General Conference and the Future of the United Methodist Church

In a matter of days delegates from all over the USA and the world will be arriving for the General Conference of the United Methodist Church. This gathering, occurring only once every four years, is intended to be a time of “holy conferencing” where the church focuses on theological, organizational, procedural and strategic matters so that [...]

Jesus Christ is Risen! An Examination of Creeds and Confessions

As we celebrate Easter we are all reminded afresh about what lies at the heart of Christian faith; namely, that Jesus Christ bodily rose from the dead, triumphing over evil, sin and death.  St. Paul declares that if Jesus Christ is not risen we are still in our sins and our preaching is useless (I [...]

Aslan is on the Move

There is a well-known line in the Chronicles of Narnia where Aslan responds to Lucy after she gets into a “what if” mood.  I’m sure we can all relate.   “What if this had happened, or that had not happened, how would the situation be changed.”   Aslan wisely responds by saying, “Aslan does not tell what [...]

March Madness

This is the month when NCAA basketball tends to push other things to the margins. If you are a basketball fan, it doesn’t get any better than this. When the Cinderellas of the basketball universe knock off the top seeds, it is the annual cultural sign of hope. Norfolk State defeated mighty Missouri. Then, within [...]

I Love the Church! – Lessons From the Whole Church

I love the church, I truly do.  I am convinced that the church is at the center of God’s cosmic plan.  Precisely because I love the church so much, I often blog about the church and point out areas where I think deeper reflection could make the church stronger and more reflective of God’s plan. [...]

A Proposal to Unplug Worship

When we think about the legacy of the 16th century Reformation our minds quickly go to such sublime themes as justification by faith and the priesthood of all believers.  However, if you actually lived in the 16th century, the biggest “felt” impact of the Reformation was in the area of worship.  Prior to the Reformation, [...]

The Faith of Jeremy Lin

The rise of Jeremy Lin in the NBA universe has been nothing short of meteoric.  One week he is sitting on the sofa watching the Knicks on TV. The next he’s occupying the last seat on the bench watching from the courtside in a Knicks uniform. Then, he’s given an opportunity to play and over [...]

Pragmatism vs. Principle: Contraception and the 1st Amendment

This week the White House offered a compromise to the Roman Catholic church regarding the earlier health care bill’s requirement that all hospitals (including Roman Catholic ones)  be required to provide access to artificial contraceptives to their patients.  The White House compromise was, in effect, to mandate that the insurance companies pay for the contraceptives [...]

Should Protestants be Concerned about Roman Catholic convictions regarding Birth Control?

The new health care initiative, popularly known as “Obama-care,” has been one of the most controversial entitlements in recent memory.  A few months ago the debate was about whether it was constitutional for any government to force someone to “buy” anything, whether it be a lawn mower or a health care policy.  In the last [...]

The West as the “fastest growing mission field in the world”

Some readers of this blog may not know that I had a life as a missiologist before I became the President of Asbury Theological Seminary.  I had the privilege of teaching in the area of missiology for nearly two decades.  I have a long appreciation for the significance of the emphasis on unreached people groups [...]