History is more than facts and figures. It is full of real people with real stories. Connecting with those people and stories helps us understand our lives and discern God’s direction for our future. That is why it is important constantly to connect our teaching back to the important people in our history. To help you do that, we have gathered some interesting, and maybe even surprising, facts about John Wesley to help you connect United Methodist history to your next lesson.
1. John Wesley wrote one of the all-time bestselling medical texts.
Wesley was deeply convicted that God is concerned about our earthly life as well as our heavenly one. To that end, he wrote a medical text for the everyday person titled Primitive Physick. Check out Global Ministries’ summary or read the full version. The book detailed the current knowledge about home remedies and went through 32 editions, making it one of the most widely read books in England….
2. John Wesley coined the term “agree to disagree.”
Over the years, Wesley had serious theological differences with another popular pastor named George Whitefield. Though they both argued passionately, Wesley reflected on these differences in a memorial sermon for Whitefield by saying: “There are many doctrines of a less essential nature. … In these, we may think and let think; we may ‘agree to disagree.’ But, meantime, let us hold fast the essentials. …” This appears to be the first recorded use of the term. It was a hallmark of Wesley’s way of holding to his convictions while remaining in connection with those with whom he disagreed.