is true then its crazy not to have an emotional response to the truths of our faith.  John Wesley wholeheartedly believed that.

Fred Sanders explains that Wesley was not anti-intellectual, anti-theological, or anti creedal, but he did believe that one could become too focused on these things so that one might use them (intellect, theology, the creeds) as a way to avoid the presence of God. (Wesley on the Christian Life, 82). According to Sanders, Wesley believed that these things were necessary but not sufficient.

Listen to Wesley speak in his own words:

Neither does religion consist in orthodoxy or right opinions; which although they are not properly outward things, are not in the heart, but the understanding. A man may be orthodox in every point…. He may think justly concerning the incarnation of our Lord, concerning the blessed Trinity and every other doctrine… he may assent to all the three creeds…. Yet it is possible he may have no religion at all. He may be almost as orthodox, – as the devil and may all the while be as great a stranger as he to the religion of the heart…

Many have accused modern day evangelicalism of reducing faith to intellectual assent to a certain set of propositions. This may or may not be true, nevertheless at the very heart of modern evangelicalism lies the “heart” religion of revivalists like Whitefield and Wesley as well as pastors like Jonathan Edwards. Lets not forget our roots, true faith is orthodox but it is also a religion of the heart.


Published by cwoznicki

Chris Woznicki is an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He works as the regional training associate for the Los Angeles region of Young Life.

One thought on “Matters of the Heart

  1. Jesus knocks at the door of our hearts not our heads.. The word says, “to those that hear His voice an open the door, I will come into him. I recently read that science has found out that our hearts send messages to our brains. The Bible tells the natural man cannot discern spiritual issue without the Holy Spirit they because they are foolishness to him. Because of this I believe our heart is the place we first find Christ, then the spirit can teaches us. Our spiritual blinders are removed then we can begin to see truth.

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