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[«] Posts From the Blog "Unsettled Christianity"(#6)

March 15 2018, 10AM

The school walk out has of course grabbed headlines, and with those headlines opinions about it. There are however some opinions that are based upon information or impressions that are not factual. I want to take  few brief moments to address the ones th... [Other Posts]

March 14, 3PM

Part 1 is here. I come home from work and, from the driveway, the first thing I hear is Chris Tomlin music. My wife is blasting it loud inside the house. She is playing some Tomlin tunes with a worship band this upcoming Sunday, as many other musicians wi... [Bible Translation] [Books] [Chris Tomlin] [Darren Whitehead] [Holy Roar] [publishing]


In mythology, the crossroads has some interesting meanings and imagery, but my favorite imagery of the crossroads comes from 20th century blue songs. See, in these songs, the crossroads are where you go to make a deal with the devil. If you are unfamiliar... [Other Posts]

March 13, 10AM

A friend of mine sent me a copy of Holy Roar by Chris Tomlin and Darren Whitehead. He asked me to write a review of it. My friend is a worship leader and his church has been using Holy Roar as a guide for their worship. My friend did not feel comfortable ... [Bible Translation] [old testament] [Chris Tomlin] [Darren Whitehead] [Holy Roar] [praise and worship] [tax evasion] [Worship]

March 12, 5AM

My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls is in paperback ... [Other Posts]

March 2, 6AM

As the recommendations from the Commission on a Way Forward headed to the Council of Bishops, many in the United Methodist church waited, cautiously optimistic, about the results. The questions of which of the three plans would be presented were raised, a... [United Methodist Church]

March 1, 7AM

I was reading an article this morning and it struck a chord with me. I am a parent, and as such of course want my child to be safe. I think every parent wants that, but at the same time, that desire for safety is balanced with the reality that I want my... [Other Posts]

February 21, 6AM

I am going to try and do two things today. The first thing is actually identifying the problems that we have when we look at gun violence. The second is to offer some ideas of things that could possibly help. The first problem that we have with gun violen... [Religion and Politics] [Guns] [politics]

February 15, 6AM

In the wake of tragedy, it is inevitable that many of us will be talking about guns and contemplating what can be done to prevent this in the future. I’ve tried to do things like this before, to no avail really, but I will try again none the less. W... [Other Posts] [Guns]

February 14, 9AM

I am not really a grandiose type of guy. Some do the big things, and that is perfectly fine, but I do not. I am a quiet type by and large. I keep to myself, and my small displays of affection are generally private. I don’t make public displays, unle... [Other Posts]

February 12, 6AM

We began looking at Wesley’s views on primitive Christianity a few days ago, and there is more to look into, even using only one primary source for this particular exploration in sermon 132. Again, while Wesley’s link to and love of primiti... [Primitive Christianity]

February 9, 8AM

It is well known that Wesley gave a privileged place to what he called primitive Christianity, and most who have studied him accept this as fact, but little seems to have been done on the reasons and motivations as to why. To address this deficiency, I hu... [Other Posts]

January 12, 12 PM

A colossus is usually defined as “a statue that is much bigger than life size”. There is another definition however which defines it as “a person or thing of enormous size, importance, or ability.” The Statue of Liberty is one such... [Other Posts] [politics]

January 6, 7AM

 Fr. Richard Rohr has become a rather popular go to for devotionals and theology as of late. In truth, I like much of what he has to say, especially on some social issues that we all face, but once you scratch the surface of what he is saying, some rath... [Other Posts]

December 29 2017, 6PM

The post Alexander Hamilton’s mic drop appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Comment... [Other Posts]

December 24, 12 PM

Our Father who gave us His Son So that we would become His Children I pray for the work we have not done for the children who deserve the world but get nothing to eat For the abused who need peace For the homeless who need safety For the oppressed still F... [Devotional]

December 22, 11AM

Several years ago when I firs came into the life of the boy, Christmas was stressful. With the boy’s birthday being only three days before, it was difficult at best as we had to go out of our way to celebrate the day of his birth and then scramble t... [Other Posts]

December 18, 7AM

There is little doubt in my mind that Dr. Weems is an admirable man, a learned scholar who is invested in the life of the denomination. However, I take issue with some of the statements issued in the recent article. American Protestantism is at the 500 ye... [United Methodist Church]

December 15, 7AM

Before I get started into my rant, you should take a look at David Watson’s piece on the topic. It is well measured and even tempered, likely more so than I am going to be here. Now on to my rant… Let’s be honest, evangelical hate is no... [Other Posts]

December 13, 2PM

There is a new podcast I want to call your attention to. Go here. The post do you hear what I hear… Kisker, Ulmer and the other Watson appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Medita... [Other Posts]

December 9, 4PM

Not to long ago, I, and others, wrote about hopes for the next methodism. There are several links in this that are well worth your time. Since then however, I can not help but consider what will end up being the last Methodism. Wesley, seeing this possib... [Other Posts]

December 3, 5PM

A great read – and necessary My recent article in the Wesleyan Theological Journal, "What Makes Wesleyan Theology Theological?" — Justus Hunter (@JustusHunter) December 3, 2017 The post Hunter’s “What Makes ... [Other Posts]

November 30, 8AM

We last spoke about the literal sense so today we will go forward with the senses of scripture, next dealing with the moral sense. There are some passages of scripture that lend themselves easily to this really. Think of the book of proverbs or the parab... [Other Posts]
The prolific and all around good guy, Dr. Anthony Le Donne, has co-authored with Larry Behrendt, for a book exploring Jewish-Christian relations:  Moving beyond the all-too-common shallow recognition of differences, Sacred Dissonance: The Blessing of D... [Books]

November 21, 3PM

The post Words needed for such a time as this appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Co... [Other Posts]

November 15, 10AM

The group known as Uniting Methodists recently held a gathering of sorts. I was not there, and have asked several questions of those involved in the group as individuals as well of the group itself via it’s website. I still have no answers. At thi... [Other Posts]

November 14, 7PM

This won’t be a long post. I don’t think I need more than a few words to get this point across. There is nothing wrong with a moderate amount of inclusion — or exclusion. There needs to be a variety of opinions in most organizations, especia... [United Methodist Church]

October 30, 9AM

And you can get the book HERE. The post .@UTSDoc’s “Scripture and the Life of God” (video) appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation,... [Books] [David F. Watson]

October 27, 7AM

 We began talking about the quadriga last week and this week will continue into an examination of the senses of scripture, starting with the first sense, the literal. Now before we continue, we need to be clear about our definitions and understandings ... [Other Posts]

October 24, 5AM

I’ve watched every episode of Star Trek: Discovery twice, except for the sixth. That’s only because it is Tuesday… I’ll watch it again later. But, I wanted to just blab for a moment. I love the series. It is stark and needful for o... [media] [Star Trek Discovery]

October 20, 7PM

Find the link — AND  the special offer here. There are a few commentaries I turn to — namely those examining Scripture with the Fathers as well as a few examining it from a critical, but theological, source. The Library from Westminster/John Knox fi... [Accordance Bible]


The quadriga is a Roman cart or chariot drawn by four horses abreast. This was commonly used as a racing chariot and each horse was thought to share an equal part of the burden. It is little wonder then why medieval theologians called their approach to sc... [Other Posts]


Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging! [Uncategorized]

October 19, 8AM

The quadriga is a Roman cart or chariot drawn by four horses abreast. This was commonly used as a racing chariot and each horse was thought to share an equal part of the burden. It is little wonder then why medieval theologians called their approach to sc... [Other Posts]

October 17, 3AM

Just a note…. this commentary is massively on sale at the moment: Introductory Special through October 23, 2017 (11:59pm EDT). Cannot be combined with any other discounts. Requires Accordance 10.4 or above. For even more information, see this arti... [Accordance Bible]

October 11, 8AM

Fundamental to communication is the ability to speak the same language. This entails more than just using the same words of course, it means that there must be agreed upon meaning for the words that we are using. All to often in the current climate, we ha... [Other Posts]

September 28, 7AM

Hugh Hefner has died at the age of 91. He leaves behind a business empire valued at tens of millions of dollars, and at it’s height was worth over 200 million dollars. He turned hedonism into a business and profited from it a great deal. He will be ... [Other Posts]

September 25, 10AM

      It has been asked by several people I know, how the National Anthem came to be played at sporting events. This is a good question, and I think it matters, because history matters. So, a little history about the song. In 1839, the song was authori... [Other Posts]

September 20, 3PM

It seems rather impossible to have a conversation about human sexuality within the UMC (I could stop this sentence here in reality) without slavery coming up. There is an apparent need to equate the two which is really silly. “Further, let us not co... [Other Posts]

September 18, 4PM

The Uniting Methodists group has released their vision statement. When I saw it, I had hoped that some of the questions I asked and perhaps some of the concerns that Joel raised might be addressed, but they were largely not. I have also not received... [Other Posts]

September 13, 12 PM

I guess because the United Methodist Centrist Movement wasn’t… uh… unifying enough? Have you seen this newest, separate and independent from all other groups, group that looks to unify United Methodists? I mean, Rev. Mike Slaughter who ... [United Methodist Church]


Kevin Watson wrote a good piece about his struggles with centrism, and, remarkably to me, he actually got a response to some of what was brought up by Adam Hamilton no less. I am hoping for the same frankly as I have some pointed questions that I have ... [Other Posts]

September 6, 9AM

To begin, there is a lot to like about DACA in general. It’s goals are noble and I believe that it’s intent is good. I sincerely hope that congress does something with the time that they have to bring about a similar program as they should. Th... [Other Posts]

September 4, 11AM

Enough time has passed now that I hope we can look at the Nashville statement with some sort of integrity and honesty instead of with some of the vitriol that has been spewed about it thus far. IF you are unaware of it, the statement can be found here. ... [Other Posts]

August 23, 12 PM

Three popular groups seeking political and societal change have found themselves in the news lately. I am referring to three groups that are, as a general rule, being seen in a positive light. For the record, and it saddens me that it must be said, I am n... [Other Posts]

August 17, 11AM

We Christians have developed a racism problem. Several people have written about this, so it may not seem new, yet I think that this current problem is indeed a new one. There are racists in the world. There are racists in the church. Racism is in no way,... [Other Posts]


The imminent New Testament scholar, Anglican, and good guy Dr Michael Bird posted something on Facebook that caught my eye. He noted that the Athanasian Canon (Festal letter 39) has a different ordered for the New Testament than we have now. Continuing, I... [scripture]

August 14, 8AM

The resident bishop of Florida, who is also a moderator for The United Methodist Church’s Commission on the Way Forward, has declared his latest piece non-political and completely free of spin. I am not moved to this conclusion myself. I will explai... [theology] [United Methodist Church]

August 11, 5PM

The post Pilgrim’s Progress (2017) appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Comment... [Other Posts]

August 8, 6PM

I’ve had the pleasure of reading some of this before. This will go into the theological canon of Next Methodism next to works by William Abraham and Kevin Watson. Entering into the life of God is like walking into the ocean. The further you go, the ... [Books] [scripture] [United Methodist Church]

August 1, 6AM

I keep seeing, much to my chagrin, quote and quote on my Facebook wall from Richard Rohr and his idea that we need to somehow escape the idea of a violent atonement. By the way, this is not St. Anselm‘s invention. Anyway, let’s step back and l... [theology] [Robert Barron]

July 26, 9AM

“And He is the Head of the body, the church, who is the Beginning, the First-born from the dead, that He may be pre-eminent in all things. ” Colossians 1:18  The next Methodism must be holy, because Christ is the head of the church, and He is... [Other Posts]

July 24, 1PM

This is another rather lengthy post, whereby I seek to clarify the orthodox Christological position of dyothelitism against the heretical position of monothelitism that’s espoused by analytic philosopher, William Lane Craig. To do so, we will look first... [theology] [Chalcedon] [Christology] [divine will] [dyothelitism] [gregory of nazianzus] [heresy] [John of Damascus] [Maximus the Confessor] [monothelitism] [nature] [Orthodoxy] [Thomas C. Oden] [vladimir lossky] [william lane craig]


“There is one body and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling,  one Lord, one faith, one baptism,  one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6)  In commenting on th... [Other Posts]

July 22, 2PM

Unless you live under a rock, it is likely that you have heard that O J Simpson has been granted parole. As is to be expected, reactions to this have varied. Two key figures from his former murder trial have made comment about this, and I think their co... [Other Posts]

July 20, 8AM

I detest bureaucracy. It takes up money, time, and energy as well as allowing non-participation by members of the group. It begins with good intentions — but slowly morphs through layers and layers of patina into an uncontrollable monster. The mainliner... [United Methodist Church]

July 18, 5PM

Social Holiness is the Wesleyan ideal. It has informed Methodists since the time of Wesley and while it has sometimes been confused for corrupting things — manifest destiny and social justice, for example — it still holds our imagination and it someth... [United Methodist Church]


As long time readers of the blog may recall, I am a huge fan of the New Living Translation. It is a faithful dynamic translation providing the reader with a depth with a solid choice. Initially, Tyndale had a Catholic edition, but it was not approved by t... [NLT]

July 13, 10AM

We use these words “will be” and “won’t be” freely, but understand me. I mean them as an emphasis of the things I would like to see. This is not a return to some fabled time of perfect Wesleyanism, but is meant to take what W... [United Methodist Church]

July 7, 8AM

I had been inspired by David Watson and his posting to share my own thoughts on the next Methodism and figured that I was done. Then came posts from Evan, Stephen, Cliff, Drew, Joel, and then the Watson Twin powers activated for more good thou... [Other Posts]

July 6, 1PM

Grateful for posts about #NextMethodism. I've itinerated in many local churches (100s) in the last 5 years. Good news: It's already here! — Ken Carter (@bishopkencarter) July 6, 2017 ‘At a time when Bishop Butler asserted that Christianity... [United Methodist Church]

June 30, 5AM

This should be the end of what has started here, and continued here and here. I know that it is not the most exciting reading, but as it has been challenged that the United Methodist Standards of faith do not address the current debate about LGBTQ is... [Other Posts]

June 27, 12 PM

I am going to continue what began here and continued here. In the first to installments we focused on the Articles of Religion, specifically Article VI, in the context of the claims of moral law. The United Methodist church has other standards of fait... [Other Posts]

June 21, 4AM

In the last installment, I laid some ground work and began looking at how the Articles of Religion do address the language and theology of the United Methodist Church surrounding questions surrounding homosexuality. This is a continuation of what began ... [Other Posts]

June 20, 3PM

The Denmark Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church has requested a ruling of law about the initial language in the United Methodist Book of Discipline regarding the original language added in 1972 which states that the practice of homosexualit... [Other Posts]

June 14, 8AM

David Watson, as usual, has provided an excellent piece about the “Next Methodism” that I strongly encourage you to read. His is likely to be much better than this, and is also the inspiration for this. Go read. This will be here when you ge... [Other Posts]

June 11, 5PM

You first need to understand what this book is. It is humor. It pokes fun at Christians, and in many cases Jews. I found it to be in good fun, rather than an attempt at being hurtful. It also has a few alarmingly good ideas just in case. I mean seriously,... [Other Posts]

June 7, 9AM

in part, pentecostalism (of the various kinds) emerged because methodists had grown too… mainstream… and forgotten the work of the Holy Spirit. good thing that has never happened since… The post blame the methodists for the pentecostals ... [Other Posts] [Kisker]

June 1, 7AM

“Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests. And he said to them, What will you give me, and I will betray Him to you? And they appointed to him thirty pieces of silver.   And from that time he sought opportunity to ... [Other Posts]

May 28, 3PM

Memorial Day, originally known a Decoration Day, was established following the Civil War, but was not an official federal holiday until  1971. It was called decoration day because in towns across America, graves were decorated with flower and prayers we... [Other Posts]

May 25, 7AM

Back when new bloggers were a common occurrence, I attempted to give a few some space for an introduction. Max deserves to be read far and wide. Rev. Hazell is… well… I’ll link to his blog at the end of this guest post. I find postmodern... [Other Posts]

May 24, 8AM

In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in ... [sanctification]

May 23, 7AM

“The Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or neces... [Other Posts]


From Robert Jenson‘s, Canon and Creed: At this ecumenically untoward moment, there are even renewed concerns about confessional identity. Since the creed and the Scriptures are shared by most of the separated churches, it is unlikely that they will ... [creeds]

May 22, 10AM

Anytime folks begin to teach on the Trinity and say, “the Trinity is like….” I immediately brace myself for impact. Too often something inaccurate is said. The Trinity is not only beyond our grasp, but if you teach on Him using objects l... [theology] [analogies] [augustine] [fidget spinners] [heresey] [mystery] [partialism] [shamrock] [St. Patrick] [three-leaf clover] [Trinity] [tritheism] [triune god]


No. A quick survey of pre-Dan Brown literature reveals that several rules of faith existed in the early 2nd century. These gave rise to the later synodal formulas that themselves later became our great Creeds. Although the church is dispersed throughout t... [creeds] [Irenaeus]

May 21, 5AM

He also, in presuming John Wesley, tells you what orthodoxy is: Accordingly, as they have given up everything else which those who perform sacred rites ought to have, what is demanded of them is merely this one thing, orthodoxy—and not even this, in my ... [St. Symeon the New Theologian]
The post this is how you sing the Doxology appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Comme... [Devotional]

May 18, 6PM

The Interpreter, one of the official organs of The United Methodist Church, published online and in print of their May-June edition an admittedly poorly edited article. It was filled with at least one set of misquotes of Dr. Kevin Watson. Online, the arti... [United Methodist Church]


With all this chatter about human sexuality vs. the Social Principles in the Discipline, I thought it might be a good idea to look at this animal we call the Social Principles.  They take up Paragraphs 160-166 in the Discipline.  They were added to the ... [Other Posts]


The Annual Conference season is upon the United Methodist Church, or as I like to call it, fight church. This is not to say it isn’t important, in fact it is with great affection that I use this label in humor. What follows are a few thoughts that w... [Other Posts]

May 17, 5AM

The post the methodists think little of John Wesley appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction ... [United Methodist Church] [Church of England] [John Wesley]

May 16, 7AM

“I have never seen anyone die for the ontological argument.” –Albert Camus Anselm of Canterbury wrote two tracts that set out to demonstrate the existence of God. The first one is called Monologion, and the second, Proslogion. Often the Monologion i... [theology] [albert camus] [Anselm] [Apologetics] [guanilo] [meditation] [Monasticism] [monologion] [ontological argument] [proslogion] [the existence of god]

May 15, 11AM

This is part of an assignment for a group counseling class. I wanted to share it because I think more needs to be said about the disenfranchised grief of those surviving religious trauma. This is a draft document. Setting the Stage There is a sea chan... [science] [milgram experiment] [religious trauma syndrome] [theory of motivated reasoning]

May 9, 10AM

The orthodox element of the United Methodist Church is often chided about the desire to have the return of the Nicene Creed. Our adversaries regularly use the argument from silence, that Wesley removed Article 8 when he gave the American Methodists their ... [United Methodist Church] [John Wesley]

May 2, 8AM

We looked at four issues with arguments from silence previously. In this we will build upon those and discuss a few more issues with them, and delve more into why formulating belief on them is a risky proposition. When we make an argument from the silen... [Other Posts]

May 1, 9AM

An argument from silence is a rhetorical device designed to be a convincing argument in a simple and straight forward way. It often, on the surface, is. There are numerous inherent flaws in an argument form silence however. This becomes important in theol... [Other Posts]

April 30, 1PM

Today I am going to talk a bit about Matt Berryman. Mr. Berryman is the executive director of Reconciling Ministries Network as well as a member of the Commission on a way forward. As the executive director of RMN, I assume that when he publishes a piece... [Other Posts]

April 28, 3PM

You can read the article here. The text of the decision is here. Some quotes: “A same-sex marriage license issued by competent civil authorities together with the clergy person’s status in a same-sex relationship is a public declaration that the perso... [United Methodist Church]

April 24, 5AM

“The real ecumenical crisis today is not between Catholics and Protestants but between traditional and experimental forms of church life. If church leaders do not recognize this, within a few decades we shall see a cleavage in the church that will be co... [United Methodist Church]

April 19, 6PM

Rev. Ough, the current episcopal leader in Minnesota, is infamous for letting arch-heretic Sprague off. He is getting ready to do the same, using the same weasley words and nuances he did then. He has issued a press release. In it are a few statements nec... [United Methodist Church]

April 14, 5PM

The Journey of Egeria, Abbess and pilgrim to Jerusalem, late fourth century, Pilgrimage 37: SC 296, pp. 284–90, Egeria: Diary of a Pilgrimage, tr. Gringras, pp. 110–3. Egeria’s description shows how objects with sacred associations, and holy places,... [Church History]

