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A Critical Review of Martin Buber’s I and Thou, in light of Christian theology and Capitalism

According to the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion can be defined as “the philosophical examination of the central themes and concepts involved in religious traditions.”

With this definition in mind, in Judaeo-Christian traditions we are introduced to the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1–9. This particular story is pertinent to Buber’s I and Thou as it involves language oriented communication which Buber’s work is centred around. In this story, we see a rare moment in human history when humanity had one language, and we embarked on a global project to build a house that reaches the heavens. This venture was however sabotaged by God, by confusing the language of the builders, thereby leading to an abrupt end of this global undertaking.

That aside, driven by capitalist ideologies, biologists argue that our mental and emotional being are controlled by a complex system of neurons, synapses, and other biochemical substances by millions of year of evolution, as such our moods and emotions can be altered and enhanced with the right chemistry. The barriers of consciousness are being pushed with robotics and artificial intelligence, with scientists predicting that before the end of this century, we will see bespoke interventions to alter DNAs, and biomechanics that can enhance our current capabilities beyond our wildest dreams. In some ways fulfilling the dream of the mid-19th century German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, who mentioned in his piece God is dead that “all beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the Overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment” (Gay Science Collection).

So, I write a critical review of Martin Buber’s I and Thou, through the prism of human relation in Christian theology and Capitalism.

Martin Buber, I and Thou

Buber is influenced by a wide range of philosophical traditions and sources, including Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, Hermann Lotze, Coleridge’s Essay on Faith, Feuerbach’s The Essence of Christianity and Kierkegaard’s Single One.

In Coleridge’s Essay on Faith, Coleridge builds upon German philosophical tradition of I am being the last word. This theory argues for the unity of nature to be necessarily and only grounded in the Self of man. But according to Coleridge, that Self itself is to be necessarily grounded in another Self, in his words: “I am, precisely because I can say “Thou art!” — for it is just the power and will to say so which makes me an “I”.’ Interestingly Martin Buber developed his dialogical existentialism piece under the title: I and Thou.

For Buber our relationships as humans works on the premise of existence as encounters. He articulated this by using the word pairs: I -Thou and I-It, describing both as encounters through which an individual engages with other individuals, inanimate objects, and all reality, including consciousness, modes of interaction, and being. In light of this Buber mentioned that “the primary word I-Thou can only be spoken with the whole being. The primary word I-It can never be spoken with the whole being” (p.3). This recurring theme is used to describe the dual modes of being: dialogue as in I-Thou, and monologue as in I — It. As such, communication, particularly language-oriented, is used in describing dialogue or monologue through symbols and expression of the relational nature of human existence.

In line with the word pairs, Buber mentions three distinct complex sphere of relationships, namely: our life with nature, our life with men, and our life with intelligible (spiritual) forms. Buber noted that in the first sphere “this relationship sways in gloom, beneath the level of speech. Creatures live and move over against us, but cannot come to us, and when we address them as Thou, our words cling to the threshold of speech” (p .6); in the second sphere “the relationship is open and in the form of speech. We can give and accept the Thou” (p. 6); while in the third sphere, the “relationship is clouded, yet it discloses itself; it does not use speech, yet begets it” (p. 6).

Buber maintains that a person is at all times engaged with the world in one of these two modes, employing these word pairs in articulating a multifaceted idea about modes of being, predominantly, how a person exists and actualises such existence.

Christian Theology and I and Thou

Buber held a personalist view. Keith E. Yandell’s Encyclopaedia of Philosophy defined personalism as “the thesis that only persons (self-conscious agents) and their states and characteristics exist, and that reality consists of a society of interacting persons. Typically, a personalist will hold that finite persons depend for their existence and continuance on God, who is the Supreme Person, having intelligence and volition.”

Buber noted that an I‑Thou relation is a mutual and holistic existence between two authentic individual beings. He describes it as a concrete encounter, arguing that “when Thou is spoken, the speaker has not thing of his object. For where there is a thing there is another thing. Every It is bounded by others; It exists only through bounded others.” (p. 4). The two beings meet one another in their authentic existence, without any qualification or objectification of one another, even their ideas and imagination are active in this relation. Strengthening his idea, Buber emphasises that although I-Thou is not an event, it is still perceivable and real. In his words, “when Thou is spoken, the speaker has not thing; he has indeed nothing. But he takes his stand in relation” (p. 4).

