About Stephen Rankin

Professionally I am an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. I currently serve as University Chaplain at Southern Methodist University. Personally I am married to Joni and we have four grown children and four grandchildren. You can find my personal thoughts on this site, as well as on twitter at @stephenwrankin.

Real Freedom for Our Young

In the 4th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus announces in his home town that, “today,” the words of the prophet Isaiah have been fulfilled.  “To let the oppressed go free” is part of that proclamation. The first act of setting the oppressed free comes in the next scene, in Capernaum.  After Jesus’ unceremonious […]

Another View of the Pence/Billy Graham Rule

Having read a few opinions about the hoopla over Vice-President Mike Pence’s application of the so-called Billy Graham rule, I’d like to complicate this picture with a story from my own experience. But first: I firmly believe in and actively support women in ordained ministry and in women operating in any walk of life to […]

Reclaiming and Re-re-defining “Evangelical”

The word “evangelical” has become fraught with all kinds of difficulties.  This is a sad state of affairs because it is a very good word.  Nonetheless, a significant number of Christians who by their beliefs fit the term have stopped using it as a self-reference, preferring “classical” or “orthodox” or even “traditional” or maybe the […]

The Health Care Challenge and God’s Action

For some time our Sunday School class has been exploring beliefs about how God’s action intersects with human actions.  Readers of the Bible know that it’s pretty easy to see God’s action there, because on every page God acts.  But moving beyond the Bible to what I might call “mere history” makes this question more […]

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