April 13, 2PM

Unless you have been under a rock, you have heard or read something about United Airlines. You, like I, probably have some thoughts and opinions about it as well. Here are some thoughts about it to try and help navigate the rhetoric and perhaps help under... [Other Posts]
This is a sermon I preached on Maundy Thursday 2016, which Joel graciously let me share with you via his blog. Gospel Text: John 13.1-17; 31b-35 Please pray with me as I pray a prayer written by St. Anselm of Canterbury: “O my God teach my heart whe... [theology] [Christ] [Christianity] [foot washing] [God] [holy communion] [Holy Spirit] [homiletics] [Homily] [jesus] [Maundy Thursday] [sermon] [Toy Adams]


You can find it here.  The post A new app for Patristic commentary  appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel ... [Other Posts]

April 11, 8AM

Come close and let me tell you a story. It is a sad one and there are things that happen that tend to disturb people but it is an important story about our times and modes of operation. Make no assumptions because it is not what you might think…… Year... [Other Posts]

April 8, 1PM

This is the thrilling romance of Orthodoxy. People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dra... [theology] [g.k. chesterton]

April 7, 5AM

I’ve been reviewing the Interpretation Series, now available on Accordance (product link). This morning, I was preparing my iPad for an upcoming trip and decided to see how it looked on that. This is what I came up with. Be warned, I’m using t... [Accordance Bible]

April 6, 7AM

Just playing around this morning. One of the neat things I’ve seen in Accordance 12 was the tracking of the verse. The program quickly and without reentering new data (verses, etc) updates my library offerings according to the verse I am on. Also, ... [Accordance Bible]

April 5, 3PM

I still want to focus on my organic theory. But, it would only compliment Watson’s well-stated view. The post Dr. David Watson on the New Testament Canon appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in Go... [scripture]


What is the end of all ecclesiastical order? Is it not to bring souls from the power of Satan to God; and to build them up in his fear and love? Order, then, is so far valuable, as it answers these ends; and if it answers them not, it is nothing worth. (J... [Other Posts]


Right now, you can get the entire series with a huge discount. Accordance graced me with an early preview copy of the Interpretation Series (Westminster John Knox) for use on my Accordance 12 program (review to follow). I have some of the series in print ... [Accordance Bible] [Westminster John Knox]

April 2, 3PM

1 ALL ye that seek the Lord who died, Your God for sinners crucified, Prevent the earliest dawn, and come To worship at His sacred tomb. 2 Bring the sweet spices of your sighs, Your contrite hearts, and streaming eyes, Your sad complaints, and humble fear... [poetry] [John Wesley]

April 1, 12 PM

April is National Poetry Month. While we know that John and Charles wrote hymns, they also wrote poems… some of which are still sung in Christian Methodist congregations… I might highlight a few throughout this month. “GRIEVE NOT THE HOLY SP... [poetry] [charles wesley] [John Wesley]

March 28, 11AM

But what we suffer from to-day is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting abo... [Devotional] [g.k. chesterton]

March 26, 12 PM

Day 18……#moderndaydesertmother I hang out at a ceramics shop and I do a great deal of painting. One day the owner was given an enormous truckload of items from the family of a woman who had recently died. She had molds, finished pieces, green ware, an... [Other Posts]

March 22, 9AM

It has taken me to long to write this, and for that I am sorry, When last I wrote, I spoke of the jealousy of God and there will be some of the same themes here as well. Just as with the jealousy of God, the wrath of God is often misunderstood and becau... [Other Posts]


St Symeon suggests that our Lenten bare is something we should do all year.  Do we not have an obligation to do this at all times? Have we not taken the vow to be hungry, thirsty, and ill clad (cf. 1 Cor. 4:11) and to endure all things and bear them ... [Other Posts]

March 14, 11AM

We are saved by faith when we trust that Jesus died for our sins. This is the gospel, or so we are taught. But what is faith? And does this accurately summarize the gospel? Because faith is frequently misunderstood and the climax of the gospel misidentifi... [Books] [Baker Academic] [Matthew Bates]

March 13, 9AM

A brother came to Abba Poemen in the second week of Lent and told him his thoughts, and found peace of mind from his answer. Then he said: “I was almost stopped from coming to see you today.” And the old man said: “Why?” And he said: “I was afra... [Devotional]

March 9, 5PM

I was reading this today… 55.1 But moreover let us also bring forward examples of the heathen. Many kings and rulers who, being in times of pestilence, following some oracle, have given over themselves to death so that they might rescue their citize... [Clement of Rome]

March 8, 11AM

I know this is late… If you want to hear it, click here to download it from Dropbox. Every day is a day to preach the Gospel of the Jesus Christ. The Gospel, however, is not something you do — it is something that is proclaimed. In fact, the Gospe... [Sermon Notes]
Though with a scornful wonder Men see her sore oppressed, By schisms rent asunder, By heresies distressed: Yet saints their watch are keeping, Their cry goes up, “How long?” And soon the night of weeping Shall be the morn of song! – The Church&#... [United Methodist Church]

March 6, 4AM

As with any spiritual discipline, there are pitfalls to be avoided, and Jesus Himself refers to them. He warns against practicing our piety before others, so He lays down some rules for the kind of fasting He wants His followers to do. Specifically, we ar... [sanctification] [Lent]

March 5, 1PM

Yes, it is mainly an Eastern thing… but this is the first Sunday of Lent in the West… the Triumph of Orthodoxy. As the prophets beheld, as the Apostles have taught, as the Church has received, as the teachers have dogmatized, as the Universe h... [Liturgy and Worship]

March 2, 4AM

From the Bodley Ms 343. The Temptation of Christ Beloved people, we want to tell you about this holy time that has now arrived, in which we have an especially greater fast and abstinence than in any other common time, when we do this for the help and cle... [Devotional] [Lent]

February 20, 12 PM

As often happens, I have taken a subject and found my thoughts on it to be more extensive than I initially had realized. Because of this, what was to be one posting will turn into several. For those of you who read my writing with any consistency, this wi... [Other Posts]

February 13, 4PM

Grace. It’s what’s for dinner. It must be chewed slowly and not just bolted down in a hurry. We have done a lot of snacking, a lot of chewing, a lot of spitting out, a lot of selective dieting but we have not digested it well enough to truly use it so... [Other Posts]

February 11, 8PM

It’s been awhile since I posted, but I couldn’t let this one go. I spent the afternoon at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. While there in the exhibit on the dinosaurs and the displays on the origins of humanity, I noticed 2 ... [Other Posts]

February 9, 1PM

I have written before about Wesley’s view of Schism (and here). I want to (re)turn to that in light of recent events in Mississippi. Two growing churches — one of which is led by a pastor who also sits on the WCA board — have voted to begin th... [United Methodist Church]


I have a few friends still yet unconvinced by the necessary truth of lex orandi. I understand. Indeed, no doubt these learned people are entrenched in the historical critical method and other derivatives of the Enlightenment and thus cannot acknowledge t... [Liturgy and Worship] [Hans Urs von Balthasar] [lex orandi]

February 8, 2PM

If you have attended church for any length of time, you have likely heard a sermon about salt and it’s various implications for the Christian. I am going to try an approach two of the references to salt in the Bible that I think are often, to our de... [Other Posts]


Can you imagine anyone refuting lex orandi? Surely, we must turn to the Pentecostal/Charismatic side of Christianity to see such a refutation. But…. In their concept of doctrine, Pentecostals stand closer to the Roman Catholic idea of the developme... [Liturgy and Worship]

February 7, 2PM

Talking to a (for now) friend who seems to dismiss lex orandi. My question to him was, “What did Peter Böhler say to Wesley? Now, if you are a Methodist of any worth, you know exactly what he said. “Fake it until you Make it, Fr. John.”... [Liturgy and Worship] [John Wesley] [Justo González] [Lex orandi lex credendi]

February 6, 5PM

How in the world anyone can disagree with lex orandi,  I don’t know… Barth, of course, in his late writings on ethics, gave a related but distinct account of the relation of liturgy and ethos (an account with which Jüngel is closely familia... [Liturgy and Worship] [John Webster] [Karl Barth] [Lex orandi lex credendi]
This week’s lectionary includes the section of the Beatitudes about the worth of the Church: You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and t... [United Methodist Church]

February 2, 12 PM

Today there was a birthday party for a two-year-old. There was a cake, Elmo, snacks, singing, playing and laughter. Grandparents and great-grandparents were present. The parents chased after the two-year-old while the baby slept. Moments were captured on ... [Other Posts]


Many like to suggest theology, doctrine, etc… doesn’t matter — even to the point of having statements like that enshrined in formulaic paragraphs. But Jesus actually does care about your theology. If theology is as St. Augustine first noted,... [theology]

February 1, 5AM

Dust…… gets everywhere. It seeps down into every little crack, nook, cranny, and crevice it can find. It is always there. Some people dust every day while others prefer to collect their ‘protective coating.” We breathe it, sneeze it, wipe it, ... [Other Posts]

January 31, 1PM

Micah 6.1-8 is in this week’s lectionary (RCL). We often focus on the verse at the end of the passage: The LORD has told you mortals what is good, and what it is that the LORD requires of you: only to act justly, to love loyalty, to walk humbly with... [Micah]

January 30, 3PM

From the start, let me say that I do not agree with rule by executive order by and large, no matter the order. This is been going on for some time, and has only been getting worse. To be perfectly blunt, if you supported the former presidents pen, then yo... [Other Posts]

January 29, 4PM

I haven’t attended church yet. Even in thinking about it, my stomach clenches and I experience great dread. So, my spiritual advance has yet to include a traditional church service. So, when a person is unable to go to church….how is God encountered? ... [Other Posts]

January 28, 7AM

I received a phone call from an old teacher. I did my chaplaincy internship at the local hospital. She heard I was back in town and asked if I would be willing to help her out as they were short chaplains. I had forgotten what it felt like to be believed ... [Other Posts]

January 27, 9AM

There is irony in advancement as familiar faces show up who haven’t been there in a while. Reconnecting with family and friends is an unexpected bonus when one deliberately seeks the divine. It’s the little things…….the way they hold eye contact, ... [United Methodist Church]

January 26, 8AM

Some bad things happened. Really bad things……I came to understand the agony with which people come to me when they talk about how much they have been hurt by the church. The only difference is that God and I were fine – unlike most of them, God for ... [United Methodist Church]

January 24, 9AM

The Mexico City Act is a partisan (that is to say it is favored and used by Republicans and repealed by Democrats) policy and rule that was first enacted by Ronald Regan in 1984 and has been supported by each republican president since and repealed by eac... [abortion]

January 23, 2PM

For Christmas, my wife gave me the DNA testing kit available from 23 and me. As far as I know, the results are pretty accurate. I do know that my great-great-great-grandparents (can’t remember which one, either my paternal paternal’s side, or ... [Other Posts] [DNA]


If you have made it this far, congratulations and thank you for sticking it out. If you did not realize this was the final part of a long essay, the other parts made be found here, here, and here. So finally, so what? What is the big deal? Who really ... [Other Posts]


The first part of this exploration can be found here, and the second here. Please check them out. The ideas of classic liberalism go back to such figures as John Locke, and later figures such as Thomas Jefferson, Adam Smith, Jean-Baptiste Say, and Tho... [Other Posts]


This ended up being more in-depth than I had originally intended. If you have not already, start here for the beginning of this exploration. I tried to give a basic overview of the paradox of tolerance in the first section of this, mentioning that the i... [Other Posts]


The paradox of tolerance had become embedded in our national identity and politics, and I have become of the opinion that it is one of the things that is tearing us apart and creating a chasm in our political system that has filtered down finally into ev... [Other Posts]

January 22, 6PM

St Symeon…. brings me to tears at times.  All too often we focus on the kingdom… forgetting humility or have a humility with the necessary authority.  The post Humble reception of Authority  appeared first on Unsettled Christianity.... [Other Posts]

January 21, 9AM

It is being said in rumor and reported by some news outlets (both those who lean right and those who lean left) that the Trump administration removed pages from the White House website. Depending on the outlet and it’s readership, it may have been a... [Other Posts]

January 19, 4PM

I have a small amount of experience with not having my guy, or girl, win the election. I am almost always for the other one…no not the one people recognize, but for the one most people have never heard of or dismiss as crazy. Such is life. I want to... [Other Posts]

January 17, 7AM

On 17 January 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower gave his farewell address. It is one of the most important since George Washington’s, including this line: Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American... [Religion and Politics] [Dwight D. Eisenhower] [military-industrial complex]

January 16, 3PM

This is going to be huge. The Dictionary of Christianity and Science provides, in one volume, entries on over 450 key terms, theories, individuals, movements, and debates at the intersection of Christian faith and contemporary science. In addition, becaus... [Books] [Christopher L. Reese] [Michael G. Strauss] [Paul Copan] [Tremper Longman III] [Zondervan]

January 11, 7AM

Fletcher, one of the Methodist Fathers, gives an analogy (portrayed as dialogue between a Neighbor and a Believer) and then clarifies, that doctrine – as contained in public confessions — is  an important and vital aspect of the Christian faith. We p... [United Methodist Church] [John Fletcher]

January 6, 9AM

For those of you not familiar with the Non-Jurors, see here, here, and here. If we place Wesley within this context, it becomes a different take on their evangelical and “paleo-orthodoxy.” The Wesleys, much like modern Wesleyan Theologian, Tho... [Other Posts]

January 5, 6PM

I wonder…can’t we allow the religions to speak for themselves? Or must we insist on what makes is able to tolerate them? The post Western Colonialism at its most derivative  appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available... [Other Posts]


An impartial observer would note that the UMC is in steep decline — all of the mainline denominations are (unless you count the SBC, which is only in moderate decline). However, there is emerging a new mainline — of Catholic and Pentecostals, if not A... [United Methodist Church]

December 28 2016, 10AM

The nephilim have always been fascinating to me. I think it is one of the more interesting and fun parts of scripture to explore, though certainly not a foundation of faith by any means. I revisit thinking on them often as I find them to be one of the poi... [Other Posts]

December 27, 6PM

Scott has started the swim across the Thames, and frankly, in interested in Canturbury as well.  I found this definition of the Anglican Church that I thought looked familiar:  Our special character and, as we believe, our peculiar contribution ... [Other Posts]

December 26, 11AM

Unity of the church is, and has been for as long as there has been a church, a hot topic. Christ Himself prayed that we all might be one after all. Ephesians speaks about it, the Old Testament prophets speak of it, as do the psalms, and more. Unity began ... [Other Posts]

December 22, 11AM

The year was 1899. The Pope was Leo XIII. The subject matter was a particular manifestation of the heresy of modernism, which Leo referred to as Americanism. The message may be more valid today than it was then. You can research this particular heresy fur... [Other Posts]

December 21, 4PM

The post Yeah, I like that song too, but this one is (theologically) better appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospe... [Devotional] [Christmas] [jennifer nettles]

December 15, 5AM

All around, Dr Ryan Nicholas Danker (honestly, his middle name is fore-telling) is one of the more profound thinkers in American Methodism. As required, he is a creedal Christian charism’d with Wesleyan theology. The post Video: Why the Church neede... [United Methodist Church] [Ryan Nicholas Danker]

December 14, 7PM

Dear Unsettled Christianity Readers, As some of you know, I’ve been helping and serving with Rev. Drew McNeill and others at the Methodist Student Center (or Wesley Foundation) on Morehead State University’s campus in Morehead, Kentucky. Over ... [Society and Religion] [theology] [honduras] [mission trip] [Morehead State University] [service] [United Methodist Church]


The Church as a secular institution is dead. There is nothing provided by the modern American Church (i.e., mainline) that is not provided by some other group or organization. This is, partially, why we are seeing the fall off in attendance. Why come to a... [United Methodist Church]


I love this tune. It’s another Irish melody — all the best things come from Ireland. This one is a bit fast for me. This one is more my speed as it allows (for me) to get the music down deep (if that makes sense) The post O Sing a Song of Bethlehe... [Devotional]

December 12, 7PM

A few had expressed some interest in where it was that my family and I would settle into church after leaving the United Methodist Church. After some time of prayer and research, the winner is the Anglican Church in North America. We had looked at Free Me... [Other Posts]

December 9, 12 PM

Reading in Oden in the wake of his passing… In the weakness of their waning ideologies, secular chauvinists have focused obsessively on how Christian teaching has changed over the years. They cannot get enough of the differences between Christians o... [doctrine] [Thomas C. Oden]

December 8, 6PM

Tom Oden has passed. His loss will be felt by the grater Wesleyan world as well as those in love with good theology.  The post A “boring” theologian as passed  appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazo... [Other Posts] [Thomas C. Oden]


The post Why Protestantism should perish  appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Comme... [Other Posts]

November 28, 8AM

As some of you know, I called the election right around the time Donald Trump, often-time Democrat, announced he was going to run as a Republican. If you are friends with me on Facebook, you’d see the occasional post noting Brexit trends as well as... [Religion and Politics] [Donald Trump] [electoral college]

November 23, 2PM

The post Silence, official trailer appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, a... [media]


Over the past little bit, there have been several things I have been reflecting on, for better or for worse. I figured it was time to share them as I am coming out of a time of self reflection and introspection. So let’s get started… Everythin... [Other Posts]

November 14, 6PM

I posted a quote from Auden on my FB earlier. I wanted to expand upon it and to separate “anxiety” from the clinical sense. from Auden, “The opposite of faith is not doubt, but anxiety.” –W. H. Auden From Moltmann, Of course ... [Other Posts]


The post infographic: heaven in the NIV Study Bible, @ZonderAcademic appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Ma... [Books]

November 9, 8AM

But… So was everyone else, except that I was predicting in resignation, not attempting to flaunt an expertise I don’t have. However, shame on the pundits and some academics!!!! Here is what I wrote on #facebook “Punditry asks: where did ... [Debate/Discussion] [media] [Religion and Politics]

November 8, 5PM

The results of this election are actually in, though who is named the president is yet to be revealed. The results are that we, as a nation,  lost in so many more ways than we won. Let me talk about just a few of the ways that has happened. First, people... [Other Posts]

November 7, 7AM

Right now, every NIV Application Commentary eBook is just $4.99. See the deals here: About NIV Application Commentaries The value of the NIVAC series is two-fold: you will understand the Bible’s ancient message, and see how it spea... [Other Posts]

November 2, 12 PM

Matt O’Reilly has written a response to an “opinion” piece on UMNS, an official organ of the UMC. I will not do much else except to add what Wesley wrote. Wesley wrote, “Orthodoxy, or right opinions, is never more than a slender part ... [doctrine] [John Wesley]


There is, as always, some discussion about Wesley and orthodoxy. Of course, many are misinformed with no intent to rid themselves of this plague of stupidity. Wesley was orthodox and considered that only the orthodox are Christian — but that those who w... [doctrine] [John Wesley] [Orthodoxy]


A striking shape was recently observed for the endoplasmic reticulum, a cellular organelle consisting of stacked sheets connected by helical ramps [Terasaki et al., Cell 154, 285 (2013)]. This shape is interesting both for its biological function, to synt... [science] [Endoplasmic reticulum]

November 1, 7AM

Don’t worry, St. Symeon and St. John Damascene are still my favorites… but… task of moral judgment is always to prompt the soul’s incensive power to engage in inner warfare and to make us self-critical. The task of wisdom is to prompt ... [sanctification] [mindfulness] [St. Hesychios the Priest]

October 30, 8AM

If the Reformation has a birthday, it’s October 31. This day in 1517 Martin Luther sent the Ninety-five Theses to the Archbishop of Mainz, and that document would soon “go viral.” In remembrance of this important day in the history of the Church, Zo... [Other Posts]

October 29, 10AM

found this on the twitters… The post Truer words…. appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: In... [Other Posts]

October 26, 4PM

Accreditation can be a sore topic for some Christian academics. I remember hearing speeches from undergrad professors who resented the fact that their service to the Lord had to be approved by some faceless and probably godless group of strangers. Still, ... [scholarship] [Society and Religion] [jonathan welton] [Vision International University] [VIU] [welton] [welton academy]


GO HERE. PRE-ORDER IT ON LOGOS. This is why. Alternatively, you can order it via Amazon. To responsibly exegete the text of First Timothy, one must become familiar with the vocabulary. But examination of word meanings involves more than simply looking up ... [Books]


This is in response to Kett’s Rebellion, but somehow… maybe this applies to our context too: The general cause of all these commotions is sin, and under Christian profession unchristian living. But there be also certain special causes, of the ... [Religion and Politics]

October 25, 4AM

There is something to be said about dialogue. But dialogue is a two-way street, right? If “religion” is supposed to be a reality that concerns everyone, and if God makes the same demands on every person, must it not be the case, then, that every perso... [Devotional]

October 24, 5AM

Found this on FB. In the West, we are suffering a drought of institutional loyalty. To combat this, the institutions have focused inwardly. Because that works. Rather, institutions have become separated from the instituted. That’s why they focus inw... [Other Posts]

