Calvin and Wesley with Joel Hunter

Calvin and Wesley
Conversation with: Joel Hunter

In this video Conversation, Joel Hunter notes the inherent strengths of both Calvinist and Wesleyan faith traditions. In fact, he points out that what are often cast as “competing” approaches really are complementary rather than at odds with one another. As we listen to different perspectives we become not just stronger, but more accurate in our understanding of the world around us, says Hunter. In turn, we will understand more of God and his Kingdom will become stronger as a collective of believers.

To discuss this video, see the post "Calvin and Wesley: Making Peace with Competing Approaches" on Science & the Sacred.

Video Transcription

In my view, that cognitive dissonance, the complementary, complementary with an "e", the complementarity is actually what gives us more accurate perspectives, more accurate truth. It's like our eyes. If you go like this, you see two different pictures, and the reasons that we can see more accurately is because it takes two perspectives really to converge for any kind of depth perception. And God does that over and over in creation by the way.

I believe that as we listen to other perspectives, that we will become not just more complex. We'll become stronger and more accurate. We will become sturdier in times of change. We will be able to understand much more of God, and the kingdom will be much expanded. And God will be much glorified, and Jesus will be much lifted up because we listened to more than one perspective.

Part of what I love about the reformed theology is that intellectual rigor. It's the categorical, analytical structures that really build on each other. But frankly, just the spirit, the devotional, the emotional passion of the Wesleyan tradition, unless you have--and again, this is not to say that the Wesleyan tradition isn't full of intellectual achievement. It is but unless you combine that passion with that kind of intellectual structuralism, you're not going have the fullness and the sophistication and the greatness and really the majesty of an intellectual and heart encounter with God. So it really does take both of them.