Discipleship, Catechesis in Community: Why I am a Methodist and an Evangelical

The fifth reason I am a Methodist is because of the strong emphasis on discipleship in our tradition. Eighteenth-century Oxford where Wesley studied was a place filled with spiritual apathy, deism, practical atheism, and low-Christology Arianism. In short, it was a world quite a bit like North America and Europe today. John and his brother [...]

Sanctification, A Reorientation of the Heart: Why I am a Methodist and an Evangelical

Fourth, I am a Methodist because of Wesley’s strong emphasis on the importance of holiness in the life of the believer and the necessity of Christian sanctification. On New Year’s Eve 1738 Wesley went to another society meeting. It was an all-night prayer vigil to bring in the new year 1739. In the early hours [...]

Conversion through faith in Jesus Christ: Why I am a Methodist and an Evangelical

Third, Methodists affirm (along with most evangelical movements) the importance of conversion. On May 24th each year Methodism around the world celebrates one of the most famous conversions since St. Paul on the road to Damascus. On May 24th Wesley “unwillingly” went down to a Christian society meeting and there encountered a reading of Martin [...]

Means of Grace: Why I am a Methodist and an Evangelical

Second, I am a Methodist because I believe in the “means of grace.” John Wesley lived two centuries after the start of the Reformation. This gave him a unique perspective on the strengths and the weaknesses of the Reformation. On the positive side, Wesley was a strong supporter of the major emphases of the magisterial [...]

Prevenient Grace: Why I am a Methodist and an Evangelical

First, I am a Methodist because I believe in prevenient grace. For Wesley, the spiritual life has no hope of a beginning without God’s prior action on behalf of the sinner. Prevenient grace is a collective term for all the ways in which God’s grace comes into our lives prior to conversion. Prevenient grace literally [...]

Why I am an Evangelical and a Methodist

Today marks the beginning of an ongoing series on why I am an evangelical and a Methodist.  I think it is important to be well situated in a particular tradition, but I feel uncomfortable talking about a particular tradition apart from the larger context of what it means to be a Christian.  Indeed, I have [...]

When Efficiency Doesn’t Get the Job Done… Living into the Extravagance of God- by Timothy C. Tennent

The longer I walk with the Lord, the more I become aware of the unfathomable depth of his grace and mercy in our lives. God’s grace really is amazing. His love is scandalizingly extravagant. If you lend your support to a righteous person or to a prophet by bringing him or her even a “cup [...]

Redemptive History Unfolds…and CNN doesn’t note it! – by Timothy C. Tennent

I have always been intrigued by the disconnect between the redemptive and the ordinary perspective on time and events.  If you open the paper today you will find endless discussions about Weinergate (Anthony Weiner, that is), the 62 trillion dollar US deficit, the NFL lockout, musings about whether Sarah Palin will throw her hat in [...]

Where Have all the Wretches Gone? by Timothy C. Tennent

This past Sunday our congregation sang the wonderful hymn by Stuart Townend, How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.  Townend is one of my favorite contemporary British hymn writers.  If you haven’t discovered the hymns of Stuart Townend, Keith Getty, Christopher Idle or Timothy Dudley-Smith, then you have missed some real treasures!  These contemporary hymn [...]

When does a church cease to be Christian? Timothy C. Tennent

I have always appreciated the wonderful way in which historic Christianity is able to simultaneously embrace universality and particularity.  One the one hand, the great truths of the faith are embraced and proclaimed by all major Christian bodies.  The kerygma can be heard and recognized in movements as varied as house-church movements in China, African [...]