October 23, 10AM

Introductory Note I preached the following sermon at First UMC-Edcouch & First UMC-Lyford on October 23, 2016. Original title: “Nations, Rulers, & the God of All.” Texts: Daniel 11:36-12:4 & Galatians 3:23-29. I am a political junkie Some ... [Other Posts] [Apostle Paul] [Galatians] [jesus christ] [politics] [vote]

October 19, 8AM

For John and Charles Wesley, few things were more important for theology and ministry than attentiveness to the Lord’s Supper. But the commitment to the centrality of the Eucharist for Christian life and practice has waxed and waned. This book bring... [Books] [United Methodist Church] [Jason E. Vickers]

October 17, 12 PM

This one, Reading Romans in Context, is a favorite. You can find the complete list here. The post check out @ZonderAcademic’s Romans #eBook Sale appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theat... [Other Posts]


I believe in icons, but I think that using them in the place of sound teaching produces idol worshipers. If we read the words of John Calvin in this light, I think we see the root of the problem in many of our denominations today. No one is actually tea... [doctrine] [Reformation] [john calvin]

October 14, 9AM

FORGIVE ME FOR INTERRUPTING YOUR CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THE U.M.C. I believe it is the wise thing for me to do due to my life style, and the way I love to enjoy a free society. Starting with guns, it could be anywhere… I am seeking other ways to defend... [Debate/Discussion] [Religion and Politics] [Society and Religion]

October 13, 2PM

I want to be clear about a few things right off the bat. First, I am no longer a member of the United Methodist church. Second, I did not attend the WCA meeting, not because I would not have been welcome, but because I chose not to attend. Third, this is ... [Other Posts]

October 12, 7AM

I thought this was a hoot… given how much dispensationalism still runs rampant: Verses 17, 18. “These four great beasts are the four kingdoms which shall arise from the earth. But the saints of the Most High God shall take the kingdom.” The four... [Daniel] [jerome]

October 10, 6AM

Every now and then I post to Facebook about my love of Mondays. It garners some groans along the way. But why Mondays? I do love every day of the week, actually. Sundays for worship with the family of God, and every other day for living in God’s cre... [Other Posts]

October 7, 5AM

There is a fairly consistent theme in scripture about being clothed, specifically about being clothed in righteousness. Job puts on righteousness and it clothes him (Job 29:14), Isiah speaks of garments of salvation and a robe of righteousness(Isiah 61:10... [Other Posts]


I mean as a whole. Individually, some — a few — are admirable and should we split, I would want to join their denomination. In the latest announcement on the Commission on “A Way Forward,” what the Laity see is not an equal representation,... [United Methodist Church]
The episcopal office holder of the Northern Illinois Annual Conference, Sally Dyck, preached at General Conference. Some considered it a great sermon. Those who understand the Book of Discipline and Wesleyan theology saw straight through it. As Scott has ... [United Methodist Church] [Sally Dyck]

October 6, 3PM

The Wesleyan Covenant Association has issued their “Chicago Statement”, even though they don’t meet in Chicago until tomorrow. Never mind that there actually is not any covenant. Questions about the credibility of the WCA extend well bey... [Controversial] [homosexuality] [Other Posts] [United Methodist Church] [Chicago] [WCA] [Wesleyan Covenant Association]

October 3, 9AM

Such a man who has been lifted up over all creation is unwilling to go back and be curious about created things. [170] Since he possesses the very Master of the angels he cannot endure inquisitiveness about the essence and nature of the angels who serve H... [St. Symeon the New Theologian]

September 23, 7AM

I occasionally pick up Heath and Kisker’s book, Longing for Spring: A New Vision for Wesleyan Community. Today, I was surprised more than usual as I read about the new monasticism possible within an existing UMC congregation. I am more concerned ab... [United Methodist Church]

September 22, 11AM

I belong to the Society of the Holy Trinity. It is a Ministerium(order) of pastors who have been ordained in Lutheran churches throughout North America. This would include ELCA,ELCIC(Canada), LCMS, NALC, and even smaller bodies of Lutheran denominations. ... [Other Posts]


Would you believe that every now and then I get into an argument on Facebook? And the more so when I mention I don’t believe in Free Will. Yes, there is free choice, but choice can only be made when we are handed decisions. Fr. John would tend to ag... [St. Symeon the New Theologian] [free will]

September 21, 7AM

I was reading some of Wesley’s works the other day, finding in them a complete and easy rebuttal to the latest diatribe that Methodists are somehow opposed by nature of the community to orthodoxy. How ironic, these statements, given that by their in... [Reformation] [John Wesley]

September 16, 11AM

I still think the NT canon should be explore a bit. I’m going with an organic view of the creation.  Anyway, this covers the OT really well.  The post A good video on the canon  appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now a... [scripture]

September 14, 3PM

In my personal life, one of the very few things that politically active Christians can seem to agree on is how one can be a Christian and a Libertarian. Most amusing is that I have gotten this question even from those who accept that one can be a faithful... [Religion and Politics] [libertarianism]

September 13, 7AM

#deplorables comment: Christians should and must be away from this fray of name calling politics. I am guilty as charged of the same! We should be an example to the world of reasoning and moderation and our world vision needs to be such that we “let our... [Other Posts]

September 12, 1PM

The post Movie: “The Promise” (Armenian Genocide) appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Int... [media]


Unity. That is the catchphrase that is the most meaningless one I’ve heard in a long time. Seriously, there is no definition of unity given beyond securing apportionment dollars for the church hierarchy. Since the General Conference, several confere... [United Methodist Church] [Franklin Graham]

September 6, 3PM

Christians Divided by Race/Politics I’ve mentioned before on this blog that Christian unity crosses my mind a lot these days. Up to this point, my posts have revolved around the human sexuality debate within the United Methodist Church. However, as a p... [Society and Religion] [2016 Election] [American Christianity] [evangelicalism] [Immigration] [politics] [Poverty]


I have noticed a trend, especially here in America, that has been bothering me for quite some time. I am not sure where it began, or why, but it seems to be here in full force. That trend is facilitation. A lot of what is to follow is based on observation... [Other Posts]

September 3, 2PM

I am writing this with a mild concussion, so it it is rambling and contains numerous grammatical errors, please excuse it. I did want to get these thoughts down though. I really love football. I like watching pretty much any game I can find and loved play... [Other Posts]

August 31, 5AM

After a little over a year of discernment, Mary and I have decided that it is best for our family if we leave the UMC. I mention the time frame because I want anyone who is bothering to read this to understand that is was not a snap decision, nor a decisi... [United Methodist Church]

August 29, 11AM

Live Like You Give a Damn! declares the very good news that God is raising up a new generation, largely outside the church, to bring impressive change to the lives of our neighbors locally and globally by creating innovative forms of social enterprise and... [Books] [Tom Sine] [Wipf and Stock Publishers]

August 27, 10AM

Joseph Tognetti wrote a piece attempting to start a conversation. In it he asked some pertinent questions that I myself have pondered over time. I encourage you to read his piece and answer those questions in the interest of an actual conversation inste... [Other Posts]

August 25, 7PM

Still Pondering the State & Nature of Church If you’ve followed my last two blog posts, you’ve likely picked up that questions about church unity are on my mind. Why is the United Methodist Church a single church body? What keeps us togeth... [Other Posts] [human sexuality] [United Methodist Church]

August 24, 3PM

Find it here.  Women in the Ancient Near East offers a lucid account of the daily life of women in Mesopotamia from the third millennium BCE until the beginning of the Hellenistic period. The book systematically presents the lives of women emerging f... [Other Posts]


So many plans about how to preserve The United Methodist Church, but how many turn to Wesleyanism in order to chart a path forward? This is interesting: Methodist Ecclesiology The most striking ecclesiological feature of Methodism is its ‘connexional’... [United Methodist Church]

August 23, 11AM

I am not convinced that we have to abandon The United Methodist Church — not while we still have thinking, knowledgeable, and article believers (even if they disagree). One such example is Dr. Bill Arnold (I still think it should have been the W and A p... [United Methodist Church]

August 18, 11AM

Two news stories caught my eye today that are indeed related. The first is the announcement that the federal government is moving away from privately run facilities for reasons of prisoner and guard safety and programming. That is to say that more program... [Other Posts]

August 17, 9AM

I’ve have my head buried in books — theology of all sorts, doctrinal, historical, and of course, systematic theologies of the various Reformed Traditions (include Wesleyan-Arminianism) — for the past few weeks attempting to complete a special pr... [United Methodist Church]

August 12, 9AM

Perusing on Facebook–Confessing Movement UMC This morning, I opened my Facebook app, as I am prone to do roughly 18,000 times per day. I discovered an article from a leading voice in the Confessing Movement of the UMC that several Facebook friends s... [Other Posts] [bodily resurrection] [Confessing Movement] [Conservative] [evangelical] [jesus christ] [Liberal] [Orthodox] [progressive] [United Methodist Church]

August 10, 8AM

I’m going to have to disagree with some who insist Wesley was an inerrantist. He wasn’t. I do think he was an infallibilist, however, as one would have to be to honestly hold to the Articles of Religion. I could argue this point, but I’m... [scripture] [Inerrancy] [John Wesley]


In the first part of this exploration, we discussed how it is that we got to this point of life not being fair. Here I want to explore some reasons why it is that is a good thing for us. It is not good that we are not in the garden mind you, but as alwa... [Other Posts]

August 9, 7AM

Last week, Bishop Carter (Florida) wrote a brief post for Huffington Post. Here, he laments the misconstruing of the word evangelical as a synonym for conservative. He is not ready to leave that term behind because, he writes, I have been nurtured and fe... [scripture] [evangelical] [J I Packer] [Ken Carter]

August 8, 7AM

And there is something free if you go to this website. For a short time, save up to 80% when you buy eBook editions of Zondervan Academic gospel commentaries! This new commentary sale features 17 eBooks on Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These eBooks will ... [Books]
People talk about Jesus. Academics do it. Theologians do it. Children do it. Non-Christians do it. Methodists do it. Sometimes. People talk about Jesus. But have you ever noticed how says the name Jesus? Sitting through this past Sunday’s children ... [Devotional]

August 5, 8AM

In recent discussions about the church and theology, a trend has been emerging that I find rather disturbing. This trend actually crosses the left/right, progressive/traditionalist, (pick your labels and sides here) divide and seems to be infecting us all... [theology]

August 4, 6PM

One way to bring back essential Catholic Christian teaching is to bring back the Catechism. All these seeker sensitive, emergent hipster programs may draw some people for a while but it does not make a disciple of Jesus or give you the essentials of the C... [theology] [Martin Luther] [Small Cathechism]


“Our meeting was both serious and hopeful,” said Dr. David Watson, academic dean at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. “We prayed together, broke bread, shared ideas, agreed and disagreed, and learned from each other. We affirmed together ... [United Methodist Church] [Wesleyan Covenant Association]
It used to be in our Book of Discipline that we were to take the world… and of course, Wesley sent the first Methodist preachers to the United States with the mission of wiping out Calvinism… From ‘The Spiritual Song Book, Designed as an... [United Methodist Church]

August 3, 9AM

Hello My name is Jeremy Shank. I am pastor at Thornville UMC in the Foothills District. I am currently blogging about and hoping to form ideas for a new book I’m working on. “Inclusion/Exclusion – a look at how salvation works in the Bib... [Bible Translation] [doctrine] [John] [New Testament] [NIV] [NLT] [United Methodist Church]

August 2, 11AM

The post New book on the Reformation  appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentar... [Other Posts] [humor] [things that bother jim west]

August 1, 2AM

The Ferguson Declaration: A Black Lives Matter Creed (Long Version) If you want to sign the Black Lives Matter Creed, please follow this link: Signing the Black Lives Matter Creed. An Appeal to Christian Congregations and Christians Worldwide We, the heir... [Athanasius] [Church History] [Clement of Alexandria] [Controversial] [creeds] [Religion and Politics] [Society and Religion] [theology] [Black Lives Matter Creed] [critical race theory] [Ferguson Declaration] [racism] [white supremacy]

July 29, 6AM

Yesterday, Charisma News ran an article from an anonymous source overturning what we’ve all said about the Wesleyan Covenant Association. I’ve maintained that the WCA is not going to promote or cause schism. The anonymous (for now) source R... [United Methodist Church]

July 28, 2PM

Yes, the quotation marks on “conservative” are on purpose! I am a conservative and one of the traits of a conservative is the ability to exercise, at least mildly, critical thinking and be reasonable. At least that’s what I thought! Cons... [Controversial]


So often, we hear the actions of the Progressives in The United Methodist Church defended and the charges of schism ridiculed because “they haven’t left.” Indeed, as often is the case, “schism” is defined as “enacting o... [United Methodist Church]

July 26, 8AM

Rev. Chris Ritter has preemptly posted a response, somewhat, to the latest statement by Bishop Ough, the president of the Council of Bishops. Ritter still has his plans on the table — and so I’m going to take this moment to reshow mine, although I... [United Methodist Church]

July 22, 12 PM

“What tho’ the Gates of Hell withstood, yet must this building rise: ‘tis thy own Work, Almighty God, And wondrous in our Eyes”[i] Isaac Watts must have dearly loved the Psalter and the praises he found there.  To spend the time and energy th... [Other Posts]


A few months ago a man in my contact list who ended up becoming a very good friend amid and ins spite disagreements (he is a Methodist and lean left, I am a Calvinist, and I lean right) said in a commentary in one of his posts something to the effect that... [media] [Religion and Politics] [Society and Religion]


It is, and well has been, election time again. It really seems like it never ends these days if I am being honest. Well meaning Christians across the wide spectrum of beliefs in the United States are trying to figure out who is the Godly candidate, or if ... [Religion and Politics]

July 20, 6PM

Personal Note This is the first time I’m writing a blog post for Unsettled Christianity—or any blog post, for that matter. I want to thank Joel Watts for the opportunity to share these thoughts on Unsettled Christianity. Schism—a sad possibility If ... [United Methodist Church] [1 Corinthians] [body of Christ] [Catholic Church] [Christianity] [church] [church unity] [denominations] [Eastern Orthodox Church] [ecumenism] [Ephesians] [God] [Gospel of John] [Holy Spirit] [jesus christ] [John Wesley] [Karl Barth] [Psalms] [Schism]


In all of the bluster in the UMC, I got a little sidetracked. For that I am sorry. If you missed it, the introduction to this series of postings can be found here. I had stated that we have a serious definition problem. That is a simple truth that can be... [Society and Religion]

July 19, 8AM

John Wesley, in Sermon 90, classifies three types of lies: malicious, harmless, and officious. In regards to the latter, he writes, Concerning officious lies, those that are spoken with a design to do good, there have been numerous controversies in the Ch... [United Methodist Church] [karen oliveto]

July 18, 4PM

I’ve delayed writing this for a while, because I was waiting for some of the ‘sharp edges’ to come off recent violent events in the U.S. Unfortunately, it’s becoming hard to tell when that day might come. So here it is. Also –... [Other Posts]


Working through the second chapter of my new blog/book. Hope you might take a moment to read through it.   Grade school is maybe the single most frustrating time in a child’s life. I know it was for me. It is a time period in one’s life w... [Other Posts]

July 16, 9AM

Pardon the title, I like the poem Hollow Men, and this seemed a fitting time to use it. The church isn’t ending of course, the church will always prevail. The UMC has though, at least in any form that we would recognize. What has been done can not b... [United Methodist Church]


Last night, by acclamation, the Western Jurisdiction elected as bishop a person who is unqualified according to the Book of Discipline (at least how many of us read it). It is directly against the wishes of General Conference and the remaining 98% of The ... [United Methodist Church]

July 13, 7AM

There is a spot in the Creed of 381 that came under discussion yesterday: For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, How you read that particular line may be influenced by your understanding of Election, or perhaps, your understanding of ... [creeds]

July 12, 9AM

We are of course at it again, and rightly so. What is “it” you ask? Race in America of course. I believe that the vast majority of people are not only willing to work toward solutions and conversations, but in truth we can not have them effect... [Other Posts]


Come on… this is a hoot: Found here. The post The ending(s) of the Gospel of Mark explained appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic C... [Other Posts] [humor]


By now, most of you have read Scott’s post, chastising our United Methodist bishops. When the Western Jurisdiction by their authority, rather than the authority of The United Methodist Church, raise an ordained elder who is an avowed homosexual to t... [United Methodist Church]

July 11, 7AM

How should Christians relate to their Bible? The primary locus or home of Scripture in Christianity is the liturgy, the church gathered for worship. Theologians write books about the Bible because it is proclaimed in the liturgy; the Bible is not proclaim... [scripture]

July 9, 11AM

found on FB. The post on the Information Age… appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction ... [Other Posts]

July 8, 11AM

Girard is a necessary read during this time. More so, because he understands the role founding myths play in the development of the people. I’m not going to wax on, but I want to encourage you to read this paragraph and savor it. It is interesting t... [Religion and Politics]


I hear you can get a look at the first chapter at Zondervan. Discover a new understanding of Kierkegaard’s thought and his life, a story filled with romance, betrayal, humor, and riots. Kierkegaard, like Einstein and Freud, is one of those geniuses whos... [Books] [Stephen Backhouse] [søren kierkegaard] [Zondervan]

July 7, 1PM

Many United Methodists have heard the popular hermeneutical (biblical interpretation) teachings coming from one of our most prominent pastors.  In contrast to more holistic and classical methods of Biblical interpretation, this method separates out the w... [scripture]


William Burt Pope, 19th century Methodist Theologian, would write, Theology is a light shed upon all the universe; it is the glory of God’s creature, man. But this leads us to the eternal secret of our dignity. Our knowledge comes to us through One who ... [theology]

July 6, 7AM

I want to start with a disclaimer. I will say thank you to the precious few Bishops in the United Methodist Church who have remained faithful to the vows they took first as pastors and then as Bishops. You are a treasure to me, and to us all. I am not ref... [United Methodist Church]

July 5, 6AM

A lot of fuss has been made about some sort of third way plan. Those who call themselves “centrists” often refer to it as being the model to go forward. Third way plans don’t really work for the church as a whole though. In this piece we... [United Methodist Church] [Third Way]

July 4, 7AM

Fletcher was Wesley’s European successor, and designer of the program that eventually became the Methodist denomination(s). His essay on Evangelical Mysticism is a must, I think. Our current crop of evangelicals, and those to the right, tend to thin... [sanctification] [John Fletcher]

July 1, 7PM

I can think of a few “abstruse” doctrines…this Gnosticist attempt at intellectualizing the faith, whether it is some progressive sense of “justice” or perhaps some notion of super-predestinationism…  Or those who r... [Other Posts] [Thomas Merton]


If you missed it, the first part of this group of posts can be found here. I have started talking about why it is indeed time for the United Methodist Church to break up. In this post, I want to examine the actions of the Annual Conferences who have cho... [Other Posts] [United Methodist Church]

June 30, 12 PM

Disobedience is a doorway to more sins. We can call it rebellion or secession or nonconformity, but it brings in scheming, deception, and rivalry. Scripture and Tradition warned repeatedly against such things. The post St Cyprian on the heresy of ecclesia... [cyprian] [non-conformity] [Schism]


Neil Sedaka was right. Breaking up is hard to do. It is messy, especially when there is money, property, children, and all the rest involved. We are talking a lot about that in the United Methodist Church. We are talking about it in the language of marria... [United Methodist Church]

June 29, 11PM

I want to challenge you to share. I realize that opening the door to a subject matter like this can open a can of worms. It can also create quiet. Maybe no one will share at all. In this crazy internet world of blogging, debating, criticizing, and arguing... [doctrine] [NIV] [Other Posts] [theology] [United Methodist Church] [Christianity] [church] [discussion] [holy] [hope] [nazarene] [Testimony] [United Methodist]


The post Jenson on (lack of) theology in a divided Church appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introdu... [theology] [Robert W. Jenson]


I am excited for the newest Star Trek movie, Beyond. I enjoyed the first two — even Into Darkness. I found them fun, exciting and hopeful. Why? I was talking about this last week and just thought I’d share. Growing up, I had to sneak to watch Star... [media] [Star Trek]

June 27, 7PM

I hope you might join me in a new blog venture that hopefully will wind up becoming my next book venture. Our subject matter is one that is hard to navigate. Not because it is impossible, but that the two sides either seek... [Other Posts]


A question was asked in a public forum recently that I am going to take on briefly here. The question was two fold. What is discipleship, and what is the originating point of discipleship. Discipleship originates in the call of God to us. In the United M... [United Methodist Church] [Cost of Discipleship] [discipleship]

June 26, 6PM

Recently, I had a long drive to the East coast. As normally happens when I have a lot of windshield time, my mind wanders to strange and sometimes scary places. On this particular trip, I started thinking about the rite of marriage, as celebrated by the U... [Other Posts]

June 21, 2PM

As we all know, many denominations of the Christian Church in America have been losing members over the last several decades. There’s been a lot of speculation about where those lost members go. Some have suggested that they are exiting for more con... [Other Posts]


