Here John Wesley's practical theological method is examined not only in terms of the usual analytical elements of scripture, reason, tradition, and experience but also with respect to a broader synthesis that embraces several teleological elements, especially as reflected in the Methodist mission, and the ongoing activity of the Holy Spirit. Such a practical method, ever oriented toward mission, moved Wesley's basic ecclesiology more and more in the direction of a functional definition of the church, a vantage point in which he enjoyed considerable liberty as he not only broke parish boundaries but felt free to critique earlier periods of the history of the church.

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