In this mode, we are fully engaged, completely present, mutuality, reciprocity, recognising and affirming the other persons full humanity, we are present in the present, it happens in the here and now — rather than in the there and then. In his view, this I-Thou experience is the most precious part of our human experience and part of our birth right. It is at the very core of all genuine transcendence, creativity and spirituality. As such, he argues that we don’t grow as human beings all on our own in any deep way, but all genuine growing and becoming requires a Thou. In other words, growing and becoming only occurs between people, rather than within or outside of people.

In Ephesians 2:13–22 for instance, Paul uses similar ideas, “For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us” (v. 14), in bridging historic division between the Jews and the Gentiles within the early church. In like manner Buber noted, “Spirit in its manifestation is a response of man to his Thou. Man speaks with many tongues, tongues of language, of art, of action; but the spirit is one, the response to the Thou which appears and addresses him out of mystery. Spirit is the word.” (p. 39).

With regards to God, Buber presents a pantheistic logic of the omnipresence of God, in line Hassidism (a strand of Judaism) tradition which he was a follower. Buber asserts that this relationship is the foundation of any possible interaction with God, and that an I-Thou relationship with anything or anyone connects in some way with the eternal relation to God. Therefore every I-Thou relations makes at least an indirect reference to God, consequently even self-proclaimed atheist who experience the I-thou in their lives are living in relation to God, much more so that self-proclaimed theists who experience little or no I-Thou experiences. Buber asserts that “the man who experiences has no part in the world. For it is ‘In Him’ and not between him and the world that the experience arises” (p. 5). This ties in with the concept of redemption, as seen in an excerpt from one of John’s letters, “those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.” (1 John 4:20).

According to Buber, to create this I–Thou relationship with the Eternal Thou (God), even though we are meant to be actively pursuing it (as in the case of Paul’s Damascus experience in Acts 9:1–19), we should be open to the idea of such a relationship in the first place (being a Jew, the concept of a messiah was known to Paul, in fact most Jews in that era were expecting the messiah). For Buber, pursuit of such a relation creates qualities associated with the tensions of It-ness, thereby hindering an I-Thou relation, reducing it to I-It.

In Christian theology, this idea undermines the profound spiritual experience of, for example, Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:22–38), who were clearly actively seeking God in the person of the Messiah. In Buber’s view, God responds to our openness to an I–Thou relation through grace, furthermore, because God is void of qualities, this I–Thou relation is unique and dependent on us. But it can also diminish when we treat it as an I-It relationship.

In light of this, Buber alludes that our spiritual lives are not so much about what we proclaim, but how we live in relation. So even though prayer is the most important way of addressing God directly, it can be reduced to an I-It when it takes the form of objectifying God. For example when our prayers and devotion is centred on getting God to produce good things, while withholding bad things from us, for example in the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9–13), Psalm 23, or Jabez’s prayer in 1 Chronicles 4:10.

For Buber, this is a form of objectification and manipulation, and a typical example of how we address God as an It, rather than standing in relation to God as the Eternal Thou. Buber noted, “how would man exist if God did not need him, and how would you exist? You need God in order to be, and God needs you — for that which is the meaning of your life.” (p. 130).

Capitalism and I and Thou

Humankind long for an era of peace, cooperation and wealth. On the political front we have alliances like: the Arab League, European Union, United Nations, Organisation of African Unity, Economic Community of West African States, National Atlantic Treaty Organisation etc., however these pursuits remain illusions. Sectarianism, nationalism, civil wars, racism, inequalities, genocides, neo-colonialism, anti-Semitism, islamophobia, unfair trade, social inequality, gender discrimination, terrorism, environmental pollution, and far right ideologies remain rife.

For instance, we recently witnessed France’s biggest attack in peace times, with the attackers (most of them EU citizens) claiming to act in the name of Allah against infidels (their fellow citizens). On the other front, and perhaps even more concerning, some Christians blame the victims for the attacks, citing secularisation, abortion statistics, and that those at the Bataclan were singing songs to the devil.

As well as religion, the socio-economic undertones of these issues cannot be ignored either. Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, argued that the human desire to increase private profit is the basis for collective wealth, in a nutshell, egoism (I-It) is altruism. As a result the world and its vast resources can be seen as an It to be exploited and not enjoyed. But capitalism works for the greater good when business owners perceive wealth as capital to be reinvested. This mode of thinking promotes fairer trade, human capital development, environmentally friendly invention and innovation, creation of gainful employment opportunities and payment of fairer wages. However a key dogma of capitalism is individualism, which is also a pillar of neo-liberalisation. Starting from the 1980s, neoliberal agenda in the UK and USA especially, led to dramatic cultural shifts in attitudes towards wealth creation, community relation, and wealth distribution.