After any type of shooting, it has become inevitable that the topic of guns and the law comes up. I have purposefully waiting to try and say anything in the hopes that the standard accusations died down a little bit before saying anything else. I have wri... [Other Posts]

June 18, 4PM

There can be no unity between the radical progressives and the moderates, conservatives, and others. Indeed, as demonstrated by both New England and Cal-Pac Annual Conferences, The United Methodist Church is in a state of rebellion. Yes, there is a system... [United Methodist Church]

June 17, 2PM

There is a Licensed Local Pastor in the New England Annual Conference by the name of Reverend  Skip Smith. He served at Berwick UMC in Berwick, Main. I do not know him, and I doubt that I will ever have the privilege of meeting him, much to my detriment.... [Other Posts]


And now our disposition is as such as if there were no one will require an account from us of the vows we have made. We pass our time without fear of God and contempt of his commandments. We are arrogant not only toward the rest of the community, but even... [St. Symeon the New Theologian]

June 16, 1PM

The post St. Symeon on attention’s deficit appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and... [St. Symeon the New Theologian]


In the wake of the Orlando tragedy, we have heard from many people about what the core problem may be that resulted in so much death and suffering. We probably have our own view of what “the problem” is. The list includes: – Guns and the... [Other Posts]


What is Canonical Theism? It… …is intimately tied to the notion of the canonical heritage of the Church.  The Church possesses not just a canon of books in its bible, but also a canon of doctrine, a canon of saints, a canon of Fathers, a cano... [doctrine] [canonical theism] [William J. Abraham]

June 15, 5PM

Don’t let the number fool you… there are a lot more than 39+ comments. The post Chime in: Guns for those on the Watchlist appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations O... [Religion and Politics]


Spiritual growth, or sanctification, has suffered either feast or famine in many Wesleyan circles. In Wesley’s grandchildren, sanctification has suffered from a gluttonous feast, leaving no room for the intellectual holiness Wesley called for — w... [sanctification] [Stephen W. Rankin]

June 14, 12 PM

Admin note: This is a testimony from a Cuban Methodist, all names removed and changed. You know why. I have not changed much, except to straight up some spellings.   I was 18 years old when someone spoke to me about God for the first time. Of course that... [United Methodist Church] [Cuba]

June 12, 6PM

What happened in Orlando on Saturday evening is exactly that – a tragedy. It is a tragedy that people cannot get along and allow others to live the life they want to live the way they want to live it without causing them harm because of their own fe... [Other Posts]

June 9, 7AM

The post Patriarch Ignatius IV on the Renewal and Reunion of the Church appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of... [sanctification] [theology]

June 8, 12 PM

Famous internet troll, John Pipe, recently quipped, God does not punish innocent children for the sins of guilty parents. There are no innocent children. (Deuteronomy 5:9; Ezekiel 18:20) — John Piper (@JohnPiper) June 7, 2016 When he does this sort ... [theology]


Recently I visited Savannah, Georgia. It is not quite the spiritual home of American methodists, given that Wesley’s trip here was a bust. However, there are several Wesleyan historical markers, such as his statute in Reynold’s Square giv... [United Methodist Church]

June 6, 7AM

There has been a good deal of talk lately about personal revelations from God. I am encouraged by such talk in general. God does indeed still speak. I want to deal with some claims specifically though. This is the latest in a trend of those who support fu... [theology] [United Methodist Church]

June 4, 12 PM

Without the Holy Spirit, God is distant, Christ is merely a historical figure, the Gospel is a dead letter, the Church is just an organization, authority is domination, mission is propaganda, liturgy is only nostalgia, and the work of Christians is slave ... [Church History]

June 2, 8AM

When I was in high school, I discovered a series of books titled, Opposing Viewpoints. This series introduced a controversial topic that allowed for equal time for those on each side (or sometimes several sides) of an issue to present their case. The ar... [United Methodist Church]

June 1, 10AM

As a layman, I am always humbled by the thoughts of distinguished Methodist scholars like Dr. Abraham. They have insights into the history and polity of the Methodist movement that I cannot hope to share. All I can bring to the table is a lifelong members... [United Methodist Church]


The Seven Sacraments held by the various Catholic communions are often dismissed by Protestants as superfluous to Scripture. Perhaps they are, but that is not the argument I want to make. Rather, I want to suggest we see them as the exact representation o... [The Mystics] [theology] [Saint Bonaventure]


There are two forms of unity that I hold for the Christian. One is that of the Church Universal. Those who worship the Triune God are united under Christ. The second are the communities united around core emphasises or distinctives. If The United Methodi... [sanctification] [United Methodist Church]

May 31, 10AM

The Church has never taken an official stance on what exactly it was that Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection accomplished in order to secure salvation for humanity. One of the most innovative theories of atonement is St. Anselm of Canterbury’s ... [Atonement] [Reformation] [Anselm] [God] [God the Father] [john calvin]


One of my pet peeves is the assertion that the church was wrong on slavery, specifically the Methodist church. There are examples from the early church that proves there was not an endorsement of slavery, but I shall leave that for another time to focus o... [Other Posts]


This is from the notes by Bishops Coke and Asbury as found in the 1792 annotated Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church: The late reverend John Wesley recommended the episcopal form to his societies in America; and the general conference, which is ... [United Methodist Church] [Francis Asbury] [polity] [Thomas Coke]

May 28, 7PM

We, as a body, appealed to our bishops to lead in finding a way forward for The United Methodist Church. Despite my concerns and misgivings, I will trust this is going to be done well and serve the God we all love. The Bishops asked that none of us do any... [United Methodist Church]

May 27, 2PM

In The United Methodist Church we are using the phrase “agree to disagree” an awful lot these days. I am not so sure that we understand what it implies though. I am going to try and unpack how we can agree to disagree and how we can not in go... [theology]


Hey Folks. I’m Jeremy Shank and I’m working on a walk through the Book of Romans over in the “Shanktification” blog. Come on over at take a look. A System of Intentions I have been walking through the Book of Acts on Sunday morning... [Other Posts] [exclusion] [faith] [inclusiveness] [love] [righteousness]

May 25, 4AM

Waiting Bishop Palmer, the episcopal officer of the West Ohio Annual Conference, preached during the early days of the 2016 General Conference. His sermon was about patiently waiting. Holiness, to sum it up, is about waiting. After two weeks of watching ... [United Methodist Church] [General Conference]

May 23, 6AM

Someone on a facebook group mentioned the 22nd Article of Religion, on rites of the Church: It is not necessary that rites and ceremonies should in all places be the same, or exactly alike; for they have been always different, and may be changed according... [United Methodist Church] [Articles of Religion]


It has been reported that during the committee session on the Creed, there was a lot of misinformation delivered. That’s fine. I have four more years. But in the meantime, here is an excellent article written on the recent petition submitted to offi... [United Methodist Church]

May 22, 2PM

I can not imagine the turmoil that the delegates to this General Conference faced. Watching and listening from home, I felt some small part of it and could only be thankful to be close to my support systems. I can not imagine being for far from them. What... [United Methodist Church]

May 20, 11AM

Filmed at two of the oldest American Methodist chapels — St. George’s Chapel in Philadelphia and Barratt’s Chapel in Dover Delaware. This short documentary was produced on the anniversary year of Francis Asbury’s Death. Francis Asb... [United Methodist Church]


The other person in this conversation asked to not be named and I will honor that. There are good points made here. It was an honest conversation that was even polite. Notice that there is not much of a change however. This shows that we can talk about th... [Other Posts]
Dear Brothers and sisters, I greet you in the name of the most high creator God, and in the name above all others, Jesus the Christ, and in the power of the Holy Spirit which dwells in all believers. I bring you a message today of great joy and hope amids... [Other Posts]


I am reserving most comments until later, but I want to highlight 3 areas of legislation I find pleasing. The first is Petition 60033, which establishes an ecclesiology: Since its authorization in 2008 (Book of Discipline, ¶ 1907-1912), the Committee on ... [United Methodist Church]

May 18, 10AM

This is the total of the plan. Social media is livid. And they should be. This is nothing but kicking the can down the road. The post the #UMCGC bishops’ “plan” appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amaz... [United Methodist Church]

May 17, 5PM

For any of you who had a momentary spark of excitement thinking this would be my last blog…sorry. This is about several things that have the potential to happen at General Conference for the last time though. A significant thing happened from the fl... [United Methodist Chruch]


After the uproar died down a bit and the truth of things came out, at least enough to move forward, we all took a collective deep breath and sigh of momentary relief. The Bishops said they would not be putting forward a proposal and that they supported un... [Other Posts] [United Methodist Chruch]


I awoke this morning, as I usually do, tired only to stumble to the shower while I’m checking my phone. As I scrolled through twitter while my water warms up, I noticed the suggestion that today the Council of Bishops would issue a call for separati... [United Methodist Church] [Mike Slaughter]

May 16, 10PM

The United Methodist Centrist Movement, Love Prevails, and otehrs have reported the following information: “The “Love Your Neighbor Coalition” announced tonight that the Bishops are in an executive session reviewing a plan for schism tha... [Other Posts]


On Friday, Bishop Sally Dyck, one of the several bishops preaching during General Conference, delivered what progressives held to as a sermon as inspired as anything in Scripture, and conservatives saw through as bitter and pointed, if not completely devo... [United Methodist Church]

May 12, 10PM

Alright, let’s be frank, my sausage analogy might be getting a little smoked. When I first thought of it I said, “Hot dog! This will be a banger of an idea.” After a few days, though, it may be one of the wurst choices I could have made.... [United Methodist Church]


Everyone at, or following the General Conference felt like the image at some point, and perhaps all points, during the debate around rule 44. There will of course be accusations that the traditionalists were trying to kill it by parliamentary procedure an... [United Methodist Church]


In general, it’s easier to enjoy the sausage when you don’t know what goes into it. I suppose that’s true of United Methodism in some ways. Listening to the wrangling on the floor of General Conference over the past two days, I feel I... [United Methodist Church]

May 10, 4PM

The opening worship of the General Conference was inspiring and well done. I was especially thankful for the Apostle’s creed as it is one of the confessions that has historically united the Christian church in belief. It was inspiring to see the chu... [United Methodist Church] [United Methodist]


For me, General Conference 2016 began years ago in a discussion with a former pastor. He was reflectingon the challenges facing the United Methodist Church, and he patiently led me through history and painted a picture of the importance of this quadrennia... [United Methodist Church]


I wanted to call your attention to this rather quickly (context: the General Conference is happening). I’ll review it later. I was able to help (I think) with designing some of this. Granted, Ben A. had done 99.5% of the heavy lifting, but he asked ... [Logos Bible Software] [United Methodist Church]

May 9, 4PM

The post #UMCGC appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to Fai... [Other Posts]


As with others, I believe in the intercessory prayer of the Church Triumphant. While I know John Wesley didn’t, if the doctrine is correct, then he has learned better by now. To that end, I will acknowledge our Articles of Religion do not think hig... [United Methodist Church]


Bishop Palmer is who will have to ultimately deal with the matter that is going to be presented here. No matter what your personal opinion may be, I encourage you not to pray that the Bishop does what you want, but to simply pray for the Bishop that he mi... [United Methodist Church] [United Methodist]

May 7, 5AM

In my wonderings around the interweb last night, I stumbled across the Narrative Lectionary. My curiosity was peeked and so I started to research this new Lectionary. Up until last night, I had never head of the Narrative Lectionary (NL) before and was su... [scripture] [Society and Religion] [Bible] [church] [Lectionary] [Narrative Lectionary] [pop culture] [Revised Common Lectionary]

May 6, 4PM

This is a rough draft of a required Literature Review (pdf) for one of my classes. The subject is near and dear to me, of course. One particular aspect? The report by Bartkowski, Xu, & Levin (2007) on the modeling of discussion v. argument. It is sup... [Christian Education] [science] [Fundamentalism] [science education]

May 5, 6AM

My fellow West Virginian United Methodist, Rev. Scott Sears, has a post in response to some of my ongoing discussions. This is a friendly discussion, and one we have both agreed to exactly because we both love our Church. I have written on unity before, b... [United Methodist Church] [Bishop Mike Lowry] [John Wesley]

May 3, 9AM

There is a common charge leveled at the orthodox/creedal, that somehow we want to have a litmus test. Indeed, my recent petition evoked conspiracy theories of a Southern-Baptist-like takeover of The United Methodist Church. On the flipside of this Weimar ... [United Methodist Church]

May 2, 8AM

United Methodist Reporter was kind enough to allow me to pen a response to the latest highly publicized same-sex marriage in North Carolina. Before writing the piece, I did reach out to Bishop Talbert and offer him an opportunity to comment or to make a s... [Other Posts]


Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ, let us worship, the holy Lord Jesus, the only Sinless One! We venerate Thy Cross, O Christ, and Thy Holy Resurrection we praise and glorify; for Thou art our God, and we know no other than Thee; we call on Thy nam... [resurrection] [St. Symeon the New Theologian]

April 28, 7AM

With the lead-up to General Conference, we have seen more and more refuse to enforce the Book of Discipline, including a candidate for the episcopal office as well as a retired bishop (See Rev. McIntyre’s post).1 Further, we have seen M. Talbert b... [United Methodist Church]

April 27, 7AM

Can we use the digital age to increase participation in orthodoxy? Digital theology needs to be examined and built in order to do so.1 Introduction Why are theological dilettantes given theological space on the internet when, generally, they would be den... [theology]

April 26, 6AM

As a general rule of thumb, I prefer my movies to be entertainment as their primary function. That being said, I do enjoy entertainment that makes me reflect and think. This movie accomplished that. It was entertaining by and large and also caused one to ... [media] [Religion and Politics]

April 25, 11AM

Dalton Rushing, a UMC pastor in Northern Georgia, has written a blog post lambasting Dr. Bill Arnold, Rev. Beth Ann Cook, and myself for legislation we have independently submitted to the General Conference. Well, not exactly. Rather, he has written a pie... [United Methodist Church]

April 18, 9AM

There is an apparent misconception in United Methodism that we are a people of grace and grace alone. This could perhaps be true if we ignore our founders and their teachings as well as our doctrinal standards, but as I am not wont to do this, we should e... [United Methodist Church] [grace] [moral law] [UMC]


Anytime someone mentions orthodoxy in a positive context to the heretical or heterodox, there are a mixture of responses: We’re ____ not Orthodox. That’s too Catholic. It doesn’t matter what you believe as long you love your neighbor. Th... [Church History] [doctrine]

April 12, 7AM

The United Methodist Scholars for Christian Orthodoxy, or SHIELD for short… no, wait… I mean UMSCO (because our anagram was not the first thing they thought about) held their first conference in Cincinnati, Ohio 31 March-2 April. Before that,... [United Methodist Church]

April 11, 8AM

This is a great video. For (real) Wesleyans watching this, you’ll note the eery similarities in defining salvation: But in reality the Church entrusts to everyone the enormous honour to be responsible for the salvation of the whole world, of this w... [justification] [Eastern Orthodox Church]


Outler (p277), in his anthology of Wesley’s sermons, notes that Sermon 36 has some at least one remarkable connection to The Epistle to the Ephesians, by St. Ignatius of Antioch. He refers to 14.1, but if you examine the whole of Sermon 36, youR... [Ignatius of Antioch]

April 8, 11AM

The essays collected in this volume focus on methodological and historical topics related to the study of the history of ancient Israel. Contributors offer readers new readings of disputed texts, new methodological tools for study of the ancient world inh... [Books] [Equinox Publishers] [jim west]


This actually comes from an assignment for one of my current classes… Mid-way through the first month of 2016, I was able to travel with a group of United Methodist seminary students to Cuba, to experience and explore the Iglesia Metodista En Cuba. ... [United Methodist Church] [Cuba]

April 7, 3PM

The introduction to my reflections on the conference can be found here. I want to make very clear that I was not an organizer of this conference nor do I speak for the UMOrthodoxy group. Much of what is said here are my reflections and extrapolations on... [United Methodist Church]


It is a good and proper thing to have a study bible that is set within the Great Tradition. That’s why I like the Orthodox Study Bible — because it acknowledges that Scripture is primarily the book of the Church. By the way, this is big ‘O&#... [Accordance Bible]


At the UM Orthodoxy conference, Dr. Abraham mentioned the difference between the 150 sermons The United Methodist Church uses, by way of Outler, and the 44 canonical sermons used by other Wesleyan groups across the globe. I tried to look for a list, but o... [United Methodist Church]


Andy Hargrove and Austin Rivera have a public letter to the Faith and Order Committee regarding the passage of Petition 60980-FO-¶104-G — the one about the Nicene Creed. (You can track it here). You can read my rationale here. Of course, I maintain ... [United Methodist Church]

April 5, 8PM

Special Introductory Pricing… From Accordance: We are pleased to announce the release of the Orthodox Study Bible Notes for the Accordance Library! This unique study Bible, offering insights and commentary from the early centuries of Christianity, w... [Accordance Bible]

April 2, 3AM

There was some concern that this conference, put on by the United Methodist Scholars for Christian Orthodoxy, was something that it was indeed not. For a brief moment, let me talk about that. This was not a secret strategy session of the vast right wing c... [Other Posts]

March 30, 8AM

Over the past year or so, I’ve engaged others on the topic of canon. Some suggest that the Catholic/Orthodox canon(s) are the real Christian one. Others suggest that we must heed the Jewish canon. Neither of these statements are accurate because the... [scripture]

March 29, 6AM

What are your thoughts? The post Dr David Watson on “the whole canon of Scripture” appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Crit... [doctrine] [scripture] [theology] [David F. Watson]

March 27, 5AM

The Gospel According to St. Mark ends abruptly, with no shortage of heartburn for those trying to explain why. For me, I believe it is intentional, meant to urge the audience to a great leap of faith. “But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is... [Devotional] [Easter]

March 24, 7AM

While this story is unconfirmed, would it really be a surprise? One of the great problems with Christianity in the west is that we have forgotten that there are still those who in picking up their cross and following, end up nailed to it. Why it is so sh... [Devotional] [Christ] [faith] [holy week] [martyr]

March 23, 7AM

From Hans Küng: Truth must not be sacrificed, but rediscovered: The Churches cannot be unified satisfactorily on the basis of indifferentist faith and half-hearted allegiances. Diplomatic settlements and compromises in dogma are not the right way. We mus... [United Methodist Church] [Hans Kung]

March 21, 12 PM

I’m biased, but Rindge is a mastermind… I cannot wait to read this book. The sacred ethos of the American Dream has become a central pillar of American civil religion. The belief that meaning is fashioned from some mixture of family, friends, ... [Books] [Matthew S. Rindge]


There is this stereotype of the Christian movie. It is filled with cheesy dialogue, exhausted stereotypes, and climatic scenes aimed at the insuring the audience has a “come to Jesus” moment, almost like an altar call surrounded by chewed gum,... [media] [Christy Beam] [Jennifer Garner] [Kylie Rogers] [Miracles from Heaven]

March 14, 11AM

The spectacle remained a threat to burgeoning Christian movement until the time of Eusebius. The ancient Christian rigorists, Tertullian in de Spectaculis and Novatian in a work by the same name, condemned the Spectacle as unchristian, citing the pagan in... [Doctoral Work]


I started this particular series of blogs here, and continue in the same basic vein. As always, I can not represent anyone but myself, but I do think that these opinions are shared by many and might serve as an answer to some of the questions that I hav... [Other Posts]


Such a hot book… Hell. It is a perennial topic discussed by those who may use it as a fear tactic and those seek to overturn a centuries — a millennia — old doctrine often used as a fear tactic. But, is it real? Or, rather, what use is it to th... [Books] [hell] [Jerry Walls] [Preston Sprinkle] [Robin A. Parry]

March 11, 12 PM

A new book by Warren Carter? Yes, please. Warren Carter leads the beginning student in an inductive exploration of the New Testament Gospels, asking about their genre, the view that they were written by eyewitnesses, the early church traditions about them... [Books] [Gospel Criticism] [Fortress Press] [Warren Carter]

March 10, 12 PM

Yeah… I’m still working. Just a draft. The idea is that the death of Jesus is “scene” in the realm of human sacrifice, in tune with the arena and other political suicides. Are the spectacle and the arena of metaphors it employs imp... [Doctoral Work] [Galatians]


The ICC is a staple, a long standing stable staple of scholastic studies. Glad to see this new series. ‘The ITC is intended to provide a theological complement to the ICC. The volumes will run similar lengths to their companion volumes in the ICC an... [Books]

March 9, 2PM

You know the drill. This is scratch work. The gist of this is to show that the use of spectacle, cultic sacrifice, etc… imagery would not be foreign either to Paul or the audience(s) which is why such an analogy that I will propose in Galatians can ... [Corinthians] [Doctoral Work] [Galatians] [Philippians] [Thessalonians]

March 7, 1PM

It was asked of me why many conservatives are unwilling to compromise on numerous issues in the UMC as we all try to go forward. While I can not speak for anyone but myself, I will give some thoughts on the matter from my perspective for whatever they are... [United Methodist Church]

