1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

page 30

Dillon of Milligan College. Timothy L. Wood of Marquette University

delivered a paper entitled, "'ThatThey May Be Free Indeed': Liberty in the

Early Methodist Thought of John Wesley and FrancisAsbury," which

examined theantislavery social ethics of Wesley and Asbury. Wood showed

that Asbury's "principle of internalism" became an important basis fora more

thoroughgoing abolitionism much later in the revolutionary and early

national periods, when Methodistsocial reconstructionism assumed a more

assertive character.

Brad Creedof Baylor University delivered a paper entitled "John

Leland and theSabbath: Evangelical Piety and the Limits of Christian

America." Leland offered a radical Baptist conceptionof freedom of

conscience to an America dominated by Reformed theologies of thestate and

society, mainly in the contextof debates on Sunday mail delivery. In

opposition to the General Union and other Christian benevolent societiesof

the 1820s and1830s who would build a Christian Nation linking prescriptive

political authority with the exercise of conscience, Leland offeredan

alternative vision derived from dissenting evangelical Protestantism, which

held the individual conscience tobe free, independent, and inviolable. Jeffrey

Webb of Huntington College offered a comment,which was followed by

questions from the audience.

On Friday evening, there was a Banquet and Plenary Session, chaired

by Rick Kennedy, PointLoma Nazarene University, featuring brief reports

by RichardPierard, CFH Secretary-Treasurer, and Ronald A. Wells, Editor,

FIDES ET HISTORIA. This was followedby the first-ever CFH Presidential

Address delivered by William Vance Trollinger, Jr., University of Dayton. His


HISTORY."He argued thatthe health of the CFH is excellent, especially

when contrastedwith where we stood in 1967 when the organization was

created. Heespecially noted the value of community and fellowship for

many or most of us. On the other hand,he stressed that we are now at a

critical juncture. We need to reconsider and rethink our purpose and where

we are headed in the 21st century. The involvement ofyounger scholars

continues to be a concern. Is there a generational shift underway?How

should the CFH relate to the profession and to academe moregenerally? He

argued that our membershipneeds to be much more diversified both in

terms of theparticipation of women and minorities and in terms of other,

non-evangelical Christians. He asked if what is published in FIDES ET

HISTORIA and what is presented at our conferences concentrates too