Family Relationships In Family Crucible

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When someone thinks of the life and family of John Wesley, how many of them think of the family dynamics? How many think about the relationship dynamics of his family? How many would think to look through the imperfections of the family to truly understand the founder of Methodism? Dr. Headly does a brilliant job of deliberating the life of John Wesley and his family environment to help us discover a broader view of the man they called an enthusiast. Dr. Headly comes to the table not as a historical researcher, but as a very well educated individual. In his book Family Crucible, Headly comes to the table with a perspective through the eyes of a Theologian, with a background in Psychology, and family therapy (Headly, XI). Headly approaches this book much like a clinician might look at the lives of one of their patients or someone they are studying. Headly does a marvelous job at displaying the history prior to John Wesley, Wesley’s early understandings of the family, relational patterns in Wesley’s family, marriage patters and their influence on Wesley, and finally lessons of life and ministry for John. Throughout his book, “Family Crucible”, Headly’s main goal is to help others understand John Wesley through his immediate, and extended family context (Headly, 20). For it is through the context of family, Headly believes John Wesley was shaped. Headly opens his book with a very sad, story about a woman, and her relationship with her family, specifically with her father.

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