January-February 2010

Church developers learn from early evangelists

Elliot Wright Can Methodists learn anything about effective Christian evangelism from their denomination’s founding period 250 years ago? “Yes,” says a Duke University professor, who told 600 church developers how the Wesley brothers, John and Charles, gave rise to a movement that swept the young United States of America. “Early Methodism was evangelistic,” the Rev. […]

Finding a friend in Mary

By Phillip C. Thrailkill Hope and Michael were lead characters in the once-popular TV show Thirtysomething. She was a Christian and he a Jew. As I was reading Philip Yancey’s The Jesus I Never Knew, I was reminded of an argument between the two characters during a December episode. Hope is on the attack, “Why […]

Straight Talk: Good News statement on request for a special session of General Conference

For some years now Good News has been working for renewal and reform in the United Methodist Church. We have maintained, and continue to maintain, that the greatest challenge facing the church has more to do with our fidelity to the truth of core doctrinal teachings than to organizational or structural matters. We have implored […]

Church and Society decries pro-life amendment

By Joseph Slife A representative of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) appeared at a news conference on November 16 to denounce an amendment—included in the House-passed health care bill—that would prohibit taxpayer-funded abortion. Linda Bales Todd, director of the Louise and Hugh Moore Population Project at GBCS, was among several […]

Our cause, our calling, and our commitment

By Liza Kittle Preparing for a new year of ministry at Renew, I have been pondering “big picture” things. One of the challenges of leading Renew is striking a balance between engaging the spiritual battles of the United Methodist Church and promoting the formation of alternative women’s ministries. Both are important. Although God has clearly […]

Earning the right to be heard

By Duffy Robbins “Let him (or her) who has a mouth to speak listen to what the audience says…” One of those youth ministry proverbs that we hear over and over again is this: “You’ve got to earn the right to be heard.” Kids will not donate their attention. Wise youth workers will always shape […]

What is the gospel?

By Frank Decker A defining moment in a Japanese restaurant near my office took place when a number of us from various ministries around the world were chatting about missions over lunch. The conversation was candid and stimulating. After one African leader had shared about ambitious plans to reach Muslims in the northern half of […]

A Love Supreme and all that jazz

By Steve Beard “I’m never sure of what I’m looking for,” John Coltrane once told noted jazz critic Nat Hentoff, “except that it’ll be something that hasn’t ever been played before; I know I’ll have that feeling when I get it.” Within jazz, Coltrane was Ponce de Leon with a saxophone tirelessly searching for a […]

Faith on the blind side

By Terry Mattingly In the beginning there was “Big Tony” Henderson, whose dying mother urged him to pull his son Steven from a public school on the bad side of Memphis and take him somewhere to get a Christian education. But there was one big complication. Steven didn’t want to abandon his buddy Michael Oher […]


Letters Our unique heritage I am writing in regard to Frank Decker’s column, “Examining Our Glasses” (November/December 2009). I suspect it is of little consequence to some, but we are not Protestant in the common use of the term. Our heritage is through John Wesley to the Anglican tradition, not to Martin Luther, Zwingli, et […]