popeToday, February 19, 2014 is the 192nd birthday of William Burton Pope (1822-1903). Dr. Pope was an English Methodist pastor and theologian and writer. He studied at Richmond College and became a Methodist minister in 1841. In 1867, he was appointed professor of systematic theology at Didsbury College in Manchester. Then in 1877, he became president of the British Wesleyan Conference.

His three volume systematic theology, called the “Compendium of Christian Theology” is considered a classic in the Wesleyan tradition. And it seems to be sadly neglected today. It was published in 1877–1879, and became the most important and influential Methodist systematic theology of its time. In these volumes, Pope addressed new developments in the church world including liberalism in theology, rationalism and gave a systematic approach to doctrine.

If you aren’t familiar with the systematic theology of Pope, you can access the electronic version at the Wesley Center Online [link].

Happy birthday, W. B. Pope

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