Two Kinds of Pluralism

A funny thing happened on the way to the dictionary.  Words which once meant one thing now denote something quite different.  One example of this is the word “pluralism” as used in the phrase “religious pluralism.”  I have noticed that there are two ways the word is now used and we need to be careful [...]

Responsible Grace

Randy Maddox is the Professor of Wesleyan Studies at Duke University and is widely regarded as one of the leading Wesleyan scholars in the world. His book, Responsible Grace was one of his books which helped to establish him as a leading thinker. Maddox’s contribution to my own thinking has been helping me to understand [...]

Life After Death, Take Two: Moving Beyond Renewal

I am going to re-write my last blog and try to approach this theme in a fresh way. It is clear that mainline Protestantism is in serious trouble. David Olson’s book, The American Church in Crisis is just the latest of a series of books which have documented this decline. All of the mainline churches [...]

The Millennials are Coming!

Most of us would agree that whoever invented the “airbag” for cars (whether he or she was a Christian or not) was doing so as an expression of a Christian world-view.  It is one thing to have faith and to trust God for our lives as we drive, it is another to trust God and [...]

The Sunset of Christian Kitsch

Like many Christians around the world, I take time at the turn of the New Year to reflect on the past and hope for the future. Some of my hopes are bound up with my own life as I reflect on the many practical steps I want to take to be more like Christ in [...]

Gospel Clarity vs. “The Fog”

By God’s grace I have enjoyed decades of involvement with the church on four different continents.  It has been a means of grace for me, because I gradually gained a deeper understanding of why some church movements are in decline and are dying, and others are vibrant and full of life.   I have had first-hand [...]

Advent: Remembering our Nakedness

The last verse before the biblical account of the Fall is the rather candid statement, “both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame” (Gen. 2:25). I always thought that was simply stating the obvious; namely, that they did not have on any clothing. It was from John Paul II’s Theology of [...]

The “Moon Shot” Calling of the Wesleyan Movement in the 21st Century

I am indebted to J. D. Walt, Jr., our Sower-in-Chief at Asbury who both envisioned and heads up our Seedbed operation who reminded me recently of the need for a “moon shot” initiative. What he was alluding to was that electrifying moment on October 25, 1961 when J. F. Kennedy stood before Congress and said, [...]

Alice Was Right. Thoughts On Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy and Homodoxy

“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory’ Alice, of Alice in Wonderland, once asked Humpty Dumpty. He smiled contemptuously and said, “Of course you don’t – till I tell you. I mean “there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!” “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’ Alice objected. “When I use a word,” [...]

Moving from Tepid Devotional Reading to a People of One Book.

Brothers and sisters, we have a big problem. A rather large portion of the western so-called “mainline” churches do not seem to be offering any substantial defense against the relativistic forces of post modernity. How quickly the “mainline” churches have become “sideline churches” while other, more robust Christian movements have emerged. I rejoice in the [...]