Editorial: The Titanic Sails at Midnight

At its most recent meeting, the Connectional Table (CT) voted 26 to 10 to recommend radically changing global United Methodism’s position on marriage and sexuality (see “Dramatic Changes Proposed,” page 30). The Connectional Table — a leadership council for the UM Church — will be sending its recommendation to the 2016 General Conference. Termed a […]

Reaching the Next Generation

By Dan Kreiss – The latest Pew research confirms the continued decline in church attendance in the U.S. It is easy to over-react and try to halt the losses with slick programs and strategic use of already limited funds. It seems that young people are choosing to leave our churches, resulting in our graying congregations. […]

Denzel Washington: ‘Put God First’

“Put. God. First,” Denzel Washington said with punctuated emphasis. “Put God first in everything you do. Everything that you think you see in me, everything that I’ve accomplished, everything you think that I have — and I have a few things — everything that I have is by the grace of God. Understand that. It’s […]

Thomas Oden’s Change of Mind

By Thomas C. Oden – The premier teacher in the Drew Graduate School was without doubt social philosopher Will Herberg (1901-1977), the brilliant, diminutive, forceful, Russian Jew who had come to teach at Drew in 1955 (see photograph, page 17). I had never met a mind so brilliant, a wit so quick and an analyst […]

Life and Death in Iraq

By Jeff Gardner – Last August, Joseph received the news he had feared for weeks: The armies of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, had invaded the region of Sinjar in western Iraq, the place where he and tens of thousands of Yezidis had lived for centuries. When Joseph got word […]

Free Speech Under Fire

As a budding young journalist and editor, my thoughts on the First Amendment and free speech — even outrageously offensive speech — were shaped by Nat Hentoff, columnist for the left-wing Village Voice. Hentoff was a prolific contrarian, jazz critic, pro-lifer, and self-proclaimed “member of the Proud and Ancient Order of Stiff-Necked Jewish Atheists.” His […]

Book Review: If You Feel Too Much

In 2006, Jamie Tworkowski wrote a short story that burst almost overnight into the non-profit To Write Love on Her Arms. The story was about helping a friend, Renee, through her struggle with addiction and depression, and the movement that evolved from it was one that saved the lives of countless people struggling with depression, […]

Embarrassed by the Supernatural?

By Roger E. Olson – Thirty years ago Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon published an article in Christian Century that some believe launched the “post liberal” movement in Christian theology. The article’s title was “Embarrassed by God’s Presence” (January 30, 1985). Hauerwas and Willimon accused “mainline” Protestant churches and theologies of conducting business as if […]

Where are United Methodists?

By Walter Fenton – According to the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) United Methodist Church membership in Africa has continued to grow dramatically. At the close of 2008, GCFA reported 3.1 million members for the three central conferences in Africa. By the end of 2013, membership had surged to almost 5.3 million for […]

Praying with Wesley

By Les Longden – John Wesley was known for his emphasis upon the “means of grace.” Wesley defined these as the “ordinary channels” by which God conveys preventing, justifying, and sanctifying grace to human beings. They are outward signs, words, or actions that God has especially appointed for the purpose of wooing us, speaking to […]