April 16, 2018
Given the long and acrimonious debate over The United Methodist Church’s sexual ethics, fundamental differences regarding the authority of the Bible and its interpretation, and now over a viable way forward for the denomination, Revs. Rob Renfroe and Walter Fenton ask in a new book: Are We Really Better Together?
Just published, the book is part of Abingdon Press’ Faultlines Series, a collection of works on the major issues confronting the UM Church. Renfroe, Pastor of Discipleship at The Woodlands UM Church and President of Good News, and Fenton, Vice President for Strategic Engagement at the Wesleyan Covenant Association, contend that given its deep divisions over core teachings it is difficult to claim the UM Church is any longer truly united.
In answering the question, are we really better together, Renfroe and Fenton carefully outline the deep fissures in the church over essential issues. They then argue that at this juncture an honorable, fair, and amicable separation would be best. However, the authors recognize such a settlement is unlikely. Therefore, they chart the different aims and goals of the various factions in the church, note the strengths and weakness of the plans each support, and then give some indication of what lies ahead as the denomination prepares for a special, called General Conference February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri.
The book is a valuable resource for pastors, lay leaders, and congregations working to familiarize themselves with the challenging issues confronting the denomination and how global decisions will impact the local church. It would work particularly well as a study resource for church councils, administrative boards, and other small groups.
Are We Really Better Together? An Evangelical Perspective on the Division in the UMC can be purchased clicking HERE