Uniting Methodists Document and the Local Option (Part III): Experience, Scripture, and the Quadrilateral

This is the third installment in a series of reflections on the current crisis within the United Methodist church over human sexuality. According to the November 9th press release from the Council of Bishops, the “local option” is one of the three options currently under consideration to help resolve this debate. The local option would […]

Uniting Methodists Document and the Local Option (Part II): The Authority and Interpretation of Scripture

This is the second installment in a series of reflections on the “local option” to resolve the current crisis in the United Methodist Church. The “local option” would remove all language related to human sexuality from the Discipline and allow local churches to make decisions regarding membership and pastoral leadership and permit annual conferences to […]

Uniting Methodists Document and the Local Option (Part I)

One of the phrases which will become more and more prominent in the next few years within United Methodist churches will be the phrase “local option.” This is a proposed solution to the current crisis in the United Methodist church over same sex marriage. While there are several local option proposals, they all share the […]

The Reformation 500 Years Later: Three Lessons for Today

Today, October 31st, is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. There are countless celebrations taking place around the world. I thought I would dedicate space on my blog today to reflect on a few key lessons from the Reformation which might help us in our own struggles today. First, complaining about abuses in the […]

On the Need to Be Prophetically Irenic

The call to be irenic is an important and valuable one in today’s climate of divisive and destructive engages between people in an increasingly divided society. Saint Peter, for example, calls us to “always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, […]

New Room Conference: Four Defining Themes

New Room Conference refers to a “new space” where brothers and sisters from across the various expressions of our movement (Wesleyans, Free Methodists, United Methodists, Nazarene, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Salvation Army, Pentecostal, etc.) gather for ministry, equipping, and fellowship. Our fourth gathering was held in Franklin, Tennessee and brought together over 1,500 pastors and […]

We Are Catholic Protestants

As we approach the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation on October 31st, it is important that we remember our heritage in reclaiming historic faith from a church which had gone astray. The Reformers were, of course, denounced for “dividing the church.” Luther was famously referred to by Pope Leo X as “a wild boar […]

Charlottesville Has Revealed Our Moral Crisis

“I think our country sinks beneath the yoke. It weeps, it bleeds and each new day a gash is added to her wounds” (Macbeth, Act 4, scene 3). Those words from Shakespeare come the closest I can think of in capturing something of the anguish and pain of our nation during these heart-wrenching days since […]

The Legacy of the Reformation

In October of 2017 we will celebrate the 500 anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The legacy of the Reformation is profound and has resulted in over a billion new Christians around the world. The Reformation was, among many things, a major new church planting movement which created thousands of new faith communities which encircle the […]

Trinitarian Language and Gender

I have received several emails in recent weeks asking if the traditional Trinitarian language of God as “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” carries with it any tacit understanding that God is, biologically speaking, male. The short answer is “No,” “Nyet,” “Nada,” “Nei.,” There has never been a serious theological discussion in the church about the […]