The Spirit of Methodism (2019)


Barbeau The Spirit of Methodism (cover)Jeffrey W. Barbeau. The Spirit of Methodism: From the Wesleys to a Global Communion (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2019).

“I felt my heart strangely warmed.”

That was how John Wesley described his transformational experience of God’s grace at Aldersgate Street on May 24, 1738, an event that some mark as the beginning of the Methodist Church.

Yet the story of Methodism, while clearly shaped by John Wesley’s sermons and Charles Wesley’s hymns, is much richer and more expansive. In this book, Methodist theologian Jeffrey W. Barbeau provides a brief and helpful introduction to the history of Methodism—from the time of the Wesleys, through developments in North America, to its diverse and global communion today—as well as its primary beliefs and practices.

With Barbeau’s guidance, both those who are already familiar with the Wesleyan tradition and those seeking to know more about this significant movement within the church’s history will find their hearts warmed to Methodism.


“Jeffrey Barbeau gives us a fascinating history and description of Methodism and Wesleyan Christianity ‘from innocence to experience.’ Anyone interested in understanding this subject ought to begin here. Those who think they already know the subject will find new information and insights here. Barbeau’s expansion of the Methodist story to contemporary global expression is especially timely and much needed.”

—Roger E. Olson, Foy Valentine Professor of Christian Theology and Ethics, George W. Truett Theological Seminary