Joseph Agar Beet

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Joseph Agar Beet (1840-1924) was a methodist theologian. His writings equal that to the pope.

JosePh Agar Beet is one of the forgotten theological giants of Wesleyan Methodism. Methodism has a strange capacity for neglecting its great theologians of yesteryear other than the Wesleys themselves. Such neglect is ecclesiologically irresponsible since it obscures the essential connectedness of our tradition. One occasionally encounters the name of W. B. Pope, often regarded as the last of the great Wesleyan systematic theologians. That honour should rather belong to Beet, who wrote his own Manual of Theology, the first such major general work since that of Pope, as well as a trilogy on trinitarian theology and eschatology, a short book on ecclesiology and sacramental theology, and an invaluable short work on holiness!. Beet's works are lucid and easily accessible to the painstaking reader. His interweaving of trinitarian and christological themes in his little book on holiness is impressive 2

In sacramental theology, he anticipated elements of the later ecumenical consensus on the eucharistic memorial. He was the first Wesleyan theologian to show a markedly more eirenic understanding of the 'catholic' tradition 3 - Yet, today, Beet is largely forgotten, partly due to the regrettable Methodist tradition of theological amnesia, but also, perhaps, to the damage his reputation

The works referred to are Holiness, Symbolic and Real (1880, 2nd edition, 1910) Through Christ to God, (1892, 2nd edition, 1897), The New Life in Christ (1895, 2nd edition, 1895), The Last Things, (1897, 2nd edition, 1905. recommended) The Church and the Sacraments, (1907) and the Manual of Theology, (1906). 2 See Holiness. op cit, esp 56-8, 62-3, 94-5. 3 Rather than just repudiating it as ego had Benjamin Gregory.