By Gordon L. Heath

I just finished my World and Writings of John Wesley course and submitted final grades. But even though I am formally done with teaching the course, I can’t stop thinking about a sermon John Wesley preached entitled “Of Former Times” based on Ecclesiastes 7:10.: “Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions.” (NIV)

What keeps me thinking about Wesley’s sermon is that I think it speaks to the sadness and lamenting of some over the change in the western churches’ fortunes over the past few generations. Much has changed, and it is easy and perhaps even natural to lament when comparing the present state of “ichabod” with the supposed “glorious past.” But what does Wesley say to us in this sermon when tempted to do so?

[Editor’s note: The above is part of a post originally posted on To view the post in its entirety, visit: John Wesley and Lamenting Post-Christendom.]


*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of McMaster Divinity College or the Centre for Post-Christendom Studies.*


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