12 PM

Every now and then, I talk about church growth. Not a lot, because church growth is not what I’m really about. I prefer theology, polity, and biblical studies. Church growth is not charismatic enough for me. Anyway… as we struggle to deal with... [United Methodist Church] [Charismatic] [Church Growth]


In reading several commentaries, I keep seeing James 1.27 referred back to Isaiah 1.15-16. Admittedly, because I don’t have the time to search my entire library, I cannot tell you no one else has connected James 1.27 to Sirach 4.10. (Briefly looking... [Sirach] [james]

March 4, 10AM

Rick Brannan’s work here is going to be helpful for those interested in something more than word studies — for those interested in relationships among those words. Take for instance Brannan’s breakdown of 2 Timothy 3.16. Most of us stop at t... [Books] [Rick Brannan]

March 3, 6AM

This is a pertinent article — not merely for the current political climate but likewise for the UMC (which seems inexplicably linked to the US). Even in the War Between the States, there were some pro-Union areas in the Confederacy and pro-Confederate ... [United Methodist Church]

March 2, 1PM

There are two quotes I want you to read over and digest. There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble ... [Religion and Politics]


You know me. You know I don’t like the PSA model. I do not disagree, wholly, with substitution but find that as a general heading, it fits. However, I cannot subscribe to the theory that we need to satisfy God’s honor. Nor do I believe atoneme... [Atonement] [Georges Florovsky] [Vigen Guroian]

March 1, 9AM

I for one long for more Anglican influence in modern Wesleyanism… I got a chance to meet Dr Ryan Danker at SBL in Atlanta. We may disagree on a few…political divisions…of our own, but he is a believer. He loves Jesus and that seems to be... [Books] [Ryan Nicholas Danker]
As you know, I think Rule 44 is a control measure and is theologically bankrupt. While in some comments, it is called “Christian Conferencing” (it is neither Christian, nor conferencing), in other comments it is only a tool. This doublespeak i... [United Methodist Church]

February 29, 7AM

A while ago, as my class was meandering through the Gospel According to St. Mark, I mentioned (again) that to read GMark properly, one must have a good grasp of allusions and external sources. I believe, and have stated before (my book, Mimetic Criticism ... [Mark] [Euripides]

February 27, 7AM

Just a little humor this morning…          The post Some alternative (memes) for this political season  appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, M... [Other Posts]


Many thanks to my publisher and friend for this new project, where Energion authors are publicized. You can, should, and must read my article…over there: Growing up, we were told to read Scripture via the plain sense model. The words on the page con... [Publications and Papers]

February 26, 4AM

My son and I, as our Lenten practice, have selected to read a passage of Scripture every morning. We have settled on the book of Sirach (Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus). It is, in my opinion, a worthy one for Protestants to reconsider. It is, somewhat, retained... [Sirach]

February 23, 8AM

Fair warning, this will mix the Bible and politics to an extent. If that sort of thing bothers you, you have been warned. In the long story of the Bible, Judges is an exceptionally interesting book. In it we find some of those often held up to be heroes, ... [Other Posts]
I CANNOT WAIT TO GET INTO THIS This landmark resource, the first fully-based on the authoritative NABRE translation, contains the trustworthy study notes, expanded essays, and informational sidebars which have guided and informed students and general read... [Books] [Oxford University Press]

February 22, 7AM

Here’s the lineup of preachers and speakers for our conference , Holy People, Faithful Church, to be held at Armstrong Chapel UMC in Cincinnati, March 31-April 2. There are more speakers TBA. You can register by clicking here! Bring all your friends! Yo... [United Methodist Church]

February 18, 2PM

The first three parts of this may be found here, here, and, here. Having read the synopsis of the proposal (I confess, I did not go through all of the official changes required to the BoD and the language used) I feel as thought there are a good many ... [Other Posts]


The first part of the reflection on this plan may be found here, and the second can be found here. If you have not read them, this may not make much sense. I am beginning here on page 4 of the item labeled “A – Legislation and Concept Prop... [Other Posts]

February 17, 1PM

This is a continuation of the commentary that starts here. If you are reading this before reading the first and the plan it is based on, it may not not a lot of sense. It may not make sense anyway, but there is a better chance if you start at the beginn... [Other Posts]

12 PM

Someone whom I think highly of asked me my thoughts on this proposal. Initially I had planned to write a short summation of thoughts after reading it, but the proposal itself is rather detailed and, as my opinion was asked, I felt as if it should be equal... [United Methodist Church]

February 16, 4PM

As pretty much anyone with the ability to read this knows, a Supreme Court Justice has passed away. Some will extol his virtues, some will call his brand of law and constitutional understanding as faulty, and some, who even while diametrically opposed to ... [Other Posts]


One of the worst things about text messages is that you never really get the sense of the person talking. Think about it. Someone texts you something and how do you read it? With the voice that is inside your head. If the same person says the exact same t... [Logos Bible Software] [james] [Steve Runge]

February 12, 8AM

The entire chapter is worth reading, but St Bonaventure (a mythic and a theologian (really, can you be one or the other?) writes regarding the proper senses/lens in reading Scripture as Christians: 1. Finally, there is depth in the Scriptures, deriving f... [hermeneutics] [scripture] [Saint Bonaventure]

February 11, 6AM

The point was recently made that there are to many complaint type posts about the church and not enough posts about diversifying the culture of the church, or encouraging people to get into the mission field. The point is good, and because of that, I will... [United Methodist Church]

February 5, 12 PM

   The post Little known facts about Martin Luther appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Intr... [Other Posts] [humor] [Martin Luther]

February 4, 8AM

I thought this was interesting… You ever notice that those who are deeply charismatic (we can define that properly later) are anti-institutional while those who are pro-institution are anti-charismatic? Sure, that is a disastrous generalization, but... [Liturgy and Worship] [Other Posts]

February 3, 8AM

Lately, as is so often the case, when I turn to read Ephesians, I inevitably get to chapter 4. It is honestly the oddest thing I experience. I read chapter 1…then chapter 2…then chapter 3…and then bam! there is chapter 4. Again. Happens... [doctrine] [United Methodist Church]

February 2, 7AM

Recently, I went to Cuba. The readers of this blog know this. Many of my friends know this. Even those around me at the office know this. This is a series of reflective posts based on that experience. Note, I am not a pastor and will not be in the ordina... [United Methodist Church] [Cuba]

January 29, 7AM

For the past month, I have done something different to conduct a nonscientific and informal study…I have actually paid attention to the common insults doled out to me during conversations about a variety of topics. The insults I will address here ha... [Other Posts]

January 27, 12 PM

Yeah… I miss it. The post Cuba, Video Clips, Part II appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introd... [United Methodist Church] [Cuba] [United Theological Seminary]


I really wanted to blog my way through the recent trip to Cuba, but to be frank, there was just so much that I needed to not put anything down in writing. Anyway, I made some video clips and now I am putting them together. The post Cuba, Video Clips, Part... [United Methodist Church] [Cuba] [United Theological Seminary]


When I first explored joining the United Methodist Church, I was told that the United Methodist Church does not require one to think a certain way — but only to think. This high intellectualism attracted me because it allowed me to explore my Christian ... [United Methodist Church]

January 13, 10AM

In all of the discussion of the various proposals for the UMC at the upcoming General Conference, I find myself drawn back to one in particular. No doubt there are some who will write this off as me just being my normal conservative self, but that is not ... [Other Posts]

January 12, 8AM

Same rules as these posts. Early Christian Interpretation of Galatians, Apostolic Fathers to Augustine While Galatians has become somewhat of a staple in theological interpretation since the Reformation, thanks in large part to Martin Luther’s anchoring... [Doctoral Work] [Galatians]

January 6, 7AM

As with yesterday, this is a draft. Constructive, polite, and wonderful comments only. Proposal This volume proposes to draw out a model not yet properly offered. I will attempt to present the death of Jesus not as one who was sacrificed unwillingly; comm... [Galatians] [Doctoral Work]

January 5, 11AM

I’m going to post bits and pieces of my dissertation drafts. Not all is post. If you feel the need to destroy things, don’t comment. If you have questions, I’ll do my best to answer them. If you have constructive criticisms that won&#... [Galatians] [Doctoral Work] [emplotment]

January 4, 12 PM

DO YOU SMELL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKING!!!!? For many, the names Bethlehem, Babylon, and Jerusalem are known as the setting for epic stories from the Bible featuring rustic mangers, soaring towers, and wooden crosses. What often gets missed is that these ci... [Books] [robert cargill] [HarperCollins]


The Wesleyan covenant prayer has been making the rounds again. It is a beautiful prayer that I myself find moving and effective. This year I have seen a new contemporary version of the covenant prayer that claims to be in the Wesleyan tradition. At first ... [United Methodist Church] [Wesleyan Covenant Prayer]

January 1, 11AM

In 11 days, I’m heading to Cuba with the intercontextual program at United Theological Seminary (Dayton) where I will stay for about 2 weeks. I’m asking for help. I’m trying to raise some money to bring down with me in order to give to t... [Other Posts]

December 30 2015, 4PM

Bishop Spong recently put up his 12 points of reformation for the church. I felt compelled to post my own idea of what the reformation of the church should use for its statements of belief. I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and eart... [Other Posts]

December 29, 5PM

I recently read a well thought out and honest blog about guns, violence and the reality that we, as Christians, are not doing well in having any sort of conversation about it by and large. Some excellent points were made and some very good questions asked... [Other Posts]


St. John of Damascus, or the Damascene, would be my patron saint, if, as a Protestant in the Anglo-Catholic tradition was allowed to have one. Otherwise, we can just say he is my…wait for it…. homeboy. There has been a recent discussion on whe... [theology] [John of Damascus] [Islam]

December 23, 1PM

Protestants seem to lack mysticism. We go to Sunday church to hear a sermon and then leave. Catholics find mystery in the Eucharist while for the Orthodox, the Divine Liturgy is a ladder between heaven and earth… for partakers of the Eucharist, all ... [theology] [g.k. chesterton]

December 21, 9AM

Attention: The Religion Graduate Organization invites you to submit paper and panel proposals to the semi-annual Religion Graduate Conference, Encountering the Unexpected: Glitches, (Dis)placements, and Marginalia. This conference actively encourages inte... [Other Posts]

December 18, 2PM

Wheaton College has undergone a bit of controversy in the past few days, so of course, the world (or really bored Americans) is in an uproar. As in most cases like this, facts are in short supply and opinions are everywhere. If you have not read anything ... [Other Posts]

December 15, 11AM

I wrote this a bit ago, but it keeps coming up. Today is the anniversary of the passage of the Bill of Rights. So, in honour of that most august occasion, I present you my thoughts on what maintains our freedom.  I have no intention of removing guns out ... [Religion and Politics] [freedom of the press] [Bill of Rights]

December 14, 3PM

Thaddeus participated in the Christmas program at his grandmother’s church that was written by a member of that church and had been performed before. It involved adults in the more difficult parts and children for some cute and a few lines here and ... [doctrine]

December 12, 9AM

Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature (γένησθε θείας κοινωνοὶ φύσεως), after escaping from the corruption that is in the world ... [theology] [theosis]

December 11, 7AM

Lately, as I lose faith, I gain hope — if that makes sense. Oftentimes, I see people confusing faith with fact. It is not. Our Christian hope cannot be proved in accordance with modern notions of fact, nor should it be — because then it moves into ano... [Devotional] [hope] [Karl Barth]

December 8, 11AM

I have avoided doing anything on the issue of guns purposefully. No matter how hard you try, it seems to always be incendiary and cause problems, but as I continually engage in conversations about the matter, it is easier to post a link rather than to typ... [Other Posts]


“Fear is danger tasted in advance, a quiver as the heart takes fright before unnamed calamity. Fear is loss of assurance.” Another author writes, Fear is, of course, natural, but it must be controlled. To be dominated by fear is a sign of lack... [Devotional] [fear] [St. John of the Ladder] [Vassilios Papavassiliou]

December 1, 1PM

 For sometime now, there has been an interest in redefining — maybe, reformulating? — the role of pastor. As the mainline churches moved into moral therapeutic deism, pastors became counselors. Now, as churches become overly top heavy, with quotas an... [Church Government] [Clergy] [pastors] [propheys]

November 30, 10AM

There is, I believe, a need for humans to develop community. When we don’t, we lose a substantial part of ourselves. This is part of a different project — clinical mental health — but I thought I’d share because it factors into religion, p... [science] [Henk de Vos]

November 29, 6AM

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and to put on the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility; that on the last day, when he shall come again in his glori... [Other Posts] [Advent]

November 27, 5PM

   The post The love of God appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary... [Other Posts] [Vigen Guroian]

November 25, 7AM

I’ve posted several snippets and quotes from theologians on the reality of Creation. I also posted something from the 19th century poet, John Keats. Except for his suggestion that the Christian faith does not contain the allowance for this “sc... [theology] [Creation] [theosis]
ζῶ δὲ οὐκέτι ἐγώ, ζῇ δὲ ἐν ἐμοὶ Χριστός· ὃ δὲ νῦν ζῶ ἐν σαρκί, ἐν πίστει ζῶ τῇ τοῦ ⸂υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ⸃ τοῦ ἀγαπήσαντός με καὶ παραδό... [Doctoral Work] [Galatians] [Galatians 2.20] [παραδίδωμι]

November 24, 6PM

Yeah… So this is my sense of humor. I’ll save you the sound effect that went along with this.     The post Mark 5.29 #meme appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theate... [Other Posts]

November 21, 7AM

Lexham Press Flash Sale: 6 books for 99 cents each The following books will be on sale, Monday Nov. 23 – Friday Nov. 27 for 99 cents each. I Dare You Not to Bore Me with the Bible Bible Word Studies: A How To Guide The Bible in Its Ancient Context T... [Logos Bible Software]

November 20, 7AM

I have search for something…for a statement… on my view of Creation, or rather, the point and goal of it. It begins with Genesis 3 and the tree of the knowledge of good, evil, and everything inbetween. This is it. It sums up well my views, alt... [theology] [John Keats]

November 19, 4PM

Eric Rahn is my new hero. His perspective on a difficult issue changed and, just I was ready to give up and give in because people’s fears were proving to take precedent over their faith, he posted something. He’s my new hero because even thou... [Other Posts]


“But, inasmuch as inborn affection towards God the Creator seemed to suffice for salvation to those who loved Him, the enemy studies to pervert this affection in men, and to render them hostile and ungrateful to their Creator. For I call heaven and eart... [Clement of Rome] [theology] [God the Creator] [Pseudo-Clementine Homilies]

November 18, 8AM

If God is Creator, what does this mean for His Creatures? Talk about the means and ends of the divine action, then, simply expresses the relations between finite events and beings as God himself wills them, though naturally from the standpoint of their re... [Trinity] [God the Creator] [Wolfhart Pannenberg]


This really is a beautiful bible and matches up quite well to the other Greek bibles/helps. &lt;br /&gt;<br /> The most widely used edition of the Greek New Testament and the most widely read contemporary English Bible translation are now ... [Books] [NIV] [greek new testament] [United Bible Societies] [Zondervan]

November 17, 10AM

It starts about 5… the event (has been moved) to Meehan’s Public House, at 200 Peachtree Street, just 3 minutes’ walk from the Convention Center. Source: #AARSBL15 Bloggers’ Gathering Change of Venue For more info, see here. This is my last on... [biblioblogging]


St. Athanasius’s tome, On the Incarnation, was required reading in my seminary. I have to wonder if we wouldn’t better require it as a catechismal reading, and to require it every so often from older Christians as well. In this, we find remnan... [Athanasius] [theology] [God the Creator]

November 16, 5PM

During the festival of Hanukkah, it is common and customary to make and eat doughnuts (sufganiyot) which are fried and filled with jelly or custard, as well as other fried foods, to commemorate and remember the miracle of the Temple oil. The details and... [Devotional]

12 PM

In looking for answers and trying to discern how it is that we should respond to the recent events, I came across this from UNHCR that was prepared by the Jesuit Refugee Service. Try as I might, I don’t think that I could say it any better.  I thin... [Religion and Politics]


 From Logos, Unlock the heritage of the Wesleyan tradition with a personal library of both classic and modern Methodist, Holiness, Wesleyan, and Nazarene writers and theologians. With resources focusing on four main areas of study: biblical studies, theo... [Logos Bible Software] [United Methodist Church] [Logos Methodist] [Richard Watson]


Torrance notes that God the Father is referred to as “Father” in two different ways. The first, the transcendent one, is based upon God as Creator. This is my favorite attribute of God, and the one which theology first takes shape. …(W)e... [theology] [God the Creator] [t.f. torrance]

November 15, 6PM

TO JOEL WATTS: “Over the years when I would occasionally hear a hymn, the language was always strikingly foreign, with Ebenezers and bulwarks, diadems and fetters. Which only served to confirm my bias that hymns were simply out-of-date. They had se... [Other Posts] [contemporary christian music] [liturgy] [sacred music] [Worship]

November 13, 4AM

Guess what Logos is doing…. and if you know anything about historic patterns… this may mean that a Wesleyan/Methodist package will soon be released… Unlock the heritage of the Wesleyan tradition with a personal library of both classic an... [Logos Bible Software] [Logos Methodist]

November 12, 6PM

In a comment section of another post I have written, the question was posed “Is there any middle ground left in our increasingly polarized “holy conferencing?” Can the General Conference do at least two things to bring us together?” with ... [United Methodist Church]

November 11, 8AM

Combatting St. Anselm, since the 4th century…. Salvation is not merely a juridical change in our status from guilty under the law to justified in God’s sight (though it includes that). It is not accomplished just by the substitution or sacrifice o... [Atonement] [Vigen Guroian]

November 10, 3PM

This is actually a footnote to discussing St Ephram the Syrian’s view.     The post Guroian on the Divine Name appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On ... [Trinity] [Vigen Guroian]


In reading about the Eucharist I stumbled across the statement by the Church of England in response to English Catholics (One Bread One Body), The Eucharist: Sacrament of Unity. There is a lot in this short statement that is worth reading, and should be r... [communion]


As is to be expected these days, the Reconcilling Ministries Network has issued a response to the statement of the central conference Bishops. You can find the Bishops statement here: and... [Other Posts]


I found this a few months ago and it laid on my desktop since then. But, it is a good infographic. Why? Because without these things, these necessary scaffolds, biblical interpretation is individualized often used to harm people, forming cults along the w... [theology]

November 9, 8AM

have you heard the latest about Starbucks… Supposedly, they are murdering Christians as they enter the door. Some Christians have been found crucified and hung over the door as warning signs to other Christians not to enter. I mean, that is sorta wh... [Other Posts]


I’ve seen this meme several times, or at least some incarnation of it, suggesting that everything can now change because in Scripture, left handedness was once considered a sin. But, in looking through Scripture, there is not a mention of the sin of... [Other Posts] [left handedness]

November 5, 12 PM

At the Council of Carthage in 379, a list of books allowed to be used in worship (Mass, Divine Liturgy) was finally finalized (sorta). For the Old Testament, they included all of the books in the common canon (the Jewish 22), but likewise the “five... [Inerrancy]


Yesterday I wrote a bit about the statement by the central conference Bishops and have read numerous comments on my piece as well as other pieces across a variety of sources. I am not going to quote people nor am I going to identify anyone, but I am going... [United Methodist Church]

November 4, 12 PM

There will never be another one like Rene Girard, although many shall try to mirror him. His soul escaped this earthly realm this morning. May it find peace and comfort among the Saints. René Girard est mort ce 4 novembre 2015. Que le Seigneur lui donne ... [Other Posts] [René Girard]


What do we do with all of the “weird” stuff in Scripture? This is a serious question for Christians today. Many ignore it, reenacting a poor caricature of Rudolf Bultmann, ignoring all mythic language from Scripture — and from Christian Trad... [Books] [Logos Bible Software] [lexham press] [Michael Heiser]

November 3, 4PM

The statement in question can be found here. This won’t be the most polished piece I have written as it is admittedly a knee jerk reaction to the statement that I read today. The words on global terrorism and the results of it were welcomed by me. T... [United Methodist Church]

November 2, 2PM

The newest work from Dr. Michael Heiser is out. Dr. Michael S. Heiser, a Scholar-in-Residence at Faithlife Corporation, presents fifteen years of research on what the Bible really says about […] The post in the mail from @LexhamPress, “Superna... [Books] [Logos Bible Software] [lexham press] [Michael Heiser]


Last week, I posted one of my usual means of beginning a conversation. It does have a ring of truth to it, however. I do feel Luther exceeded his authority, […] The post is the bible a product of the Church? (Orthodoxy) appeared first on Unsettled C... [Inerrancy] [Johannes von Hofmann]

