Wesley, Fletcher, and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

A Pentecostal Analysis

In: Journal of Pentecostal Theology
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Long regarded as a spiritual grandfather of sorts for the Pentecostal movement, John Wesley has been credited by some as paving the way for their doctrinal distinctive of Spirit baptism through his teaching on entire sanctification. Yet, Wesley’s language surrounding Spirit baptism and the meaning of Pentecost differs significantly from that of classical Pentecostalism, calling into question whether a direct line can be drawn from Wesley himself to this Pentecostal distinctive. This article makes the case that their doctrine of Spirit baptism owes much more to the theology of Wesley’s intended successor John Fletcher and the Holiness movement that followed than Wesley’s doctrine of entire sanctification, and that one may find in Fletcher’s theology the seeds that would culminate in this Pentecostal doctrine easier than one could in Wesley’s theology.

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