At the Center of What?

By Walter Fenton- In his recent respectful, but critical appraisal of so-called United Methodist “centrism,” Dr. Kevin Watson, Assistant Professor of Wesleyan and Methodist Studies at Candler School of Theology, says he has “no idea to what extent [the Rev. Adam] Hamilton desires to be seen as a leader of… the United Methodist Centrist Movement.” […]

Happiness vs. Holiness

By Rob Renfroe- If you were to summarize one rather stark section of the Apostle Paul’s message to the Corinthians, it might be: God loves you and has a dangerous plan for your life. He reminds the congregation that he has “been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death […]

Overcoming Hatred and Fear

By Bishop Sharma Lewis- Brothers & Sisters: As we continue to process the disturbing events from Charlottesville, Virginia, we need to turn to God for understanding, guidance, and strength in our next steps. As Christians and United Methodists, we are to act. Hatred of any kind, including racism, is intolerable. As faithful people, we are […]

Heroes and Heroines of Our Faith

By Jeff Walton- More than 250 million Christians are suffering persecution of some kind around the world today, according to Baroness Caroline Cox, founder of the U.K.-based Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART). Many live under the oppression of Communism, fundamentalist Hinduism, political Buddhism, and, above all, militant Islam. Cox, a member of the British House […]

Is There a Way Forward?

By Walter Fenton- For nearly nine months now the Commission on a Way Forward has been meeting behind closed doors in an attempt to fulfill two almost impossible tasks: producing a plan to definitively resolve the deep disagreement over The United Methodist Church’s sexual ethics and maintain some semblance of church unity. The idea of […]

Poet of the Valiant Heart

By Faith McDonnell- In 1989, People magazine reviewed Ratushinskaya’s prison memoir, Grey is the Color of Hope. The review recounted how the then-exiled-in-the-West poet had been arrested in 1983 at the age of 29 and sentenced to seven years’ hard labor for “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda, possession of human rights documents, possession of articles about the Polish labor movement, and possession […]

The Risk of Renewal

By Riley B. Case- When Charles Keysor wrote his article “Methodism’s Silent Minority” in the Christian Advocate in 1966, an article that basically launched the Good News movement, he spoke about numbers of Methodists who affirmed historic Methodism and were faithful and active in their local churches but were basically unrecognized and unappreciated in the […]

Doctrine and the People called Methodist

By James V. Heidinger II- Debate has been renewed in recent months about the role of doctrine for United Methodists. What is the place, for example, of orthodox Christian doctrine in our church? For years we have heard that we are not a creedal church; that Methodists have been more interested in “faith working through […]

We Need Each Other

By Courtney Lott- “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh” (Mark 10:6-8). What a beautiful and frightening […]

Sorting Through Scripture

By David F. Watson- Rob Bell is one of the most innovative and effective communicators in Western Christianity. His work on the NOOMA videos, the rapid growth of Mars Hill Church, and the popularity of his books all demonstrate his ability to convey complex ideas in accessible ways. Bell writes in a conversational style that […]