Everywhere, Always, By All

This semester the Doctor of Ministry group that Dr. Justus Hunter and I lead is reading the Commonitorium, by Vincent of Lerins. Writing in the wake of a very contentious Council of Ephesus (431), Vincent famously insisted that “in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been…

Reading Scripture: Skepticism, Suspicion, and Trust

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 critical stances that emerged during…

As We Pray, So We Believe

Many have noted that what we call “contemporary” worship isn’t so contemporary anymore. It’s a feature of the “attractional” model of church growth, embodied so well in Willow Creek and like-minded megachurches that popped up in the 80’s and 90’s.  The basic philosophy of the attractional model is that if we can create a church…

Create in us a clean heart

Last Friday night my wife and I celebrated twenty-two years of marriage by having dinner in downtown Dayton. More specifically, we ate in Dayton’s Oregon District. This quirky, semi-bohemian part of town is home to some of our best restaurants and more than a few popular bars. It’s a place where the people of Dayton…

“Who Do You Love?” A Meditation on the Trinity

This is a sermon I delivered at Sugar Land First UMC on Trinity Sunday, June 16, 2019. Many thanks to Rev. Martin Nicholas for the invitation. A long time ago I taught in a community college. One of the courses I taught was Major World Religions. One day I was giving a final exam–back in days…