Category Archives: Ecclesiology

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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Posted in Alasdair MacIntyre, Discipline, Diversity, Doctrine, Ecclesiology, Theology, Tradition, United Methodism | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Doctrine, Ecclesiology, John Wesley, Theology, Uncategorized, United Methodism | Leave a comment

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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United Methodist Congregationalism

It has been said vigorously and often that United Methodist polity is NOT congregationalist. We have congregations, but our polity is connectional. Congregationalism is the claim that churches are independent, self-defined, self-determined, and self-led before they are connected to other … Continue reading

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Incomprehensible Incompatibilities

The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church uses “incompatibility” language in two areas. Both of these areas are incomprehensible to large swathes of the church membership. In the best known passage, the BOD declares “the practice of homosexuality” … Continue reading

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Worship and Culture

Robert Jenson wrote: “If you can teach previously clueless inquirers to participate in some ‘service of worship’ in a week or two, the service is merely thereby unmasked as dubiously Christian. The baptized face a new culture of the church … 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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Review: Faith for this Moment

If you have access to this review, you know we live in a highly polarized culture. One the one hand, our political polarization has been on display during the past week as a miscreant from Florida sent mail bombs to … Continue reading

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The Gospel in Bryan Stone’s Evangelism after Pluralism

I thought Bryan Stone’s Evangelism after Christendom  was one of the best books on the intersection of evangelism, theology, culture, and church that I’ve read. When I saw he’d recently come out with Evangelism after Pluralism, I thought I ought to read … Continue reading

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