Embracing the Checkmate in Our Fifty-Year Struggle in the United Methodist Church

Now that 2021 has finally arrived, we can begin to turn our attention, once again, to the momentous season which will likely unfold in 2021 in the United Methodist Church. This year will almost certainly be the year that the United Methodist denomination agrees to some kind of separation agreement, known as the Protocol. Millions […]

The Glide Memorial Story

The Glide Memorial Methodist Church in San Francisco was the largest Methodist Church in the California-Nevada Conference. From 1964 to 2000, the church was led by Rev. Cecil Williams, who removed the cross from the sanctuary, stopped all celebrations of the Eucharist, and baptized people not in the name of the triune God, but in […]

Epiphany Is Here!

Epiphany is January 6th. It is one of the few fixed days in the life of the church (along with Christmas). It always falls on January 6th. Epiphany doesn’t receive quite the attention as other seasons do, like Lent or Advent, so perhaps this is a good time to pause and reflect on the meaning […]

The Incarnation and the Three Advents of Jesus Christ

One of my favorite Christmas hymns is by Charles Wesley titled, “Glory Be to God on High.” It is filled with the rich imagery and phrases that are characteristic of Wesley’s great hymnology: “He sojourns in this veil of tears,” “God the invisible appears,” and “Beings source begins to be.” Yes, this is the season […]

For the Body: A New Resource by Timothy Tennent

Between September 5, 1979, and November 28, 1984, late Pope John Paul II preached a five-­year series of weekly homilies on the theology of the body, which constitutes the landmark exposition of this theme. As wonderful as this resource is, it is theologically nuanced and not easily accessible to ordinary Christians who are facing these […]

Is Confidence in Sola Fide Dropping or Is the Wesleyan Tide Rising?

I recently read an article with the following question as a title: “Are We Justified by Faith Alone?” The question in the title was asked in this precise form because it was intended to resonate with one of the great themes of the sixteenth-century Reformation: sola fide (faith alone!). The meaning is that we are […]

My 2020 Opening Convocation Address (Part IV): From Religious Service Provider to Agent of Awakening

Read Part I of my convocation address here. Read Part II of my convocation address here. Read Part III of my convocation address here. — Paradigm Shift #3: Moving from Being a Religious Service Provider to an Agent of Awakening The third storm, the COVID-19 pandemic, has disrupted one of the key features of Christian, […]

My 2020 Opening Convocation Address (Part III): From Cultural Echo Chamber to the Distinct Voice of the Church

Read Part I of my convocation address here. — We come now to the second storm, that of racial unrest in our country. The tragic death of forty-six-year-old George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis on May 25th with his last words, “I can’t breathe” on his lips has highlighted a long-standing wound in our […]

My 2020 Opening Convocation Address (Part II): From Privatized Church to Public, Missional Agent of Healing

Read Part I of my convocation address here. — I hear in this hymn fragment a call to an awakening involving three paradigm shifts for the people of God, all related to the three disruptions we are facing. Paradigm Shift #1: Moving from an Insulated, Privatized Church to the Church as a Public, Missional Agent […]

My 2020 Opening Convocation Address (Part I): Wake Up, O Sleeper!

The year 2020 will go down as one of the most momentous years in a generation. Some years are shy and unassuming and easily blend into the others. But, there are some years that stand out as defining markers, challenging our assumptions, calling us to lean in to what God might be saying to us, […]