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…

The Social Justice Issue the UMC Doesn’t Want to Deal With

Imagine that there was a pre-natal test, commonly recommended by medical personnel, to identify children who would experience depression throughout their lives. Upon receiving a positive test, parents were counseled: You know, you might not want to go through with this pregnancy.  You’re headed down a very difficult path. You may very well see your…

Preaching Atonement

“In Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us” (2 Cor 5:19). This is one of the most well known passages of Christian scripture. It is also one of the most puzzled-over. Atonement is a particularly knotty theological matter. While the…

Why Churchgoers Must (Really) Change

“From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2…

The Disabled God and other reflections

  The corporeal is for people with disabilities the most real. Unwilling and unable to take our bodies for granted, we attend to the kinesis of knowledge. That is, we become keenly aware that our physical selves determine our perceptions of the social and physical world. These perceptions, like our bodies, are often nonconforming and disclose new categories and models of thinking…