Category Archives: Doctrine

Positive and Negative in United Methodism

Since reading Alasdair MacIntyre’s Whose Justice? Which Rationality? thirty-something years ago, I’ve found great value in the definition of a tradition that he he offers there (p. 12). A tradition is an argument extended through time in which certain fundamental … Continue reading

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Thinking about Doctrine

I have been thinking deeply about doctrine since the 1980s. I wrote my PhD dissertation (revised and published in 2002) on doctrine, specifically with the United Methodist Church in mind. From what I saw then (and now), our official doctrine … Continue reading

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The Absolute Basics of the Wesleyan Way

The United Methodist Church is, after years of inner dissension, at the beginning of formally breaking up. In some places (like my own Texas Annual Conference), the monetary cost of disaffiliation is low. At the other extreme conferences like Baltimore … Continue reading

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Wesley’s Sermon on The Catholic Spirit

I’m working through some of Wesley’s works to help United Methodist churches in the discernment process many are in now. Throughout the document, I provide analysis of what Wesley is saying and questions for consideration. My intention is that these … Continue reading

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Thoughts upon John Wesley’s Thoughts Upon Methodism

At the current season of division and denominational chaos, many churches in the United Methodist Church are entering an official period of discernment. I think getting back to Wesley is a good thing, so I’m going back to some of … Continue reading

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Not So Much Unity

Lovett Weems sees more unity than I do when he writes, What if the General Conference addressed matters of doctrine, mission, and values and gave freedom (such as Central Conferences already have today) in structure and regulations, including clergy standards? … Continue reading

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Our United Methodist Mission

The mission of the United Methodist Church is “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” As a slogan goes, it has deeper rooting in the Christian tradition than our marketing slogan, “Open Hearts, Open Minds, … Continue reading

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Sustaining Institutions over Time & Collective Identity

Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor recently wrote on “Political Identity and the Problem of Democratic Exclusion” for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Opinion page. He argues for the need for greater cohesion and unity among “the people” than is commonly found in … Continue reading

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Two Commissions Coming out of the 2016 General Conference

Anyone who has been following GC news knows about the commission that will be studying issues of “human sexuality.” In the post-GC letter from the Council of Bishops  this is referred to as “a way forward, postponing decisions about sexuality … Continue reading

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The Context of Knowing

When I look at the current landscape of United Methodism in America (and beyond this ecclesial context), one of the divisions I see is about where our concepts find their definition. We Methodist Christians have some important vocabulary, mostly shared … Continue reading

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