A Crisis of Identity

By Tom Lambrecht – The current crisis in The United Methodist Church is often portrayed as a crisis of unity. The unity of our denomination is threatened by deep theological disagreement and the refusal of some parts of the church to abide by the decisions of General Conference and live by our legitimately enacted Book […]

Gratitude and the Rock of Ages

By Steve Beard – I can still faintly visualize it. Many years ago, I was watching the first game of the NBA Championship series when it was announced that the rock band U2 would be performing for the half-time show. U2’s concert was in Boston while the basketball game was being played in Los Angeles. […]

Both Conservative and Liberal

By Tom Lambrecht – The United Methodist Church inherited from the Church of England via John Wesley the idea of “the middle way.” For Anglicans, this “middle way” meant the church could be both catholic and reformed (the two major theological poles in the 1500’s and 1600’s when the Anglican Church was formed). For Wesley […]

Who Will Prevail in Minneapolis?

By Rob Renfroe – In six months, the General Conference of The United Methodist Church will meet once again. And once again the business of the conference will be consumed with our differences regarding sexual ethics. Various groups have filed their plans for a way forward.  What these plans reveal is that, after a special […]

The Wesleyan Way to Read Scripture

By David F. Watson – Last semester I taught a class called Wesleyan Biblical Interpretation. We read a considerable number of Wesley’s writings along with a couple of secondary texts. Rereading these primary and secondary sources led me to ponder anew the vast differences between the way in which Wesley read the Bible and the […]

Where the Mainline Got Sidelined

By James V. Heidinger – In an ironic twist of fate or providence, it was a Jewish scholar who helped spark the intellectual and doctrinal renaissance in Dr. Thomas C. Oden (1931-2016), the pre-eminent Wesleyan theologian of our modern era. Will Herberg was a world class sociologist of religion and the author of the acclaimed […]

The Issues that Divide Us

By C. Chappell Temple – After more than forty years of discussion and debate, it’s clear that United Methodists are more divided than ever over how the church should respond to questions relating to homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Far too often, however, the arguments advanced by many on both sides have been unduly caustic and […]

Sour Milk and the Law

By David Kalas – My wife, Karen, grew up in a family full of milk drinkers. Everyone’s glass of milk was filled and refilled each dinner hour. As a result, milk never had a chance to go bad in her house. In my house, on the other hand, we were not such big milk drinkers. […]

Beautifully Mended

By Nako Kellum – My father is a potter. He lives in Japan. After his retirement, he began to study pottery, and since then, he has produced hundreds of cups, bowls, and vases. He has given me a chalice set for Holy Communion, and several mugs, cups, and rice bowls. I felt bad when I […]

Give Me Jesus

By Maggie Ulmer – There’s a song. An old hymn called “Give Me Jesus.” The words are to the point: “You can have all this world. Give me Jesus.” When I think of what I wish most for my children, it’s that they would understand the profound truth of that simple lyric. We’re a clergy […]