October 29, 12 PM

While at times dense and jargon-laced, these essays are perhaps what the cautious rationalist needs to start toe-dipping into the fires of the Spirit. There are swatches of useful concepts […] The post Book Notes, @ivpacademic’s “Spirit ... [Books] [Beth Felker Jones] [ivp-academic] [Jeffrey W. Barbeau]

October 28, 8AM

Across facebook and social media there is a furor — a hatred — a chagrin. But people are angry over nothing. Nothing but a troll account. It began a few […] The post a word of caution on Biblical Gender Roles appeared first on Unsettled Christia... [Other Posts]


This was delivered, not precisely as below (but when you are talking…), at Thornville United Methodist Church, 17 Oct 2015. I’ve not edited much.  I used to collect bibles. In […] The post recent sermon at Thornville UMC appeared first ... [Sermon Notes]

October 27, 12 PM

from The Catechism of St. Philaret (Drozdov) of Moscow: And so the Christian needs: First, Doctrine on faith in God, and on the Sacraments which he reveals; Secondly, Doctrine on […] The post The needs of the Christian appeared first on Unsettled Ch... [doctrine] [Catechism of Philaret]

October 26, 7AM

I cannot explain to you my distaste for this form of deterministic Calvinism. Not only does it require God to send people to hell, but it requires God to cause […] The post Calvinism is Rooted appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are n... [theology] [Calvinism] [Jerusalem Synod]

October 24, 10AM

One of the essential tools of mimetic criticism is the use of cues early in the text. We look for these as early as possible in the primary text so […] The post Jeremiah in Mark 1 and 2 — intertextuality and allusions as atmosphere appeared first ... [Mark] [mimesis]

October 21, 7AM

I am left to wonder, because of the proposed premise of this book, if we aren’t left with a more hidden Jesus than before. The second half of the book […] The post Book Review, @ivpacademic’s “Rediscovering Jesus: An Introduction t... [Books] [David B. Capes] [E. Randolph Richards] [ivp-academic] [Rodney Reeves]

October 20, 12 PM

Biblical Scholar Joel Watts looks at what Christians don’t know about Christianity. Source: What divides Christians and non-believers |290| The post My interview with Alex Tsakiris on the Skeptiko podcast appeared first on Unsettled Christiani... [Other Posts]


I often see John 1 misquoted, suggesting we are all “children of God.” While we are all creatures of God, all children in some sense, we are not all Children […] The post When is Redemption? appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My b... [sanctification]

October 15, 8AM

Go here. take a look. order. The post there is a massive sale on @FortressPress #kindle today appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criti... [Other Posts]

October 14, 3PM

Hi Folks I work for a christian national radio/tv station in New Zealand, and one of our talented staff is raising money to make a movie. He has one week […] The post kickstarter campaign for a young Christian movie director appeared first on Unsett... [Other Posts]


There are somethings you might like to read about the NIV at 50 years. 50 years old. Can you imagine that? I am but 37… that means the NIV is […] The post Continuing to Celebrate the NIV’s 50th! appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. ... [NIV]


With all of the talk of homosexuality, abortion, inerrancy, and everything else that divides us, many of us are looking to find something that unites us, not only within the […] The post Petition: The Nicene Creed as a Doctrinal Standard appeared fi... [United Methodist Church]
This is part of my CTP class, and… well, my book, and studies, etc… I know people will disagree, but I think Mark writes in such a way as to […] The post (video) Was Jesus God in Mark’s Gospel appeared first on Unsettled Christiani... [Mark]

October 13, 11AM

Don’t you think this is timely? The story of the birth of the Religious Right is a familiar one. In the 1970s, mainly in response to Roe v. Wade, evangelicals […] The post In the Mail, @OUPAcademic’s “” appeared first on Unse... [Books] [Neil J. Young] [Oxford University Press]


For the bibliophile, there is barely anything more joyful than a finely pieced book. Yes, it is about the interior, but so too the exterior. In fact, bibliophiles know you […] The post Review, “@TyndaleHouse Select NLT: Select Reference Editio... [Books] [NLT] [tyndale house publishers]

October 10, 7AM

“The word of God.” That is a title we often use for Scripture and as such, it seems that this is the intent of Hebrews 4.12-13. The message of God. […] The post Is Hebrews 4.12-16 Christological? appeared first on Unsettled Christianity.... [Hebrews]

October 9, 11AM

Bill Trench had some remarks on two blogs that I wrote on September 24 of this year. There seemed to be some disagreement of what I had written and his […] The post Crowd funding disobedience addendum appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My boo... [Other Posts]

October 8, 8AM

If you like Star Wars, or any movie in the 80’s and 90’s, then you like Joseph Campbell and thus, Carl Jung. Remember ye him: The post good video on Carl Jung appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Pr... [Other Posts] [Carl Jung]

October 7, 2PM

If The United Methodist Church is to remain one denomination, it will be necessary for us to decide together that our teachings, policies, and decision-making processes really do matter. If […] The post A better way forward… A Covenantal Unity... [United Methodist Church]

October 6, 5AM

I am not your average liberal. I have several guns in my home. I own a .7mm mag (it makes loud bang) and my 11 year-old son has a .22. […] The post thoughts on Gun Control appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazo... [Religion and Politics]

October 2, 7AM

  I wanted to use this as a way to speak about biblical literalism – a poor term, separated from the first use of the phrase. We might call it […] The post The Wizard of Biblical Literalism appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My boo... [Inerrancy]

October 1, 7AM

The Unsettled Christianity Podcast is NOW on iTunes, where you will now find it NOW. In this episode, Josh (author of The Witch at Sparrow Creek) and I begin with a brief discussion […] The post The Unsettled Christianity #Podcast, Episode 2 appe... [Inerrancy] [podcast]

September 30, 12 PM

I’m currently ensickened(c). But a Facebook friend tagged me in a post. This is from Charles Spurgeon: “I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as […] The post my answer to Spurgeon on the Gospel called Calvinism appeared f... [theology]

September 29, 6AM

A friend of mine invited me to see The Green Inferno and I went. I might not have gone otherwise, and most likely would not have even watched it via Netflix […] The post Review of @EliRoth’s “The Green Inferno” appeared first on U... [media] [green inferno]

September 28, 8PM

No, it’s not a cookbook. Hi there U.C. community. I’m Jeremy Shank from over at the “Shanktification” blog. Joel added me a while back here as a contributor. I don’t […] The post Fried Chicken and Burritos – a pla... [Other Posts]


  Just a little humor today.   The post John Hagee is a great example appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the G... [Other Posts] [humor]

September 25, 6PM

   The post The real #atheist agenda  appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and... [Other Posts] [humor]

September 24, 7AM

You can find my first remarks here: Should anyone reading this happen to be a Bishop or DS that has remained faithful to the UMC, it’s policies and teachings, thank […] The post Crow... [Other Posts]


TRIGGER WARNING: THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE TERRIBLY FEEL GOOD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. I am a big fan of civil disobedience as a form of bringing light to […] The post Crowdfunding disobedience (part the first) appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. ... [Other Posts]

September 22, 5PM

Found this on FB: I realize this is me and all, but come on. I’m all for finding religion in these things but isn’t this cheapening the Gospel just a […] The post Jesus is not your pop icon appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My bo... [Other Posts]


Just a little fun… George Lucas was raised a Methodist so some of us see Star Wars as a morality play based on Wesleyan principles, albeit Californian Wesleyan principles…so…. Anyway… […] The post Star Wars is a Jungian Victo... [media] [alfred adler] [Carl Jung] [Star Wars]

September 21, 9AM

These are notes from my CTP Class – but I wanted to put them here for a few reasons. And look… I made a video: Why Isaiah and not “the […] The post Mark 1.1-11 – Jesus v. The World appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My... [Mark]


Since this will be about conversation, I find it helpful to define the term so that we are all on the same page. Here we go then (from Merriam-Webster) “an […] The post An open response to UMInsight appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My... [United Methodist Church] [UM INsight]

September 20, 9AM

What is biblical criticism Biblical criticism is the academic or scholarly study of the Bible using various tools and methods. One website defined it this way, “biblical criticism simply refers […] The post Biblical Criticism and Inerrancy appeare... [Inerrancy] [scholarship] [biblical criticism]

September 15, 11AM

   The post John Wesley on Pensions appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Co... [Other Posts] [humor]


Let me begin with what this is not. This is not political. It has nothing at all to do with the right vs. left politics of the US. This is […] The post What about Syrians? appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazo... [Other Posts]


This is our first podcast — we have several more in the hopper, recording more nearly every Saturday. This is the first of many podcasts. Please pay attention to the […] The post The Unsettled Christianity Podcast, Episode 1 – Elitism, Mirac... [podcast] [podcast]

September 14, 11AM

I just finished reading Dr. Michael Heiser’s The Unseen Realm, the latest from Lexham Press. It is a remarkably easy read for such a deep book. I will post my […] The post Two points on Heiser’s “The Unseen Realm” from @Lexha... [Books] [Logos Bible Software] [lexham press] [Michael Heiser]


I confess —even with some of my positions, I am drawn to an idea of an conservative Methodist denomination, one where the Creeds are confessed, as are our catechisms, and the […] The post How long would the shine last on a new conservative Method... [United Methodist Church]

September 11, 7AM

How many times have you seen this quote by Gandhi: I love your Christ, but I dislike your Christianity. You think, “oh, that sounds nice. Yes, me too.” Guess what? He […] The post Which Christ did Gandhi like? And is that even a real qu... [Society and Religion] [Mahatma Gandhi]


“Globalizing the Human(ities)” Eastern International Region of the American Academy of Religion 2016 Annual Meeting University of Pittsburgh May 6-7, 2016 Please send your proposal to Deadline for submission […] The p... [Society and Religion]

September 10, 6AM

Over the next few days, I will post some reflections. I really… really…. REALLY wish I was at this conference. Monty Python’s Life of Brian film is known for its […] The post In the Mail from @BloomsburyPub: “Jesus and Brian:... [Books] [Bloomsbury] [historical Jesus]

September 9, 10AM

Recently, three UMC elders expressed, finally, what it meant to hold the covenant accountable. It calls to mind the Minutes from 1749: Q. 13. Have we borne a sufficient witness […] The post Meaningful Unity – To what end cowardice? appeared fi... [United Methodist Church]


t is legal for CEOs to make 300 times the amount of the average worker. But is this fair and just? Is it ethical for a customer to purchase a […] The post In the Mail from @IVPAcademic: Business Ethics in Biblical Perspective: A Comprehensive Introd... [Books] [ivp-academic] [Michael E. Cafferky]

September 8, 7AM

There may be simply several sources for Mark 1.1. I tend to think it comes directly from the Priene Calendar inscription, setting GMark as the anti-Roman Gospel. This is Mark […] The post Where does Mark 1.1 come from and what does it mean? appeared... [Mark] [literary criticism] [literary source criticism] [Mark 1.1] [Priene Calendar]


By the way, this is the same size as the NA28 from Hendrickson… almost as if they meant it that way… umm….. An up-to-date commentary on all the significant manuscripts […] The post In the mail from @KregelAcademic: “A Comment... [Books] [Kregel Academic]

September 7, 10AM

Of course all of the uproar over the last few days has been about Ginny Mikita, and her removal as a candidate for ordination and her being removed from membership in […] The post Truth or Consequences UM appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. M... [Other Posts]


This is the first part in an ongoing series exploring Orthodox Christianity from the POV of that of a convert to Orthodox Christianity.  THE DEVOLUTION OF CHRISTIANITY Divisions, Denominations, and Differences […] The post New Series: Exploring Or... [theology] [Orthodox Christianity]

September 2, 6AM

Kim Davis, the embattled County Clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, is at the center of national attention for her refusal to heed laws and obey federal court orders. She does […] The post Kim Davis, #DoYourJob, and other vow breakers appeared first on... [Religion and Politics] [United Methodist Church]

September 1, 11AM

David Watson, among others, has made the proposal that the upcoming GC in 2016 be a closed session. He, and others, have tried to give us a direction out of […] The post Methodists in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass appeared first on Unsett... [United Methodist Church]


I would encourage the Pope to great his detractors by simply bowing low and drawing in the sand… One of the serious problems of our time is clearly the changed […] The post Pope Francis… Grace above Law, but Law remains appeared first on... [abortion] [Jubilee Year of Mercy] [Pope Francis]

August 28, 10AM

I tried to do more… But they kept coming out…um….naughty…         The post Song of Solomon memes appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theat... [Song of Solomon]


if dont get it… thomas is refered to as the twin in john The post St Thomas didn’t write GThomas, I swear  appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of ... [Other Posts] [humor] [meme]


This is only a brief book list for the Song of Solomon. Richard S. Hess – Song of Songs (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms) Tremper Longman […] The post the “best” books on the Song of Solomon appeared first o... [Song of Solomon]


The other day, a phrase was used that was new to me and it got me to thinking again. The phrase was “passive evangelism.” The basic idea being that so […] The post The commission appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now... [theology]
For those of you who don’t know about the late Dr. Michael Goulder, he is the one who well defined Rev. Dr. Austin Farrer’s theory, giving rise to a solid […] The post Michael Goulder on the Song of Solomon appeared first on Unsettled Ch... [Song of Solomon] [michael goulder]


Finally… we’ve been sitting on this for a while, but now we can announce it!! As we line up sponsors, speakers, and break-out sessions (want to volunteer?), we will update […] The post Save the Date: the @UMOrthodoxy “Holy People, ... [United Methodist Church]

August 27, 7AM

If, as some critics have argued, the Song’s humanistic viewpoint represents an Israelite poet’s self-conscious attempt to “demythologize” ancient Near Eastern concepts of sacred sexuality — manifest in fertility rites […] The post Does Son... [Song of Solomon]

August 26, 7AM

In several of the Methodist pages in the wonderful world of social media, Judge not is often a hot topic. In an effort to give us all something to think […] The post Be Careful How You Judge appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now... [Other Posts]
Keel sees Song 1.2–3 pulling from a Ugaritic myth, one of Shachar and Shalim, where the god El bends over two women: He stooped (and) kissed their lips; behold! their […] The post Song of Solomon: Kisses aren’t just Kisses, and Love isn̵... [Song of Solomon]

August 25, 11AM

There is a deep aversion to reading the Songs as “secular,” as if carnality — sexual and physical love is somehow not of the sacred community… For you must not, […] The post St. Cyril of Jerusalem (and more) on how not to read th... [Song of Solomon]


The first part of this commentary may be found here and the story from Gather at the River it is about may be found here. “In our baptismal vows, the second […] The post Not at this River, part the fourth appeared first on Unsettled Christian... [United Methodist Church]


This is a continuation of the stories I read from Gather at the River. The first two parts can be found here: and here: To... [Other Posts]


As you know, conspiracy nuts have attempted to prove that Dr. David Watson is in a vast conspiracy to realign UM monies to benefit personal projects. We have caught him […] The post Dr David Watson wants to take #UMC money appeared first on Unsettle... [Other Posts]


I would rather see Song of Solomon as a poetic text describing the sexual longing and relationship between a woman and the man she pursues than much else; however, it […] The post can sex and marriage be metaphor? (Song of Solomon) appeared first on... [Song of Solomon] [Sex]

August 24, 7AM

We have a difficult time in reading Song of Solomon. We can easily gloss over Ruth and Esther and they way they got their positions, but Songs is a different […] The post Song of Solomon completes Genesis 1.26-27 (week of sexy songs) appeared first ... [Song of Solomon]

August 21, 7AM

Martyr. noun. 1.a person who willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion. This is what we as Christians have long understood the definition of martyr to be. […] The post Martyrs appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books... [Other Posts]
Sorry… but these things come to me late at night… The post Friday’s Meme: The Right Madonna appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation... [Other Posts] [humor] [meme]
I know… some of you are going to mount a defense against this… apologetics. The rational defense of Christian faith. Historically, apologetic arguments of various types have been given: philosophical […] The post ugh… apologetics a... [Apologetics]

August 20, 9AM

This is a continuation on my reflections of the stories (in blog form) that came out of the Gather at the River event publicized by Reconciling Ministries. It continues my […] The post Not at this river, part the second appeared first on Unsettled C... [United Methodist Church]


This was posted in 2009, but written some time before that. My Thursday Morning CTP class is going to study Mark’s Gospel next and I wanted to do something different. I […] The post A New Translation: Mark 1 appeared first on Unsettled Christ... [Mark] [Papias] [Apostle Peter] [dramatic present] [historical present] [Preaching] [Tradition]
I am sure this will come as no surprise, but I did not attend the Gather at the River event publicized by Reconciling Ministries. Because of this, I will not […] The post Not at this river, part the first appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My... [United Methodist Church]

August 19, 6AM

I found a statement that caused me to pause: This grave danger was noticed by John Wesley, since he promised never again to use intentionally the term ‘imputed righteousness,’ when […] The post J. Wesley refused to use a phrase that harmed other... [United Methodist Church]

August 17, 5AM

Abram here with a short post on some free webinars Accordance Bible Software is offering this week. Joel has reviewed the software here, here, and here. I’ve attended a few […] The post 6 Free Accordance Webinars This Week appeared first on Un... [Accordance Bible] [Technology] [Bible]

August 15, 5PM

Although these minutes are not part of the doctrinal standards of The United Methodist Church, reading them can be helpful in understanding Wesley better. The following persons being met together […] The post how close does Wesley come to Calvinism?... [theology] [Calvinism] [free will] [John Wesley]

August 14, 11AM

Fortunately for us, a new prophet has arisen and said the following about Donald Trump: I was in a time of prayer several weeks ago when God began to speak […] The post A prophetic word appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now avai... [Religion and Politics] [Donald Trump]


The Protestantism of the Reformation gave us the same devil as Catholicism, but took away the tools to fight him. The belief that miracles (I will quibble over this term, […] The post ceasing cessationism appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My... [theology] [cessationism]

August 13, 1PM

  in case you don’t get this… origen made himself a eunuch because he took a certain portion of scripture very literal The post Origen was a true innovator  appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. ... [Other Posts] [humor]

12 PM

I often hear that the “voice of the Holy Spirit” is more important than the “voice of the church” — as if they are separate — especially in matters where […] The post is there a “corporate voice” (and authorit... [United Methodist Church]

August 12, 5PM

These are for fun ….  The post Some recent memes  appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introdu... [Other Posts] [humor]


This is from Francis Asbury’s journal, 31 August 1796: I had a meeting with the leader in close confe­rence, and found it necessary to explain some parts of our discipline […] The post Francis Asbury on what Schism is – and the necessit... [United Methodist Church] [Francis Asbury]

August 11, 6AM

I received this email and wanted to pass it on. This is from a friend of mine, so I’ve lopped off some of the non-important details. Please take a look. […] The post ‘The Journal of Childhood and Religion’ needs you(r scholarship) ... [scholarship]
   The post St Cyril on Discipleship v. Membership  appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: In... [Other Posts] [humor]

August 10, 12 PM

Some of you ultra-protestant, almost anti-Reformation free churcher types, are going to bristle: As martyrs fell, these public cemeteries became the repositories of holy relics. The bodies of Saints Peter […] The post from martyrs to liturgy to invo... [theology]


An Interview with Walt Wangerin, Jr. Rabbit Room Press: You’ve written The Book of the Dun Cow trilogy, novelizations of the Bible and the lives of Jesus and Paul, and […] The post An Interview with Walt Wangerin, Jr. on his new book, “E... [Books]


This is from this blog’s FB page. The post quote of the day from Francis Asbury – can’t trust the laity appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book o... [Other Posts] [humor]

August 6, 10AM

This is in relationship to imago Dei. I’m not convinced that total or even a heavily leaning individualism, either in secular or sectarianism, is beneficial to human flourishing. The image […] The post #QOTD, A Faith Community as expression of... [theology]


“The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many fold. And the end is not yet..” – Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of […] The post Dinah and Hiroshima appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My... [Religion and Politics] [Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki] [Dinah] [Genesis 34] [Harry S. Truman]

August 4, 6AM

Rudolf Bultmann, the father of demythologization, urged people to get behind the text. On that, I agree. I also agree that sometimes the superstition of the age, or the need […] The post Dammit Bultmann! Stop rationalizing the miracles! The Bread, L... [Gospel Criticism] [Mark] [mimesis] [Rudolf Bultmann]

August 3, 7AM

Dr. David Watson, United Methodist Theologian and Academic Dean at United Theological Seminary, has written about unity in Christ. I want to speak to one issue. He writes, Today, for some […] The post Inclusion in the Unity of Christ appeared first... [United Methodist Church]


Where do our most pernicious myths begin? Is it something within us, or maybe within our time and place, giving birth to these evil narratives? &lt;br /&gt;<br /> Where did the […] The post Review, “The Murder of William of No... [Books] [Blood libel] [E.M. Rose] [Oxford University Press] [William of Norwich]

July 30, 6AM

You know the story. Jacob and the Angel wrestle throughout the night… until the break of day. If you don’t, it is found in Genesis 32.24–30. The daybreak is important, […] The post Jacob and Jesus’s wrestling with the divine appe... [mimesis]

