Joel Houston, PhD (Manchester)
‘A Decade of Difference: Predestination and Early Methodist Identity in the “Free Grace” Controversy, 1739-1749; (University of Manchester [Nazarene Theological College]), 2017. To be published as Wesley, Whitefield, and the Free Grace Controversy: The Crucible of Methodism, in the Routledge Methodist Studies Series in 2020.
Joel completed his doctoral research in early 2017 under the supervision of the Rev Dr David Rainey. Joel’s thesis conducts a comparative analysis of John Wesley and George Whitefield’s thought on the doctrine of predestination. The primary focus of this analysis is the ‘Free Grace’ controversy in the mid-eighteenth century, 1739-1749. Joel’s work contends for an elongation of the dates of the controversy, extending the conclusion of the debate from 1741/44 to 1749, the year Whitefield abdicated leadership of the Calvinistic Methodist Societies. This elongation incorporates the major insight of the thesis: that the dispute over predestination (and related doctrines) between Whitefield and Wesley must include an analysis of the social function of doctrine itself.
Joel is currently an instructor in Biblical and Theological Studies at Nipawin Bible College in Saskatchewan, Canada.
Select Publications and Contributions:
Wesley, Whitefield, and the Free Grace Controversy: The Crucible of Methodism (Abingdon: Routledge [Forthcoming, 2020]).
“Beginning a Society of Their Own: John Wesley, George Whitefield, and the Bristol Division” in Ian Maddock, Ed. Wesley and Whitefield? Wesley vs. Whitefield? (Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2018)
“The Cavity in the Covenant: George Whitefield’s Use of the Pactum Salutis”, Churchman, vol. 131, no. 2 (Watford: Church Society, 2017).
“A Change of Heart in Bristol? John Wesley’s Doctrine of Election in Perspective, 1739—1768”, Wesleyan Theological Journal, vol. 51, no. 2 (Indiana: Old Paths Tract Society, 2016), 68-78.
“Beginning a Society of Their Own: John Wesley, George Whitefield, and the Bristol Division”, Presented at the 69th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, November 16th, 2017.
“Review of Reformation Anglicanism: A Vision for Today’s Global Communion, Ashley Null and John W. Yates III, Eds. (Wheaton: Crossway, 2017)” in Reformed Theological Review [Forthcoming Publication, 2018].
“Review of George Whitefield: His Life, Context and Legacy. Geordan Hammond and David Ceri Jones, Eds. (Oxford: OUP, 2016)” in Churchman, vol. 131, no. 1 (Watford: Church Society, 2017).