Advent Reflection: Four Areas of Possible Post-Election Agreement

Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. Millions around the country are rejoicing, while millions of others are in deep lament. Christians, like Americans in general, were also divided about the choices we were presented with. I wonder if, despite the polarization of this election, there might be a few points […]

Christianity and the Public Square

OK, the election is over. Take a deep breath. The sky has not fallen. God is still on the throne. What should we expect regarding the future of Christianity in North America? Let’s devote this blog article to thinking about this. I grew up in a society which clearly favored and privileged the Judeo-Christian worldview […]

New Room and the Wesleyan Covenant Association: Streams in the Wilderness

“Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19). As United Methodists we have been in a spiritual desert and wasteland for decades. We have slowly watched our beloved Wesleyan heritage erode and […]

My 2016 Opening Convocation Address: Homiletical Theology

It was in the Spring of 2005 when I received a phone call from my friend and colleague Robert Coleman. Robert, his friends call him Clem, taught evangelism here at Asbury for many years and is back here now as an adjunct teaching once again. But, in 2005 we were colleagues together at another institution. […]

Post-Christendom and Global Christianity (Part I)

The two most important developments in the church of our time is the movement of western civilization into post-Christendom and the equally dramatic emergence of global Christianity. This article will focus on the emergence of post-Christendom, and a follow-up piece will develop some of the implications of the rise of world Christianity. By Christendom, I […]

My Charge to the Asbury Theological Seminary Graduating Class of 2016

Brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ, my charge to the 2016 graduating class centers around two Greek words which appear together as a sacred pair—a technical coupling—in the writings of St. Paul. These two words are parelabon and paredoka. They are translated “received” and “passed on” and go back even further to the […]

An Open Pastoral Letter to United Methodists, Part II: A Word of Clarification

Dear United Methodists, Immediately following General Conference I wrote an Open Letter to United Methodists expressing my long term hope for a renewal in the global Wesleyan movement which was rooted not in ecclesiastical deliberations, but in grass roots faithfulness of the “people called Methodists.” I truly wish that I could have shared that message […]

An Open Pastoral Letter to United Methodists

Dear United Methodists, Another General Conference has ended and you are feeling betrayed, angry and sad about the brokenness of the church. Is there a way forward? Have the Bishops provided it with the document by the same name? Are we hopeful about the future? First, as much as we might want to be angry […]

United Methodist General Conference and the Unity of the Church

General Conference was originally designed to celebrate our unity as a connectional church. Today, it has become the public testimony before the world of how utterly divided we are as a movement. But, let us remember that when Jesus said, “I will build my church” He was not referring to the institutional survival of a […]

The Deeper Issue Facing the United Methodist General Conference

Every four years the United Methodist Church comes together for General Conference, a time for “holy conferencing” and for discerning the future of God’s mission through the “people called Methodist.” Social media is ablaze with defiance as protestors are determined to shut down the conference over the issue of homosexuality. It seems like every four […]