Show Them, Teach Them, Walk with Them

(Occupied with other matters, I have not posted on this blog in a long time.  The following is a sermon I preached recently in the chapel at Perkins School of Theology for the Course of Study School.  I occasionally say that we preachers are all “Johnny One Note.”  We typically have a dominant theme in […]

The Problem is Still Theological

A friend of mine pointed me yesterday to a tweet that states flatly, “‘Orthodoxy’ is code for white privilege, homophobia, racism and sexism.”  There you have it.  One group of United Methodists thinks another group of United Methodists (1) stubbornly persists in holding to long-discredited beliefs and (2) uses those long-discredited beliefs to exclude others. […]

A Nearly Forgotten Exemplar of Generous Orthodoxy

Like a number of other words, “orthodoxy” (or “orthodox”) has become a fighting word.  People who call themselves “orthodox” (as I do) get taken to task by others suspicious of our motives.  Apparently, we are hellbent to impose our narrow, outmoded, beliefs on others and either force them to capitulate or force them out of […]

What The United Methodist Church Needs to Persevere and Thrive

Every day closer to General Conference intensifies the feeling of apprehension I have about The United Methodist Church. It prompts the question, “What does the church need to persevere and (even) to thrive?” In the following answer, I’ve tried to boil it down to what I believe are essentials. A Clear Doctrinal Core Every group, […]

United Methodist Polity: A Question

United Methodism’s current agonies uncover a deep problem related to our polity.   Maybe it’s a good time, then, to ask a basic question. What does it mean for us United Methodists to live with a specific polity? To get at that question, let me tell you a story. I recently had a student unhappy […]

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