James Fowler’s Stages of Faith has been a staple in certain seminary courses since the 1980s. While subsequent scholarship has criticized and refined the theory, it continues to exercise wide impact. Unfortunately it also has been misused, with dreadful results. Fowler’s theory
A couple of weeks ago, I shared my view that a future United Methodism, whatever form(s) it takes, will still need clear doctrine, strong teaching, and effective measures of accountability. Let me try to extend that thought by suggesting that,
The Council of Bishops have gathered in Dallas for the latest round of discussions about United Methodism’s future. We eagerly and anxiously await a word. Many United Methodist are praying for wisdom for our leaders, for good outcomes, for unity.
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We’re familiar with Jesus’ focus on motives as much as behavior in a number of his sayings in the Sermon on the Mount. It’s not enough that we don’t kill our brother or sister. It also matters how we deal
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(I’m posting here my homily for today’s Ash Wednesday service at Southern Methodist University. It is based on two verses from Hebrews 12.) “Endure trials for the sake of discipline (paideia). God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline?” (Heb. 12:7) “Now, discipline always seems painful […]
We are still celebrating Christmas and nearing Epiphany. Thoughts of the incarnation of the Word of God continue. Like Mary, I want to ponder these things in my heart. A scripture (Hebrews 2) from a recent daily reading: “It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children […]
In today’s Seven Minute Seminary video, Steve Rankin shares a vision for Christian discipleship that moves us beyond believing the right doctrines and engaging the right disciplines, and reaches far into our human dispositions.
Almost two weeks have passed since the Uniting Methodists made public their vision for institutional unity in the midst of our fractiousness. As usual, I’m late getting to the party, but now, finally, I have dutifully considered their statements, as I have with the WCA and others and so, some thoughts. The vision statement of Uniting Methodists draws the […]
A thought I had that led to a tweet that led to a Facebook conversation, prompted the suggestion that maybe I needed an article to explain what I was thinking. I shall try to make good on an explanation, with this caveat. I pretend no special expertise in ethics or eschatology. Maybe the fool is […]
In the 4th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus announces in his home town that, “today,” the words of the prophet Isaiah have been fulfilled. “To let the oppressed go free” is part of that proclamation. The first act of setting the oppressed free comes in the next scene, in Capernaum. After Jesus’ unceremonious […]