July 28, 8AM

The more I study Genesis, the more profound it becomes. I am not an OT or a Hebrew guy, but digging deep into Genesis has almost made me wish I was. Genesis […] The post Paraphrasing Genesis appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are n... [Genesis]

July 27, 9AM

…it makes sense that Christian feminists today are often drawn to their nineteenth-century predecessors in their own search for inspirational forebears, to a time when Christianity and feminism were often […] The post Review, “A New Gosp... [Books] [Katharine Bushnell] [Kristin Kobes Du Mez] [Oxford University Press]


I’d like you to compare, for a moment, Matthew 10 and Proverbs 22 (see it in the LXX here). Not, especially Matthew 10.18 and Proverbs 22.29. A man who is […] The post Proverbs 22 as the Mimetic Precursor to Matthew 10 (Also, Luke used Matthew... [Gospel Criticism] [Matthew] [mimesis] [Proverbs]

July 26, 11AM

If you have spent any time speaking with a United Methodist about theology, this has come up. Often it is used as a defense of having ideas outside the stated […] The post The Character of a Methodist appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My boo... [Church History] [doctrine] [Other Posts] [United Methodist Church]

July 24, 6AM

The post the movie you need to see: Experimentor appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and... [media] [Experimentor (Movie)] [milgram experiment]
Last night, I got into a discussion via twitter with someone who seems to think SSM exclusion is part and parcel with Christology, Creation, and Ecclesiology — the Creed. Indeed, […] The post What is the source of orthodoxy? The Creed. Period. app... [doctrine]

July 22, 9AM

I am consistently amazed at the quality and speed of Accordance Bible Software as well as their offering to the Christian theological community. One of the latest additions is the […] The post Review of @AccordanceBible and @IVPAcademic’s R... [Accordance Bible] [Books]


This is a continuation of sorts of what I started here, in so far as it is an attempt to address some popular parts of scripture that we either have […] The post The doctrine of Jesus appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now availa... [United Methodist Church] [John Wesley]
Thanks to IVP-Academic for sending this review copy along. You’re finishing your first year of teaching. It’s been exciting and gratifying, but there’ve been some wobbly episodes too. How will […] The post Book Notice: @ivpacademic... [Books] [Gary Burge] [ivp-academic]

July 21, 8AM

This actually comes from a conversation this morning via wherein I “jokingly” suggested it would be easier for Osteen and Marcion to get out of the netherworld than it would […] The post can United Methodists believe in purgatory? appear... [justification] [resurrection] [theology] [United Methodist Church] [John Wesley] [Purgatory]


This book hit my mailbox at the right time… I am, as I write this, in the middle of going back to school to change careers and dealing with some […] The post Book Notice: @IVPress’s 40/40 Vision: Clarifying Your Mission in Midlife appear... [Books] [Greg Lafferty] [intervarsity press] [Peter Greer]

July 20, 10AM

DISCLAIMER: In this post, as is often my habit, I will use “men, etc.” as a generic term for humanity rather than a term specifically related to the chromosomal make-up […] The post The first and greatest. appeared first on Unsettled Chr... [United Methodist Church]


I like oil. I’m still experimenting. And I do Thai for myself.  I call it “I’m staying”       The post My latest “#art”  appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on ... [Other Posts] [art]

July 17, 10AM

Hello, good readers of Unsettled Christianity. This is Abram K-J of Words on the Word. Joel made the mistake kind move of inviting me to contribute to his fine blog… so here I am! I begin simply with a cross-post, because I’ve already seen som... [old testament] [Samuel] [2 Samuel] [Bible] [David] [jesus] [Prophecy]

July 15, 12 PM

Hagia Sophia ; Empress Zoë mosaic : Christ Pantocrator; Istanbul, Turkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I started this post when orthopraxy and orthodoxy was the topic of the United Methodist blogosphere. The topic may be muted now, but I wanted to put this o... [doctrine] [United Methodist Church]

July 14, 12 PM

Remember when I shared this celebration about the 50th anniversary of the NIV? The NIV Zondervan Study Bible, featuring Dr. D. A. Carson as general editor, is built on the truth of Scripture and centered on the gospel message. An ambitious and comprehen... [NIV] [D.A. Carson] [Zondervan]


Christopher W. Skinner’s latest work, Reading John, stands out as a bridge to a wider world of Johannine scholarship. At the beginning of my dissertation process, I had in mind the goal of rendering Gospel of John to a reduction of quotes, citati... [Books] [John] [Christopher W. Skinner]

July 13, 8AM

Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD) at his triumph after his success against Germanic tribes. Bas-relief from the Arch of Marcus Aurelius, Rome, now in the Capitoline Museum in Rome. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In 1895, Rudyard Kipling, the famous author a... [United Methodist Church]

July 9, 7AM

I hate this flower. This is for my CTP class. Also, I don’t like Calvinism. From here: Hyper-Calvinism: Beliefs: God is the author of sin and man has no responsibility before God. The Gospel should only preached to the elect. i.e. duty faith. and a... [theology]

July 7, 8AM

English: This is the title page of an early pirated edition of Rousseau’s Social Contract, probably printed in Germany. See R.A. Leigh, Unsolved Problems in the Bibliography of J.-J. Rousseau, Cambridge, 1990, plate 22. This image was incorrectly po... [Religion and Politics]


The destruction of Sodom as illustrated by Sebastian Münster (1564) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I was fortunate enough to be asked to speak (a  lay person can’t preach unless they are approved, licensed, and knighted by the Queen I guess) at Victory... [Sermon Notes]

June 30, 12 PM

Altarpiece of the Church Fathers: St Augustine and St Gregory (Photo credit: Wikipedia) For those following along, I wanted to post a better way than buckets  to read Scripture as a Christian. You can read it with the Church Fathers. First, begin here wi... [Inerrancy]


Adam Hamilton has attracted a lot of negative attention regarding his latest book and the presupposition that there are three buckets of interpretation for Scripture. This had led to charges of liberalism and the like. I have, much to some of my friends&#... [United Methodist Church]
Couleurs shitenno (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Spirituality is a word often tossed around. “I am spiritual but not religious.” “I prefer spirituality.” “She’s just so spiritual.” Shoot, it has even made its way into ... [Holiness] [Pope Benedict XVI] [sam harris] [Spirituality]

June 29, 7AM

Logo of the Internal Revenue Service (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Mark Oppenheimer is the first out of the gate in suggesting that it is now time to remove the tax exemptions on churches and other religious groups (synagogues, mosques, etc…). He writes... [Religion and Politics] [Mark Oppenheimer]


Thanks to OUP for the review copy. In 1144, the mutilated body of William of Norwich, a young apprentice leatherworker, was found abandoned outside the city’s walls. The boy bore disturbing signs of torture, and a story spread that it was a ritual... [Books] [E.M. Rose] [Oxford University Press] [William of Norwich]

June 27, 11AM

 People are struggling with the Supreme Court decision yesterday. Many Christians who support it are not showing the grace Scripture requires of them. There is barely a calming voice in this.  So let me point this out:   And from David... [Religion and Politics] [gay marriage]

June 26, 5PM

  Yesterday, in the unofficial SBL group via FB, there was a… an event. You can read more about it here and here. Accordance Bible came into the mix. And they responded. We are taking steps to ensure that we are not involved further in the muds... [Accordance Bible]


English: The front of the United States Supreme Court building (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In 1857, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down the Dred Scott decision. Within a few years, this “law of the land” was changed to reflect the... [homosexuality] [Religion and Politics] [gay marriage]

June 25, 4PM

English: “No Swearing” sign along Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach, Virginia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) this is coming up because of a discussion on an unofficial private group Yes… The Hebrew bible.. And the Greek bible uses obscene ph... [Bible Translation] [george carlin]


This is Dr Stephen Rankin‘s presentation and discussion on Wesleyan orthodox thinking. Pay attention. I personally think we need a larger conference devote to Wesleyan orthodoxy, or maybe orthodoxy within Wesleyan thought… or maybe “Dear... [United Methodist Church] [Stephen W. Rankin]


I get it. We all are concerned with that monolithic and often misunderstood thing called “social justice.” I get it, we all want what is best for not only ourselves, but for each other and indeed for our world in general. I even get that we ar... [Religion and Politics]
I got it. If you want a look inside the audience of the Hebrew Bible, here you go. This study considers the historical, cultural, and literary significance of some of the most important Ancient Near East (ANE) texts that illuminate the Hebrew Bible. Chr... [Books]


Looks interesting… In this new memoir, National Book Award-winner Walter Wangerin, Jr., takes readers on a journey into the past to experience his loss of faith as a young seminarian, his struggle to find a place for his chosen vocation amid a sto... [Books] [Walter Wangerin Jr]


   The post Heresy… appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, ... [Other Posts]

June 23, 8AM

“now, now, Joel… Laity have never done anything but serve on committees.” English: Portrait drawing of Francis Asbury, American Methodist leader who began as a lay preacher (Photo credit: Wikipedia) At our recent Annual Conference, I got... [United Methodist Church]

June 22, 9AM

Accordance Bible has recently released Beale’s A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New (Baker Academic, 2011) via their software platform. As many of you may know, G.K. Beale is a (the?) premier evangelical ... [Accordance Bible] [g.k. beale]

June 19, 6AM

As you read this, a couple of things to keep in mind. I have worked in both personal security (bodyguard) and also in site security (facilities, I.E. buildings, warehouses, etc). I would not call myself an expert in the field, but I would claim experience... [Society and Religion]

June 17, 12 PM

“OMJB JOEL! If Wesleyans read my stuff they’d know this by now!!!”  English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia) There have been several posts over the last few days speaking to the sometimes false pretenses of unity in The United Methodist Chur... [United Methodist Church]
A tabernacle not made with hands From IVP: Steve Hayner was serving as president of Columbia Seminary and was healthy and fit when he found out he had terminal pancreatic cancer. He and his wife, Sharol, embarked on a journey together with their childre... [Books] [intervarsity press]

June 16, 11AM

Joel started this a bit ago and I am finally getting around to contributing my 5 cents (I am too wordy for only 2 cents) to it. His introduction can be found here. The membership vows of the UMC are deeply rooted in the baptismal covenant made by you if y... [United Methodist Church]


English: Pope Gregory the Great (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Silence has been on my mind for a while now. I know others like myself are wrestling with it. Do we keep our peace in order that we preserve the status quo? Or do we speak, knowing that others may ... [Quotes] [St. Gregory the Great]
English: This shows the population concentration of Native Americans and Alaskan Natives in the United States during 2008, by state. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) At the 2015 West Virginia Annual Conference, we experienced informational presentations on what... [United Methodist Church]

June 15, 10AM

Oh yeah… I’ve been digitzed. English: “John Wesley,” by the English artist George Romney, oil on canvas. 29 1/2 in. x 24 3/4 in. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) There is a growing need a... [Logos Bible Software]

June 11, 7AM

“That’s it, Joel. I’m excommunicating you. You make me want to be a Unitarian.” English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia) As usual, I will attempt to make my argument from several angles, often in a nonlinear fashion. My premise is this: ... [United Methodist Church]

June 10, 3PM

“I social media danno diritto di parola a legioni di imbecilli che prima parlavano solo al bar dopo un bicchiere di vino, senza danneggiare la collettività. Venivano subito messi a tacere, mentre ora hanno lo stesso diritto di parola di un Premio N... [Quotes] [Umberto Eco]

June 9, 7AM

I’ve read Michael Gerson’s article, The End of Casual Christianity, several times on Facebook. I may have shared it once, without reading it, but seeing as how the picture on the page is that of Pope Francis, that is my habit. But, I have rea... [United Methodist Church] [Chuck Queen] [Michael Gerson]

June 8, 10AM

Thanks to OUP for sending along the preview copy: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are considered kindred religions-holding ancestral heritages and monotheistic belief in common-but there are definitive distinctions between these “Abrahamic”... [Books] [Islam] [Oxford University Press] [Robert C. Gregg]


Well, maybe not…but… Quantum laws tend to contradict common sense. At that level, one thing can be two different things simultaneously and be at two different places at the same time. Two particles can be entangled and, when one changes its st... [science] [Niels Bohr] [quantum physics]

June 5, 8AM

From Oxford’s site: This study investigates why “faith” (pistis/fides) was so important to early Christians that the concept and praxis dominated the writings of the New Testament. It argues that such a study must be interdisciplinary,... [Books]

June 4, 9AM

Location of state of XY (see filename) in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia) This is from a previous discussion. Dave is raising some good points, but I want to point out a few things and ask others to join in. First, Taylor has stopped by to say... [United Methodist Church] [gay marriage] [west virginia]

June 3, 5PM

English: Marie of the Incarnation (1566-1618) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The ultimate source of all truth on the internet, LifeNews, has been linked to and shared without fact checking a link to a post that misuses (lies?) about John Swomley‘s defens... [abortion] [United Methodist Church] [John Swomley]


I’m in a mood to experiment a little. West Virginia State Capitol (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In the Great State of West Virginia, there are some requirements in order to perform a wedding ceremony. Besides age, one must be: duly authorized to perfo... [United Methodist Church] [Book of Discipline]


This is an apologetic infographic: Found on an FB groupBy this logic, then the 450 million copies of Harry Potter and the 100 million copies of 50 Shades of Gray in existence means that they are more accurate and reliable than the New Testament. Or, it me... [New Testament]

June 1, 9AM

“Joel, dude, we are going to have to do something about your titles.” English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Every July, some United Methodist in some jurisdiction, in some conference, in some congregation will lose a beloved pastor to the infecti... [United Methodist Church] [itinerancy]

May 31, 4PM

This topic has fascinated me for a while. I won’t take you through the entire essay, as this fellow did, but I will call your attention to it. And urge you to look more into Big History …because as long as we teach history as a story of compet... [philosophy] [Big History] [David Christian]

May 30, 2PM

I need to save this for later. And I want to share. Professor Douglas Davies, Department of Theology and Religion, discusses the development of rituals in crematoria, and woodland and natural burials. The post Death Rituals (Douglas Davies, video) appear... [Doctoral Work] [Douglas Davies]

May 29, 7AM

I rather enjoy this: The Church of Christ is the Company of His Disciples, consisting of all those who accept Him as the Son of God and their Saviour from sin, and who unite in loving fellowship, and strive to promote the Kingdom of God. It includes the b... [United Methodist Church] [Irish Methodist Church]

May 28, 6AM

English: Icon of Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I keep hearing this tired refrain: “‘Jesus is Lord’ is the earliest creed.” They are pulling this phrase from 1 Corinthians 12.3 although they seem to miss the first part of s... [creeds] [Irenaeus] [tertullian]

May 27, 7AM

English: Dennets idea of mind and conscious experience (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Postmodernism, the school of “thought” that proclaimed “There are no truths, only interpretations” has largely played itself out in absurdity, but it ... [theology] [Daniel Dennett] [postmodernism]


A few weekends ago, I decided to do the latest internet craze. This delicious treat is called swineapple and it is glorious. You can find my recipe here. The post Swineapple appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. ... [Other Posts] [food] [swineapple]

May 26, 7AM

English: Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) stained glass window. Cathedral of Saint-Rombouts, Mechelen (Belgium). In the book an extract of St. Thomas’s hymn Pange lingua (“Sing, My Tongue”): Verbum caro pane vero verbo carnem efecit fit(... [theology] [Thomas Aquinas]

May 25, 9AM

In the town of Fountain Hills, Arizona, 8 local churches have come together to preach a series of sermons about the differences between progressive “Christianity” and traditional Christianity. The above is from a newspaper ad taken out by the ... [Controversial] [United Methodist Church] [Fountain Hills]
The previews look great. In the Book of Genesis, the first words God speaks to humanity are “Be fruitful and multiply.” From ancient times to today, these words have been understood as a divine command to procreate. Fertility is viewed as a sign of ... [Books] [Candida Moss] [Joel S. Baden] [Princeton University Press]


English: Pope John Paul II at a Papal Audience on 17 July, 1985—St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City. Behind him, Camillo Cibin, former Inspector General of the Vatican Gendarmerie. Français : Jean-Paul II, Pape de l’Église catholique romaine, à ... [Holiness] [Catechesi Tradendae] [Pope John Paul II]


Stained glass window of the sacred Heart of Jesus Christ in the former Mosque (Cathedral) of Cordoba, Spain (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Jesus Christ has not come to establish social justice any more than he has come to establish the power of the state or th... [Quotes] [Jacques Ellul]
Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church ” (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Dear Duggar Family Children. This is for Jana Maria, John-David, Jill Michelle, Jessa Lauren, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah,  Joy-Anna, Jedidiah, Jeremiah, Jason, Jam... [Controversial] [Duggar Family] [michelle duggar] [quiverfull]

May 22, 9AM

Map showing the number of times England beats Spain in the 日本選手権シリーズ. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Two articles I want to bring your attention to. The first is the retraction of major polling indicating a major shift in American attitudes o... [science]


English: A cross close to the church in Grense Jakobselv, Norway. Suomi: Risti kirkon lähellä Vuoremijoella, Norjassa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) My last post stirred a discussion that made me think. These thoughts are the result. It is fair to say that ... [theology]

May 21, 11AM

“Isaac’s Circumcision” (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In my Thursday morning bible study class we are going through Genesis, albeit slowly. Why? Because you miss a lot when you read it fast. You miss the nuance. You miss the way the translations ... [Genesis]


Convert or die! Then learn this peaceful method of persuasion. I love the argument that Christians have to obey the Word of God above the Constitution of the USA. Although I revere the U.S. Constitution, the Bible and The U.S. Constitution are not one and... [Controversial] [Debate/Discussion] [Religion and Politics] [Rhetoric] [Islam] [Muslim]

May 20, 7AM

Introduction Our Lord Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia) “Church unity” seems to be the topic of the day.1 Dr. David Watson, Academic Dean, NT scholar, and all around nice guy, has written something almost prophetically, given the Connecti... [United Methodist Church]

May 19, 6AM

  There seems to be some confusion as to my identity as of late, so I’d like to take a few minutes and clear that up. I am a real boy. Joel Watts is not Mister Geppetto. My name is of course Scott Fritzsche. I am not a pseudonym, pen name, nom ... [Other Posts]


: Old United Methodist Church building (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I’ve been thinking about orthodoxy (right belief) versus orthopraxy (right practice). Here are some group discussion questions to ponder: Is one more significant than the other when it com... [United Methodist Church]
Convert! There is not going to be much original here because well, there doesn’t need to be. It has occurred to me that there are some who think that the big tent of United Methodism means that anything goes so far as belief and that is simply not ... [United Methodist Church] [Progressive Christianity]

May 18, 7AM

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Denny Burk has written a piece that people seem to care enough about to respond to. It has angered people that he dared to suggest ... [theology] [Andy Horvath] [Denny Burk]

May 15, 3PM

  Convert! Adoptionism is the belief that Christ was born human, not of a virgin (to most historic adoptionists, but not all), was not pre-existent,  lived an exemplary and sinless life in accordance with Jewish law and because of this was, at some ... [Other Posts]


The knowledge of Christ requires not an intellectual soul but a contemplative soul. – Evagrius of Pontus, Gnostic Centuries This is back when “gnostic” was an acceptable adjective for Christians. Still is, in my opinion. You can find his... [Church History] [Evagrius of Pontus]

May 14, 2PM

Convert! Roger Wolsey, in his continuing effort to provide me with more material to blog about, has proposed this: First let me start by simply saying “no”. Reall... [Other Posts]


Convert! First of all, please excuse my tongue in cheek title as I am having some fun with the outpouring of criticism I have received. Since being accused of heresy hunting and inquisitorial ideas, I figured may as well roll with it and have some fun. Af... [Other Posts]

May 13, 10AM

Thanks to Dr. Anderson and Abingdon for this review copy: New, valuable understandings of the historical and religious contexts of New Testament writings continue to emerge. This accessibly written introduction examines over two dozen such crises and ho... [Books] [abingdon press] [Paul Anderson]


English: A diagram showing the Monophysite view of Christ: One nature, which is neither fully human, nor fully divine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Unfortunately, many today seem to insist upon the finality of our modern ideas. If it is new, it is without su... [Trinity] [Council of Chalcedon] [Dualism] [Ilia Delio] [n.t. wright] [Richard Rohr] [Teilhard de Chardin]

May 11, 1PM

Even for Protestants, Vatican II is important. Indeed, I’d say it is one of the most important things in the West in the last 100 years (ecumenically speaking, of course). “Surprising news!” With these words, Fr. Henri de Lubac, S.J., whose or... [Books] [Henri de Lubac] [Ignatius Press]

12 PM

In 1965, the Committee on Bible Translation, took on the most massive translation project of modern times: to prepare a contemporary English translation of the Bible from the best available original manuscripts. Fifty years later, the New International V... [NIV]

