Timm Delapp

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS)





In this thesis I will be investigating John Wesley's ethics, both his personal, and social ethics. One of Wesley's most intentional statements on this subject of personal ethics can be found in his General Rules, and a series of public tracts. One concern is that the strong emphasis in his General Rules has an individualistic bent, which places the focus on personal piety. This writer believes, however, that a close look at Wesley's works will show that his strong emphasis on love, as the driving force behind a Christian ethic, prevents it from being a solely personal issue. In fact, when looking at Wesley's social ethics, you find its foundation in his theology oflove. This theology points out that God's love alone is the power that regenerates human love. This thesis will show that Wesley's theology is rooted in his strong emphasis on love. This motif of love permeates every other aspect of his theology. A focus of study will be Wesley's thirteen discourses on the Sermon on the Mount. These discourses, in part, form his "perfect love" theology; which Wesley felt was dynamic in causing moral and social reform. This thesis will conclude with a proposal for a social justice position for the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana.)