Evidently capitalism has brought some gains to humanity, but sometimes I worry if its woes outweigh these gains. For instance in present times in Europe, those at the fringes of society are literally falling off the cliff, as we see the rise of food banks, stagnation in social mobility, youth unemployment, right wing activism, drug and alcohol abuse, terrorism, and poverty of aspiration. According to the BBC, forty-seven percent of jobs as we know them today in the US are likely to be lost through recent development in technology. So Buber argues that in our modern and technological life, I-It is more dominant than I-Thou.

Buber’s view is perhaps more pertinent now with the internet of all things and social media playing a big role in human communication — in fact in many ways replacing genuine encounters. Buber mentions a culture of capriciousness, as he put it, “the capricious man does not believe in encounter, he does not know association, he only knows the world out there and his desire to use it.” (p.109).

For Buber, by operating in an I-It mode our relationship is objectified, through either manipulation or a means-end mentality. Buber asserts that Using is an externalised way of addressing the world, while Experiencing is an internalised way of addressing the world. Therefore, I-It is not with our whole being, but rather through habits, experience, and patterns of interaction. In this mode we manipulate others through fear, guilt, hype, moralism, from our past experiences, in much the same way we use our objects. In this mode there is no acknowledgement of the other person’s humanity.

Conclusion

We are evidently, more comfortable, but less happy or fulfilled. It seems that our greatest enemy is our individualistic or self-centred worldview, which cuts across humanity, regardless of religious persuasion or none; hence the need for redemption.

When Jesus was asked the fate of people that encountered similar plights to those in the massacre in Paris, he responded with these words:

“Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them — do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? (Luke 13:1–5).

In these verses, Jesus highlights the universal need for all to be redeemed (unless you repent) from the corruption of this world, and in Buber, the concept of redemption seems to be a crosscutting theme. I hasten to qualify that redemption here means a process of recovery, which among other key themes reverses the judgement on humanity in the aforementioned passage in Gen. 11:1–9.

In optimism Buber talks about the return. However for the return to happen, we need to call the incubus of the world of I-It by its true name. According to Buber Incubus fetters opportunities to experience real relation, transcendence, and spirituality. Buber asserts that the return requires the sacrifice our little will which is unfree and ruled by things and our ego, to our great will which is free from these forces.

Bubers work is timeless. A book everyone should take time to read. However, my study of Buber leaves the following questions unanswered: how do we practically identify incubus and call it by its name? How can I-Thou prevail against the establishment and powers structures? With developments in artificial intelligence and robotics, should a robot be considered an It or a Thou?

 

Bibliography

Friedrich Nietzsche, Gay Science Collection, (1882)

Keith E. Yandell, Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, Routledge: https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/personalism, last accessed 27/11/15

Martin Buber, I and Thou, translated by Ronald Gregor Smith (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1958)

Rachel Nuwer, Will Machines Eventually Take on Every Jobs?  (6 August 2015): http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150805-will-machines-eventually-take-on-every-job, last accessed: 27/11/15

 

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This Sunday @ Healingsprings fellowship! 

Grace and Works

On 27 March 2015, Hotel Makka al-Mukarama in Mogadishu was attacked by Al-Shabaab militant group. One of its occupants later died as a result of injuries sustained from the attack.

He was a Somali diplomat and politician, the Ambassador of Somalia to the United Nations Human Rights Office in Geneva.

A Muslim who used his position to fight tirelessly for Christians suffering persecution in Africa. His name, Yusuf Mohamed Ismail.

In the words of Paul, 

When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all – (Rom. 2:14-16)

I’m so excited about what God is doing through our Church Reloaded series, so I extend an invite to you as we crystallise our series on Grace with a lecture entitled, Grace and Works!

(6:00-7:30)pm

Art Centre, Drama Room, Bexleyheath Academy, Woolwich Rd, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7DA 

(Free parking in front of the school and adjacent streets)

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Grace or Merit: An exegesis on Matthew 22, verses 1–14

Introduction

The saying by Jesus as recorded in Matthew’s gospel: Many are called, but a few are chosen (Matt. 22:1–14), has always been a source of much controversy within and outside the church community. Within the church it has been used to promote some sort of elitism, strengthen the concept of predestination, or as an excuse for mediocrity. The unchurched on the other hand sometimes use it as an excuse for disengagement with Christendom, hence statements like “You are chosen, I am not blessed with the gift of faith. To this end my essay seeks to:

– provide a brief overview of the term exegesis;

– carry out an exegesis on Matthew 22:1–14; and

– explore its implication with the concepts of Salvation by Grace, and Salvation by Merit.

