What is doctrine? Traditionally, religious doctrines have been understood as abstract concepts relegated to the realm of the intellect alone. However, this is an incomplete understanding of what doctrines are and how they function. Religious doctrines impart a powerful sense of personal and group identification, and so play an important role in the formation and maintenance of discrete social units. This expanded understanding of the social elements of doctrine is especially important when it comes to the study of historic doctrinal disputes; in the case of the present work, the ‘Free Grace’ controversy in the mid-eighteenth century involving John Wesley and George Whitefield. A well-rounded appreciation of the identity-giving aspects of doctrine aids in understanding why doctrinal disagreement occurs and how resolution might realistically be achieved. The introduction lays out the importance for understanding the social elements of doctrine related to this dispute and provides an outline of the chapters in the present work.