Category Archives: United Methodism

United Methodist Convictions

In their book Convictions: Defusing Religious Relativism, James Wm. McClendon, Jr., and James M. Smith work from this definition: “A conviction… means a persistent belief such that if X (a person or community) has a conviction it will not easily be … 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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I Want a Principle Within

The Charles Wesley hymn, I Want a Principle Within, isn’t sung as often as it used to be. It’s a powerful tool in our quest for holiness, however, so it’s well worth recovering. At first glance the “principle” we “want … Continue reading

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What About Leadership?

The American church has been buffeted by the cult of leadership for a couple of decades now. The cult took root in evangelical Christianity before it did in my own United Methodist Church. We need leaders – not just any … Continue reading

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Church as Ecology

In his Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity, Alasdair MacIntyre draws from W. Edwards Deming and Wendell Berry: “Individuals who farm need to regard themselves as contributing to a larger project, that of making their particular farm productive while sustaining its … Continue reading

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Preparing for Communion

This Sunday we celebrate communion. How can we prepare for it? Some of you will say, “It’s obvious! The way to prepare for communion is, get some bread and juice.” Well, yes, we do use bread and grape juice. The … 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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