As I journey through the candidacy process, I've discovered a few holes in my game that need to be shored up. I'm going to be asked some tough questions in tough meetings, and it would be nice to have at least a few answers ready. I realize I've been at this ministry thing for a while, but I find myself feeling deficient in knowledge of things Methodist. I know that things will be covered in depth as I get back into the seminary groove, but I've built up a small reading list in the meantime.
I've begun with Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials, by Dr. Ted Campbell, Professor of Church History at Perkins. I didn't have the opportunity to take any courses with Dr. Campbell the last time through seminary, but I've heard great things and I look forward to possible coursework from him in the future.
At the end of the introductory chapter, I came across this little tidbit I would like to share:
The end, or goal, of the Methodist teaching is not the advancement of Methodism. Our heritage has been used by God for a much greater end: the coming of God's reign, or kingdom. So we should pray fervently for the day when Methodism ceases to exist, for that great day when, our historic mission having been accomplished by divine grace, the Wesleyan heritage finally dissolves into the glory of the "one, holy, catholic and apostolic church." In the words of Charles Wesley, "names and sect and parties fall; thou, O Christ, art all in all!"If only the church, from local to general could function under that kind of freedom.