A Way Forward? My Response Part 4: Why this “Third Way” will not Succeed.

This is the fourth part in a seven part blog series reflecting on the document, A Way Forward for a United Methodist Church. The entire argument found in the proposal, A Way Forward, is centered on the hope for a “Third Way.” The proposal sees a church at war, torn between two angry groups; one […]

A Way Forward? My Response Part 3: Legislation in a Post Modern Church

Legislation in a Post-Modern Church This is the third part of a seven part series in response to Adam Hamilton’s proposal, A Way Forward. Let us now focus on the actual legislative aspect of the proposal. The proposal seeks to keep the current Discipline language which states that homosexual behavior is “incompatible with Christian practice.” […]

A Way Forward? My Response. Part 2: What is the Basis for Church Unity?

What is the Basis for Church Unity? This is part 2 of a seven part blog series on a recent proposal put forth by leading United Methodists entitled, A Way Forward. The underlying assumption of the proposal, A Way Forward, seems to imply that the cause of the church’s dis-unity is a fight over homosexuality […]

Is a Way Forward for a “United” Methodist Church Really a Way Forward? Part 1

Introduction Adam Hamilton and a group of leading United Methodist pastors have recently issued a proposal entitled A Way Forward for a United Methodist Church. This is a document which must be taken seriously and responded to in a careful, thoughtful way. My purpose is not to vilify or criticize anyone who has written or […]

My Charge to the Asbury Theological Seminary Graduating Class of 2014

In 1904 William Borden graduated from high school. He was the heir to the great Borden milk fortune. For his graduation gift, his parents sent him on a trip around the world, hoping it would stimulate his global business interests. Instead, for the first time he realized how many had never heard the good news […]

The North American Church in a Post-Christian Society

A blog is, in my view, a kind of open, public conversation. I normally use my blog to stimulate reactions, poke at and flag issues which I believe are important in the life of the church. My blog should not be taken as a kind of formal position paper, or as an academic address. This […]

Orthodoxy vs. Heterodoxy: The Fundamental Divide in the United Methodist Church

Many of us are watching with sadness the emerging, seemingly inevitable, separation (however amicable) between the so-called progressives and the so-called conservatives in the United Methodist Church. By any read of the situation, the UMC of the 21st century stands in grave peril. It would be too simplistic to say that it is in peril […]

Remembering the Source of Aldersgate.

May 24, 1738 is an iconic date in the history of the Methodist movement. It is on that date that Rev. John Wesley went “unwillingly” to a Moravian prayer meeting on Aldersgate Street in London and was powerfully converted. According to Wesley’s journal, it took place about a quarter till nine as he was listening […]

Pope Francis, the Gospel and Theological Clarity

Pope Francis created quite a stir recently when he made the following statement: “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone!” Someone then asked the Pope if this statement applied to the atheist. The Pope responded, “Even the atheists. Everyone! And […]

Three Gifts for the People of God

I would like to highlight three special gifts of God for Christians which I hope we can fully reclaim in our day. These are three gifts which the world does not possess but are graciously given to the people of God. 1. The Gift of Spending Time in God’s Presence. The first gift is the […]