Great New Book on Holy Communion

I’ve known Ken Loyer for well over ten years now. We overlapped in graduate school at SMU, and even though we were in different fields, we were able to have some really good conversations about the church, ministry, and Christian theology. Additionally, I’ve had the opportunity to hear him give some fine papers at the…

Yes, we really do need atonement.

I’m going to start this post with an admission: I don’t understand atonement. I don’t believe that any of the various popular theories adequately describes the mystery of the cross. Penal substitution, moral influence, Christus Victor, the ransom theory, and others all point to elements of the atonement that we should take seriously, but none…

If Christ is not raised…

Your faith is futile, and you are still in your sins. This is what Paul teaches us in 1 Corinthians 15:17. Our entire salvation depends upon the resurrection of Christ. As we enter into Holy Week, there will be a number of posts in social media about how the resurrection of Christ is a metaphor…

A Wesleyan Vision of the Gifts of the Spirit

Cascade Books publishes a very helpful “Wesleyan Doctrine Series,” edited by Randy Cooper, Andrew Kinsey, D. Brent Laytham, and D. Stephen Long. As the series editors put it, “The Wesleyan Doctrine Series seeks to reintroduce Christians in the Wesleyan tradition to the beauty of doctrine.”  While works in this series deal with the key components…

What’s your starting point?

Much mainline Christian theology in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has been a response to the problem of evil. For liberal Christian theologians of the mid-twentieth century, two world wars and the Holocaust made any strong notion of divine action unbelievable. Unlike evangelical cessationists, who believe that miracles ceased after the biblical period, liberal theologians,…

I know what you don’t believe about the #Bible…. What DO you believe?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from working with mainline Protestants over the years, it’s that we’re really good at identifying what we don’t believe about scripture. Basically, the claim I have heard over and over again is that we don’t read it the way “fundamentalists” read it. Okay…. Fair enough. That, however, is a very uninteresting statement.…

The Return of the Local Option

A plan has recently emerged to preserve the unity of the UMC. I encourage you to read it carefully and prayerfully. The proposal begins by diagnosing a very serious problem in our denomination: we have reached an impasse on matters related to “self-avowed, practicing homosexual” people. The proposal then offers a potential solution which I…