Reflections on the Proposed Protocol for Separation

Quite a stir has rippled out across the country because of reporting by Christianity Today, CNN, New York Times, among others, with headlines like this: “Methodists Agree to Split Denomination” (Christianity Today headline), “United Methodist Church Proposes Historic Split over Gay Marriage and LGBT Clergy” (CNN headline), and “United Methodist Church Announces Plan to Split […]

Five Offices of Christ: A Reflection for the Year 2020

Regular readers of this blog will know that my wife and I dedicate a certain portion of each day reading and singing the Psalms. We work through other biblical books (for example, we just completed the book of Revelation), but we always focus on one psalm per day. The psalms are valuable as a daily […]

How the Trust Clause Got Turned on Its Head

May of 2020 will be a momentous General Conference for those in the United Methodist denomination. This could likely be the Conference where the denomination formally divides into two or three separate expressions of Methodism. Central to the negotiations of a possible split are issues centered in the Trust Clause of the United Methodist Church. […]

Chick-fil-A and the Salvation Army

One of the headlines across the nation on November 18th was as follows: “Chick-fil-A will no longer donate to anti-LGBTQ organizations.” Another news outlet characterized the same story as “Chick-fil-A no longer donates to controversial charities after LGBTQ protests.” The story refers to changes Chick-fil-A is making to its charitable foundation to satisfy pressures from […]

The Church as a Means of Grace

The Church is itself a means of grace to the world. The church extends this means of grace in two ways. One way is through extending the radical, universal, uncompromising call of the love of God for every person on the planet. The other way is through the call to transformation through the power of […]

Looking Beyond Our Pain to the Future of the Wesleyan Movement

I just returned from New Room Conference which brought together around 2,600 pastors, leaders, and lay people in the church for renewal and crying out to God for awakening. It is truly amazing to see so many people who speak theologically with a “Wesleyan accent” from across so many different Christians strands all united before […]

My 2019 Opening Convocation Address (Part IV): Deeper Ecumenism in Our Public Witness

In the first of this four-part blog series, I identified one of the central problems we face today in our society; namely, the inability to frame a proper moral argument. Our challenge is far beyond simply knowing what is right or wrong. We have slipped even further to the point where we are not even […]

My 2019 Opening Convocation Address (Part III): The Mind as a Neglected Sphere of Spiritual Formation

This is the third part in this series taken from my Fall convocation message to the Asbury Theological Seminary community. In the first part I explored the problem we face with the loss of the ability to frame a moral argument in our culture, and sadly, within the church itself. I then went on to […]

My 2019 Opening Convocation Address (Part II): Embodying the Means of Grace

I began this series by posing the central problem we face in our cultural moment, namely, the inability to frame a moral argument. Today, in Part II, I propose the first of three solutions to this problem. John Wesley understood that there are times when you cannot “make an argument” to the surrounding culture. But, […]

My 2019 Opening Convocation Address (Part I): A Way Forward for Our Time

Every year, as President of Asbury Theological Seminary, I have the privilege of delivering a major address to the entire community which formally marks the kick off of a new academic year. I am going to be sharing this message (with some adaptations) with you in four parts. The first part is a diagnosis of […]