Psalm 41 and Holy Week

As we prepare for Holy Week, we should remember that the early church boldly decided to include in even the early eucharistic liturgies the phrase, “on the night in which he was betrayed.” They are, of course, following the apostle Paul who uses the phrase in 1 Corinthians 11:23 as he gives us that earliest […]

Rise Up, O Church of God – Have Done with Lesser Things!

Like many United Methodists around the world, the Council of Bishops’ decision to delay, yet again, the General Conference and consideration of the Protocol until August or September 2022 was met with great disappointment. COVID-19 is, of course, the cause of the multiple delays, first from May 2020 to August 2021 and now to 2022. […]

The Movement from Shouting to Silencing in Contemporary Culture

In his classic work After Virtue, the Scottish philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre argued that while there is plenty of evidence of declining morals in Western society, the more profound challenge is the inability to even frame a moral argument.1 We no longer have sufficient shared assumptions as a culture to reach any kind of consensus on […]

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, […]