"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
John Wesley remains a seminal figure, not only for "the people called Methodist, " but also within the larger Protestant tradition. Understanding his theology is a requirement for understanding the development of the Western Christian tradition in the modern period. In recent years much work has been done to grasp the intricacies of Wesley's theology. However, most of this work has been thematic in organization, studying Wesley's thought according to a topical or systematic outline. The weakness of this approach, argues Kenneth J. Collins, is that it fails to demonstrate the evolution and changes of Wesley's theology. What is called for is a historical presentation--one that examines the development of Wesley's theology across the span of his long and eventful theological career. Collins thus provides a chronological presentation of the development of Wesley's theology. Drawing on an extensive examination of the primary sources, and demonstrating an intimate knowledge of the different contexts and social locations in which Wesley's theology took place, John Wesley: A Theological Journey will be necessary reading for anyone wishing to understand the broad scope of the Methodist leader's theological development and contribution.