Category Archives: United Methodism

Wrath, Judgment, and Love

John Wesley said that the only requirement to join the Methodist Societies – the movement was not yet a “church” at that time – was a “desire to flee from the wrath to come, and to be saved from their … Continue reading

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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

Being Human

Sunday’s message was on theological anthropology – the Christian view of what it means to be human. I made two broad claims: Humans are made in God’s image. Being made in the image of God is better understood functionally or … Continue reading

Posted in Dallas Willard, Discipleship, John Wesley, Salvation, Sin, United Methodism | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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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Annual Conference in the Age of Coronavirus

We had our meeting of the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church this past weekend. The clergy session back in June, Friday’s business session, and Saturday’s ordination service were all done online, mostly via Zoom. Normally Conference runs … 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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