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 […]

Exposing Bad Thinking: An Illustration of Why Method Matters

My most recent post spoke to the importance of good method in having arguments.  I follow up here with a specific example to show why it matters in crucially practical ways.) A recent flurry of blog posts and “sharing” among United Methodists reveals some of the problems we need to avoid if we’re going to […]

A Practical Lesson in Church Order

Wendy Deichmann’s essay on Order in The United Methodist Church, found here (http://www.catalystresources.org/the-ministry-of-order/) prompted a memory of how I learned – up close and personal – about Order. It was the mid-1980s and I was a young pastor.  I don’t remember if I had been ordained elder or still served as a deacon (back in […]

Grown-Up Discipleship: Loving Enemies

John Wesley begins the concluding paragraph of his third discourse on the Sermon on the Mount in this way: “Behold Christianity in its native form; as delivered by its great Author!  This is the genuine religion of Jesus Christ.” When you consider the subject Mr. Wesley has been addressing to get him to this conclusion, […]

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