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, […]

The Case for Theological Education in the Post-United Methodist Church Rebirth

A well-trained clergy has always been at the heart of the Wesleyan vision of pastoral leadership. Wesley was deeply committed to theological training. He produced a steady array of serious training materials and insisted that they be mastered before someone could become a certified Methodist preacher. His Notes on the New Testament and his canonical […]

Christian Identity and Ethical Boundaries: The Case of Redeemer University

Are you a Christian just because you say you are? This question was actually at the heart of both the sixteenth-century Reformation as well as the later eighteenth-century Wesleyan revivals. We sometimes have the mistaken notion that the revivals and awakenings of these amazing chapters in church history were primarily directed to all of the […]

Holy Desperation for Justice

In Christianity the phrase “holy desperation” refers to that tipping point in the process of sanctification when you become so discontent with your spiritual state, and so utterly desperate for change that you finally enter into a true surrender to God. These are rare moments and they become symbolic markers for transformation and change. I […]

Was Andrew Cuomo Right When He Said, “God Did Not Do That. We Did That”?

Our hearts go out to the wonderful people of New York City who have been particularly challenged by the COVID-19 crisis. We were all delighted when we heard that New York was finally starting to “flatten the curve.” But, what startled me was Governor Andrew Cuomo’s statement about it. At his daily briefing, he was […]

COVID-19 and Easter Sunday (Part IV)

Read Part I here. Read Part II here. Read Part III here. — Despite the fact that it is Holy Week, all the news still seems to be about the coronavirus called COVID-19. Everything else has faded from view. No NCAA tournament, the US election all but forgotten, fights over healthcare, climate change, or the […]