Seeking Higher Ground: Conversations in the UMC

By Carolyn Moore As conversations around the future of the UM Church heat up in this annual conference season, I hold a prayer that we will elevate our discourse above the level of emotion. Here are a few things I’d like to hear in discussions around what comes next: Let’s talk Christologically. Does the conversation about […]

Have the Talk

Preparing for the Days Ahead The United Methodist Church remains in a time of uncertainty, and yet the picture is coming into sharper focus. The Commission on a Way Forward has finished its work. The majority of the Council of Bishops (COB) has determined it will recommend a previously failed “local option” plan to the […]

Being Open to the Spirit of God: Wesley’s Theology of the Means of Grace

By J. Warren Smith Although John Wesley was highly critical of Augustine for his denial that perfection was possible in this life and for his doctrines of the irresistibility of grace and predestination, nevertheless, he and Augustine shared two related theological commitments: the corruption of human nature due to sin and the absolute dependence on […]

Just Say No to Local Church Options for the UMC

By Ben Witherington Annual conferences are just around the corner all over the U.S. and there will be petitions submitted to annual conferences suggesting something along the lines of a local church option when it comes to defining what counts as Christian marriage, what counts as proper sexual morality, what counts as moral fitness for ordination. […]

Sanctification: Life Shaped by Grace

By Jack Jackson One of the great benefits of living in California is the easy access to the great outdoors and especially some of the most beautiful National Parks in the United States. My family particularly enjoys Yosemite and Joshua Tree National Parks. As we’ve spent time in each of them the past eight years […]

A Message from the WCA

Meeting in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, the Wesleyan Covenant Association Council approved the following statement: The Wesleyan Covenant Association Council is very grateful a significant minority of The United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops insisted on the inclusion of a traditionalist plan for the called General Conference’s consideration in St. Louis, Missouri, February […]

Justification: A Free Gift of Grace

By Christine Johnson “To anyone who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.”  Romans 4:5 In a world full of increasingly clever scams, we have learned to be wary of any opportunity that appears too good to be true. Most of us would rather error on […]

Convincing Grace: the Grace of Repentance

By Andrew C. Thompson When Jesus Christ came preaching into the Galilee, he made clear that there was a precondition to our entrance into his kingdom. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand,” Jesus said, “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15, ESV). He announced the urgency and nearness […]

The 19 Questions

Wesley’s historic questions have been asked of those considered for full connection (ordination) since as early as 1784, the first Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, presided over by Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke. The questions also have a broader Wesleyan context. Many of these questions were originally used with the people Wesley called “Helpers,” […]