Winner of the 2007 Saddlebag Selection Award from the Historical Society of The United Methodist Church as the best book published during the year on the history, biography, polity or theology of United Methodism or its predecessors.
Understanding history rests largely on a grasp of two things: sequence and context. Know which events came earlier and which later, and you ve gone a long way toward understanding influence and causation. Know what was going on in the wider world at the same time a historical event occurred, and you ll better grasp the meaning and significance of that event for the people who experienced it. Yet even with the best history textbooks students have difficulty in gaining an immediate sense of sequence and context. Hence the purpose of this book: To lay out the most important events in the history of the Wesleyan/Methodist movement, to show them in their proper order, and to include the most important occurrences taking place on the national and international stages at the same time. Matthews presents his material in an easy to comprehend and visually appealing layout, enumerating the major trends and developments in Methodist history from 1700 to 2004.
Rex D. Matthews is Assistant Professor in the Practice of Historical Theology at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He currently serves as co-chair of the Wesleyan Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion, as General Editor of the Kingswood Books series, and as Managing Editor of the new electronic academic journal Methodist Review.
An excerpt from the Circuit Rider review: "This is a book for college and seminary professors, for high school teachers of religion, for Sunday School teachers of children, youth and adults. It is a book for preachers and church musicians. It should be in every church library. This is a book for people who think history is boring as well as for those who delight in rich historical detail and story. It is a book to be savored and returned to again and again. And this is a book for all who love the church and yearn to be part of perfecting its mission and its life." (Click here to read the entire review.)