A brief overview of the term exegesis

The Oxford Dictionary defines it as critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially of scripture. Exegesis is a Greek word which means to lead out.

Originally used primarily for the Bible, these days it is now used in a broader context in other disciplines. It may include the study of history and cultural background, the text and the original audience, an analysis of the type of literary genres in the body of text, and its grammatical and syntactical features.

At this juncture I hasten to qualify that hermeneutics and exegesis are sometimes used interchangeably, however hermeneutics includes nonverbal, verbal, and written communications, while exegesis focuses primarily on texts. Biblical Criticism emerged out of the 17th and 18th century as a scientific approach to humanities, as part of the quest for the origin and authorship of the biblical text (especially the Torah). These questions led to the revelation of some contradictions and inconsistencies within the texts, thereby putting into question the authenticity of traditional belief that Moses wrote these books.

With the use of textual criticism which was already tried and tested in investigation of Greek and Roman texts, in the 18th century Jean Astruc (1684–1766), a French physician, set out in zealous pursuit to refute these findings. In the process, he discovered what he believed to be two distinct documents within Genesis, which he felt were the original scrolls written by Moses. However he concluded that later versions of this document were produced overtime, hence the inconsistencies and contradictions noted by the likes of Hobbes and Spinoza.

This led to a paradigm shift, stirring other theologians to adopt the same methods in their examination of biblical text. By the 1870’s it was widely believed that the Bible was a human document, suffice to say that not many agreed with this view, most notably the Catholic Church. But the tides had shifted, even the church would later embrace this methodology as part of its theological rigours. In between this spectrum, there were others within the church that agreed that it was in fact a human document, however, these humans were inspired by God, quoting from Paul’s writing to Timothy:

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16–17).

An exegesis of Matthew 22:1–14

22 Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’ 5 But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ 10 Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12 and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:1–14).

In his analysis of parables and allegories, Bloomberg (1990) noted that parables “revolve around one main point of comparison between the activity in the story and Jesus’ understanding of the kingdom of God, and thus they teach one primary lesson. Subordinate details are significant only to the extent that they fit in with and reinforce the central emphasis.” (p.30).

According to Matthew Henry’s commentary on this parable, it “represents the gospel offer, and the entertainment it meets with”. The parable ismonarchic because its unifying character, in this the case the king, relates directly with each of the other two: replacement guests, and those who refused to attend. Bloomberg included this parable amongst other Complex Three Point Parables, however in the case of this parable, “both positive and negative subordinates are divided into two and three groups respectively” (p. 233).

There are three main entities to consider in this parable: the king (God), the first set of guests (A-list celebrities, using contemporary term), the second set of guests (the undeserving); these all make up the whole — meaningmany.

With this in mind, let us explore the term many. In Greek and English it refers to a large group, however in English it is restrictive (some), while in Greek it is inclusive (whole) which is in line with Jesus’ teaching that the gospel should be preached to all the nations (Matt. 28: 19–20). The servants are the disciples, commissioned to preach the gospel starting from Jerusalem (Luke 24:47). Out of the whole, the first set refused to attend, citing flimsy reasons for their decisions, and the man who was not dressed appropriately was sent out of the banquet.

According to Klaus Haacker (1973), as cited in Bloomberg (1990), this man was intentionally disrespecting his host, as it was a known custom for Kings to provide robes. Therefore it is likely that Jesus gave this parable to prepare the disciples for the fact that when they went out to preach, they would be met with disappointments for the most part; that they should spread out beyond Judea into other countries; that even amongst the gentiles, some will refuse the gospel outright while others will respond initially — then lose emotional capital with the passing of time.

The implication of the proverb with concepts of Grace and Merit

Charis (the Greek word for grace), the New Testament word for Grace, was translated for the word Hen in Hebrew which means: favour, mercy, kindness, graciousness; for example in Genesis 6:8: ‘But Noah found favourin the sight of the Lord’. Charis means: that which brings delight, joy, happiness, or good fortune.

In the OT it highlights God’s benevolence towards humanity, most especially to worshippers of Yahweh, and in the NT it is Christocentric. It centres on God’s love and generosity towards all humanity,

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God — not the result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8–9).

Two major schools of thought (Pelagianism and Augustinianism) debated their views on grace in the early fifth century, first the Council of Carthage (418), then Council of Orange (529). According to McGrath (1993), Augustine of Hippo’s Fallenness of human nature, allude that human nature has fallen from its original pristine state (Gen 3:1–7), and the implication of this catastrophe includes the fact that: the present state of human nature is not what God intended it to be; all human beings are now contaminated with sin from birth — an inherent human nature; it has been ruined — but not irredeemable, humanity could not re-enter a relationship with God through her own devices and resources, and nothing in our power can break the stranglehold of sin. (p. 72).

