Category Archives: United Methodism

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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Communities with Multiple and Conflicting Conviction Sets

In a previous post I noted McClendon & Smith’s work on the nature of convictions. Convictions are the beliefs that are so important to us that they define our identity. If we give up or change these convictions, we become … Continue reading

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Convictional Communities

Yesterday I mentioned a concept of a “conviction” as developed by James M. Smith and Jim McClendon. They say of convictions: A conviction [is] a persistent belief such that if X (a person or community) has a conviction it will not easily be relinquished … Continue reading

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Getting Past the Feedback Loop

If you are up on what’s been going on in the United Methodist Church over the past generation, you know that we’re stuck in a big feedback loop over issues regarding sexuality. On the one side are those who take … Continue reading

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Are We There Yet?

Maps are idealizations of territory. They are useful to the extent that their methods of idealization help us orient ourselves in space and figure out where to go and how to get there. This is true whether the space be … Continue reading

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