However, God intervened even though he did not need to, but he chose to. It is God who initiates the process of salvation through his dealings, for instance with: Noah, Abraham, Moses, David then finally — Jesus Christ (the messiah or anointed ONE); after the fall of humanity.

Pelagius on the other hand held the view that salvation was by Merit, known through church history as the Pelagian Controversy. For him, the resources of salvation are located within humanity; we are not trapped by sin — we have the capacity to save ourselves; salvation is something that is earned by good works — which places God under obligation to humanity. To him, salvation can be achieved by demands made by God on humanity, for example: the Ten Commandments and the moral standards of Christ. (p. 73).

At the core of both arguments was a difference in understanding of human nature. “For Augustine human nature is weak, fallen and powerless; for Pelagius, human nature is autonomous and self-sufficient. For Augustine it is necessary to depend on God for salvation; for Pelagius God merely indicates what has to be done if salvation is to be attained, and then leaves men and women to meet those conditions unaided. For Augustine salvation is an unmerited gift; and for Pelagius salvation is a justly earned reward” (p. 73).

Augustine also pressed on with the view that, since human beings are incapable of saving themselves, and since God has given the gift of grace to some, God has pre-selected those who are to be saved — hence the doctrine of predestination, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

At both sittings, the church council ruled in favour of Augustine’s view of Grace, however they disagreed with his doctrine on predestination. Pelagius on the other hand was considered a heretic and his view discredited. Some theologians disagree with the verdict against him, and sadly we have access to very limited writings from him as they were either burnt or destroyed.

Matthew 22:1–14, poses immense doctrinal challenges for both schools of thought on grace, a fundamental building block of the Christian faith. For instance, how can the benevolence of the king towards his subjects be explained by Pelagians who belief that salvation is achieved by merit? What good deeds did they do to deserve the king’s invitation? Where does merit begin?

How can Augustinians explain the punishment met by the man who was not appropriately dressed? Was he not predestined to be in the wedding banquet — on the basis that he was called, but not chosen? Where does grace end?

Conclusion

As well as the Oxford Dictionary’s definition of grace, I also looked at a wide spectrum of sources.

Generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved. (The New Dictionary of Theology)

Grace that takes the form of divine favour, love, clemency, and a share in the divine life of God. (Denis Diderot (1757), Encyclopaedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts)

the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it. (Our Wesleyan Theological Heritage)

the condescension or benevolence shown by God toward the human race. (John Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary)

If Pelagius had won those debates, the definitions or doctrine on grace as we know it today would have been different. Who knows how that trajectory would have shaped the philosophy and praxis of the church?

Perhaps, Luke’s opener to this parable in verse 15 gives us a better angle to place our lenses today. According to Bloomberg, Jesus was challenging the narrow-mindedness of his audience, notably the Pharisees, as he had done in verses 1–14 of the same chapter (p. 235). It also echoes a resounding theme in the Bible against complacency with issues upon us today, issues like civil partnership, poverty, racism, discrimination, inequality, injustice, treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. In the words of Amos,

Alas for those who are at ease in Zion, and for those who feel secure on Mount Samaria, the notables of the first of the nations, to whom the house of Israel resorts! Cross over to Calneh, and see; from there go to Hamath the great; then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are you better than these kingdoms? Or is your territory greater than their territory, O you that put far away the evil day, and bring near a reign of violence? (Amos 6:1–3).

So like the man who sat at the table with Jesus in the house of that prominent Pharisee, when next we come together in Christian fellowship, we need remember: those who refused our invitation, those who were not invited to join in, and most importantly, those who lack the freedom that we most times take for granted in the West.

Bibliography

Blomberg, C. L. (2012) Interpreting the Parables. Leicester: Apollos

Denis Diderot (1757), Encyclopaedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts

Ferguson, S and Al, and (eds) (1988), New Dictionary of Theology. United States: Inter-Varsity Press, US

Hardon, J. A. (ed.) (1981), Modern Catholic Dictionary. London: Robert Hale

Henry, M. (2006) Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in 6 Volumes with CD, USA: Hendrickson Publishers

McGrath, A. E. (1999) Reformation Thought: An Introduction. 3rd edn. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers

Our Wesleyan Theological Heritage, http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/our-wesleyan-heritage, last accessed: 22/4/15