May 9, 2PM

“hey Joel… would you rather have me, a saint and a doctor of the Church, or John Wesley who couldn’t even turn the key… if you know what I mean?” Louis Comfort Tiffany, Window of St. Augustine, in the Lightner Museum, St. Aug... [Reformation] [John Wesley] [Pelagius]

May 8, 4PM

I am not generally a fearful person. I have seen a good bit of violence and believe myself capable of handling most things and have no issue trusting God with the things I can not. (Note: none of this applies to large bodies of water which I have a comple... [United Methodist Church]


This is not porn. This is art. ART. NOT PORN. ART. Raphael, Three Graces (Photo credit: Wikipedia) A Man may indeed practise the outward Part of a Christian, he may be Orthodox in his Faith, and regular in the Forms of Religion, and yet live in Ease and I... [theology]

May 6, 5PM

In the late 1990’s, I had the chance to travel to Texas a lot. Rather, I took every chance I got to skip across the Sabine. I would leave noon on Friday after my last high school class and spend the weekend between Houston and Galveston. I loved Tex... [Apologetics] [Religion and Politics]


I realize this thesis has never been proposed before so bear with me… In reading through what Jarvis Williams calls “martyrdom theology” I come across Eleazar of 2 Maccabees: Eleazar, one of the foremost scribes, a man advanced in ag... [Doctoral Work] [maccabees] [Eleazar] [martyrdom]

May 5, 9AM

When you walk into a room that already has the lights on, it is not really customary to turn more on. Why? Well, it is fairly simple, a light is not needed because it is already there. When we can see, we do not customarily break out the flashlights and t... [Other Posts]

May 4, 7AM

English: “Martyrdom of St. Paul”, from an 1887 copy of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs illustrated by Kronheim. Français : Le martyr de Saint Paul. Illustration par du Livre des martyrs (Book of Martyrs) de Foxe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) though... [Doctoral Work] [martyrdom]
The post Suicide – A Defence by Simon Critchley appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introductio... [Doctoral Work]

May 1, 7AM

Is Progressive Christianity more white than Christian? This article refers to the category of “Progressive Christianity” and is not meant to be directed at those who self-identify as progressive, progressive United Methodist, or other. Labels ... [theology]
Samson Captured by the Philistines (Photo credit: Wikipedia) notes. not edited. notes.  In attempting to decide whether or not to place him and his self-inflicted death as a devotio, I examined his status before death (explained in chapter ____ below) as... [Doctoral Work] [Judges] [Samson]

April 30, 7PM

I am not a Marvel guy, and yet I love the Marvel Studios movie series. I’m a kid at heart, with an intense interest in seeing superheroes on the big screen. Or any screen really, as long as it is well done (Daredevil, I’m looking at you). Toni... [media] [Avengers: Age of Ultron]


“Hey Fr. John. You ever heard of Drew McIntyre?” “Who?” Drew McIntyre, the (un)official leader of the non-existent non-caucus group officially known as Via Media Methodists, writes, There is nothing sacred about itinerancy, as best... [United Methodist Church] [itinerancy]


Mexico City hanging of Judas (see Burning of Judas) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I’ve written about Judas before, a while ago. These are more notes, however. I think we give Judas a bum rap.  Notably, there is the suicide of Judas (in Matthew’s acco... [Doctoral Work] [New Testament] [Judas]

April 29, 4PM

   The post Explains a lot of Americans  appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction ... [Other Posts] [humor]


Recently, I posted my answers to a questionnaire I had received as a nominee to be a delegate to the General Conference. The conversation is continuing. The question today involves 161f from the Book of Discipline. This is 161f, titled “Human Sexual... [United Methodist Church] [Book of Discipline]
“Death of King Saul”, 1848 by Elie Marcuse (Germany and France, 1817-1902) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) notes, not done. shoot, not even edited. going through the OT/Jewish writings looking for self-inflicted deaths.  Another suicide is found in... [maccabees] [Razis]

April 28, 1PM

Thanks to Oxford University Press for this free review copy A New Gospel for Women tells the story of Katharine Bushnell (1855-1946), author of God’s Word to Women, one of the most innovative and comprehensive feminist theologies ever written. An ... [Books] [Katharine Bushnell] [Oxford University Press]


Antonio Ciseri’s Martyrdom of the Seven Maccabees (1863), depicting the woman with her dead sons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Not done. Just notes. And notes make good blog posts. As we will see below, the Maccabean books provides the early Christians... [Doctoral Work] [maccabees] [Eleazar Avaran]

April 27, 6PM

   The post #QOTD – blessed ignorance  appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduct... [Other Posts]


I’ve flipped through it and read the introduction. Thus far, it looks like a great tool to have for those teaching John: The Gospel of John is often found at the center of discussions about the Bible and its relation to Christian theology. It is d... [Books] [John] [Christopher Skinner] [Wipf and Stock Publishers]


“hey Joel, guess you ain’t going to General Conference.”  (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I have been nominated to be a delegate to General Conference from West Virginia Annual Conference. Last week, I was sent a questionnaire by someone wh... [United Methodist Church]

April 23, 4PM

honest to goodness… This is the exact likeness of Zwingli – or as the Scientologists say, Xenu    The post An image of Zwingli v the Pope appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in Go... [Other Posts]


I had the opportunity to travel to Afghanistan before the US involvement there. It was an incredibly rewarding trip in many ways, but I wanted to focus on one of the ways specifically. There has been a lot of talk about the creeds and why they matter or d... [creeds] [Afghanistan]

April 22, 1PM

I have not seen the new update, but if you are interested in the study of the original languages, then pay attention. The focus of Bibleworks is on the Original Languages and it is awesome. The post Bibleworks 10 appeared first on Unsettled Christianity.... [Bibleworks]
“…Discouragement: The greatest occupational hazard of the believer…” As I began to read this book for the first time, preparing for my review, I had to stop in the phrase above in total awe of the truthfulness of it! Anyone who is honest about t... [Books] [IVPress] [John Stott]

April 21, 8AM

English: Maccabees Shrine (Cologne). Deutsch: Makkabäerschrein (Köln, St. Andreas), Detail. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) So far, I have about ten (although I will add two as possible cases later on). Judges 9.54, Abimelech Judges 16.29, Samson (this is a ... [scholarship]

April 20, 11AM

“Honestly, Joel, don’t you think they get it? “John Wesley (1703-1791), founder of Methodism (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In 1788, John Wesley wrote in his journal, “There is no other religious society under Heaven which requires nothing ... [United Methodist Church] [John Wesley]

April 19, 2PM

This comes from a discussion over the weekend. Thought I’d share and expand it a bit. Doctrine: lex orandi lex credendi Theology: fides quaerens intellectum 1.) The doctrine of the Church, sans fundamentalist conspiratorial notions and colonialis... [doctrine] [theology] [Vincent of Lerins] [fides quaerens intellectum] [Lex orandi lex credendi]

April 17, 7AM

Superman: Red Son (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Over on a my facebook wall, someone posted a link to the trailer for Batman V. Superman movie due out next year. Most of you know I am a comic book nerd and I love my superhero movies. I am also a huge fan of th... [media] [Batman V. Superman]

April 16, 3PM

After all, orthodoxy, just as much as the biblical stories it derives from, tells the wild story of the God-man in all its messiness. In fact, orthodoxy is a protection against the all too neat rationalizations of heresy, which take what they deem to be t... [theology] [Orthodoxy]


For a time, Vader was a Calvinist but soon same back to the Force See, I can post this because Star Wars is essentially a Methodist invention. Only [humans] can exchange information. And the test of how accurate the information is will be whether we all ... [media] [George Lucas] [Star Wars]
Incunabulum Blackletter Bible 1497 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) “It threatens to reduce our sacred scripture to nothing more than a secular symbol, and that’s a slippery slope,” Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris told foxnews. Exactly. I don’... [Society and Religion] [Mark Norris] [tennessee]


Myth… <br /> This came up recently… When I say myth, I do not mean fiction. Rather, I mean taking our words and talking about things we do not understand. We do this via stories or analogies or whatsoever poetic form this may take. The ... [Linguistics] [myth]

April 15, 8AM

Guys… come on…first  the creeds and now the Lectionary? I’m being road harder than my horse. John Wesley and the Lectionary? Oh yes. In delivering the Sunday Service to the American Methodists, at the same time he delivered the Articles... [United Methodist Church] [John Wesley] [Lectionary]


   The post On Tax Day…where your dollar goes appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Int... [Religion and Politics]

April 14, 7AM

Andrew Thompson has a post on the recent stories on Wesley and the Creed(s). Now, I want to take this one step further and suggest that the Creed does actually matter to The United Methodist Church, superseding our doctrinal standards. While we are under ... [United Methodist Church]


English: Chart showing he circumstances for suicide in 16 states in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I am working through some academic things, dissertation and the what not, and for the next few weeks, I am working on all things voluntary deat... [Doctoral Work] [scholarship] [martyrdom] [Phaedo] [Rabbi Hanina ben Teradion] [Suicide] [voluntary death]

April 13, 12 PM

First, Allan Bevere’s post. Then Henry’s: Allan Bevere on the Left-Right Continuum — Threads from Henry’s Web. Right now we have several people declared and several more on their way to declare their intentions to run for President of ... [Religion and Politics] [Allan R. Bevere] [Henry Neufeld] [Hillary Clinton] [Jeb Bush]

April 11, 7AM

Cover of L. Ron Hubbard I, with my trust HBO NOW subscription, sat down to watch “Going Clear, Scientology and the Prison of Belief” the other night. By now, if you are interested in these certain things, you will have seen the reviews and bas... [Controversial] [Scientology]

April 10, 7AM

Sorry, but you’re not getting back child support, you lazy, evil, treasonous American brats. English: “John Wesley,” by the English artist George Romney, oil on canvas. 29 1/2 in. x 24 3/4 in. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, L... [United Methodist Church] [American Revolution] [John Wesley]

April 9, 7AM

Hagia Sophia ; Empress Zoë mosaic : Christ Pantocrator; Istanbul, Turkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia) This is from the first Latin commentary on Paul’s works, specifically at Galatians 2.20–21: But as I now live in the flesh, I live in the faith of ... [Church History] [Galatians] [Marius Victorinus]

April 8, 8AM

I don’t always quote doctrine, but when I do, it is Creedal // English: Charles Wesley (Photo credit: Wikipedia) There is this constant rumor John Wesley thought the creed a weak source or somehow unnecessary. I cannot find this in Wesley’s wo... [creeds] [United Methodist Church]

April 7, 12 PM

Icon of Basil of Caesarea. Василий Великий, икона (Photo credit: Wikipedia) A subversion of faith is being contemplated among you, hostile to both apostolic and evangelical doctrines, and hostile to the tradition of the truly great Greg... [Trinity] [basil the great]


Justin the Philosopher (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I am doing some work on Galatians 3.13 in early Christian writers. I’ve included Philo and the Epistle of Barnabas in here as well for various reasons. They, like Paul, are interpreting Deuteronomy 21... [Church History] [Doctoral Work] [Galatians]


Descent into Hell, icon from the Ferapontov Monastery Tempera on wood, 312x105x4, State Russian Museum, Sankt Petersburg (Photo credit: Wikipedia) This is of an interest to me lately. This is from the poorly understood Council of Trent: QUESTION V Nothing... [theology] [council of trent] [Harrowing of Hell]

April 6, 8AM

This week’s reading will be Genesis 6–9, but I’m pretty sure this will take us a few weeks to get through so don’t make any giant reading efforts…because there is a flood of theology here. Sorry if the puns are so wooden, but I g... [Genesis] [CTP] [Noah]


oil on canvas…          The post My latest #painting… Dunno what to call it appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book ... [Other Posts] [art] [painting]

April 4, 2PM

But our very Life descended hither, and bore our death, and slew it, out of the abundance of His own life; and thundering He called loudly to us to return hence to Him into that secret place whence He came forth to us — first into the Virgin’s... [augustine] [Easter] [God] [jesus christ] [Pascha] [religion]


New version of the Gaelic Speakers in Scotland map (2001 Census data) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Easter did not come from Ishtar. Those who specialize in word origins (specialize, not blog or write Chick Tracts) debate the origin of this in the English lan... [Other Posts] [Easter]


But if any honest Christian wants to know why the Lord suffered death on the cross and not in some other way, we answer thus: in no other way was it expedient for us, indeed the Lord offered for our sakes the one death that was supremely good. He had come... [Athanasius] [Cross] [Easter] [God] [jesus christ] [Pascha] [religion]

April 3, 11AM

Maundy Thursday, Good/Holy Friday, Great and Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil, and Easter/Pascha/Resurrection Sunday. I’ll spare you the details of YWHW coming to Adam, Moses, etc… and skip to the Jesus bit. I’m skipping to evolution in unde... [theology] [Christus Victor]


English: “John Wesley,” by the English artist George Romney, oil on canvas. 29 1/2 in. x 24 3/4 in. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Thanks to Logos, I am able to dig through John Wesley’s sur... [Reformation] [John Wesley] [Purgatory]

March 31, 7AM

English: Cain and Abel; as in Genesis 4; illustration from the Sunrays quarterly (Photo credit: Wikipedia) This week, we will begin to cover Genesis 4–5. This is not a lot because you can skip chapter 5 after Genesis 5.1-2. Indeed, 5.1-2 seems to be rea... [Genesis]

March 30, 11AM

This comes from a friend I’ve met online, with a shared love of Christian Tradition, Theology, and the traditional United Methodist Church’s polity. I caught him tweeting something on Sunday and thought I would ask for an interview. So grante... [United Methodist Church] [Good News Magazine] [Walter Fenton]

March 26, 9AM

(Someone asked me if I can’t just be foolish on Facebook… Well, hell, NO! I will be foolish here as well:) 1 – The State of Indiana passing laws that are to allow business to reject service to gays: WRONG. Even with the argument that it ... [Controversial] [Debate/Discussion] [gender issues] [homosexuality] [Society and Religion]

March 25, 7AM

Thanks to H at Accordance for this! From the Accordance Website: This exciting five-volume series follows up on the acclaimed Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture to provide patristic commentary on the Nicene Creed. The series renders primary Greek,... [Accordance Bible] [Books] [creeds] [ivp-academic]
Introduction: Christian Unity Party (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I made the announcement earlier, but tonight I will be on a webcast discussing/debating/trashing my opponent regarding Christianity Unity. You should be able to access it directly here. (I will... [Publications and Papers]

March 24, 9AM

Again, the same disclaimer as before. This is not a value statement on the beliefs of any group, but it is a statement on how groups choose to represent those values, and how it impacts the UMC. How we do things are just as important as why we do them. Th... [Other Posts]


I suspect that what I am about to say won’t make a difference as I suspect that we will all allow our entrenched ideas to take over and we will spin this to something it is not. I hope that I am wrong. This is not a value statement about ideas or th... [Other Posts]

March 22, 7PM

You can find the listings here. I will be on on the Wednesday broadcast: Wednesday, March 25 – Unity in our Faith – Joel Watts (author, From Fear to Faith), Elgin Hushbeck & Henry Neufeld What’s my angle? Well, I guess you have to tune in... [Other Posts]

March 20, 12 PM

I’m digital, baby – John Wesley As many of us get ready for our Annual Conferences and then the General Conference, it would behoove us to go back and reread, relearn, or even learn the first time Wesley’s thoughts, theology, and heart. ... [Books] [Logos Bible Software] [United Methodist Church] [John Wesley]


Statue of John Wesley at Wesley’s Chapel City Road, London. (January 2006) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Albert C. Outler’s papers are now archived at Perkins. There is a new story on this, and on Outler, that is filled with historical inaccuracie... [United Methodist Church] [Albert C. Outler] [Wesleyan Quadrilateral]

March 19, 12 PM

To note: The long-awaited version 2.0 of Accordance Mobile is now live in the iTunes App Store. If you own an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, be certain to check for updates and download the latest version to all your iOS devices. Accordance Mobile has been ... [Accordance Bible]

March 18, 4PM

thanks to DJ via FB  The post Thought of the day  appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduc... [Other Posts]


Let me begin by admitting fully that I have no idea what Progressive Methodists actually believe. I don’t say this to be mean, I say it as an honest admission and also as a statement of part of the problem. An awful lot of people claim to be progres... [Other Posts]


Progressive Pickin’ (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The eight points I am referencing can be found here. It was apparently not made clear enough by me that I am dealing with these 8 points and those in the UMC that ascribe to them. I accept that all of th... [United Methodist Church]

March 17, 7AM

Full disclosure. I know Josh. He is an awesome guy, a great friend, and a brilliant mind. He is not a witch, however. Not that I know of. Josh is a new author with an exciting entry into a nearly forgotten genre. I hope you take the time to read the inter... [Books] [Joshua T. Kent]


Saint Augustine of Hippo, a seminal thinker on the concept of just war (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Sorry for this, but I want to put it out there for a few reasons. It helps me in working through this dissertation thing so I don’t have to keep notes ... [Doctoral Work] [Galatians]


Still rocking it…. The post Happy St. Patrick’s Day appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: I... [Other Posts]
GodWeenSatan: The Oneness (Photo credit: Wikipedia) What this is… This is my experience with those who self identify as progressive Christians, churches who identify as progressive and the UMCM which I have come to believe is little more than progre... [United Methodist Church]


When I first started to paint, I wanted to do something easy. What’s easier than a horizon?  A this is my first on with acrylic   I figured I’d do the same with oil and see how it would turn out:   Thoughts?  The post My... [Other Posts]

March 16, 8AM

I am always apprehensive when I see plans calling for the jurisdictions in the United States to unshackle themselves from Africa and other areas of the world so that we can actually vote on inclusion without the more historically conservative voices outwe... [United Methodist Church] [Roger Wolsey]
Creation of Adam ( ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I want to do something a little different with our reading of Genesis. As I have said from the beginning, if we read Scripture as Christians we should do so at some point in that cycle (the ‘T’ i... [Genesis]

March 13, 6AM

This is from בְְּרֵאשִׁית רַבָּה: AND ABRAHAM TOOK THE WOOD OF THE BURNT-OFFERING (xii, 6) like one who carries his stake on his shoulder.  AND HE TOOK IN HIS HAND THE FIRE AND THE KNIFE (MA’AKELETH). R. Hanina said: Why is a kni... [Genesis] [Genesis Rabbah] [בְְּרֵאשִׁית רַבָּה]


…Now there are two conditions of prophetic announcement which I adduce, as requiring the assent of our adversaries in the future stages of the discussion. One, that future events are sometimes announced as if they were already passed. For it is cons... [tertullian]

March 12, 5AM

HT The post the real prologue to Galatians appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Comme... [Other Posts] [humor]

March 11, 9AM

Irenaeus compiled a list of apostolic succession, including the immediate successors of Peter and Paul” (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Holy cow. I love this sort of stuff. St. Irenaeus is fighting off Marcion and attempting to explain some things about S... [Galatians] [Irenaeus]


This is the press release that I will be referencing throughout this rant. I have often defended you, even though I disagree with you on the theology of the issue you originate from. I progressed to lumping you with other UMC special interest groups and s... [United Methodist Church]

March 10, 7AM

Polish political propaganda leaflet for an anti-left, anti-right, centrist party. Pre-1939. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Across the several UMC-orientated groups on FB, representatives of the Centrist movement have started to post the below and ask people to... [United Methodist Church] [United Methodist Centrist Movement]

March 9, 5AM

Native Americans flee from the allegorical representation of Manifest Destiny, Columbia, painted in 1872 by John Gast (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Scot McKnight has a post up that helps to solidifywhat I’ve been trying to say. He begins, Some people th... [Controversial] [homosexuality]

March 7, 9AM

American Flag My Fellow Americans: After reading in a few news outlets that the students of a certain university (mush brains being mushed brained) are removing the glorious AMERICAN FLAG from their campuses to make it MORE INCLUSIVE, I decided, as an AME... [Christian Education] [Controversial] [Debate/Discussion] [democracy] [United States]

March 6, 2PM

Um… so…. read this review. THE LOST GOSPEL is not the worst book ever written. I once attended a party where I was subjected to an excerpt of dinosaur erotica. It was a lovely gathering otherwise, but my ears were assaulted by pages from Take... [Controversial] [Anthony Le Donne] [Barrie Wilson] [simcha jacobovici] [the lost gospel]


The Facts of Life (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Are we teaching our children that only “proven” facts can be called right? Indeed, such is the proposition Justin P. McBrayer makes in a NY Times Op-Ed: In summary, our public schools tea... [philosophy] [ethics] [Justin P. McBrayer]


Figures 003 Eve gives the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of which she had eat to her Husband (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Paradise. A garden to care for and to be cared for by, but in this garden was something terrible. In the center was forbidden fruit. God... [Society and Religion] [Douglas Gissendaner] [Gregory Owen] [Janay Palmer] [Kelly Gissendaner] [Ray Rice]

March 5, 12 PM

I post on Facebook, from time to time, questions to start discussions. Sometimes, they are pointed and sometimes, I’m just poking the bear. Lately, I’ve been thinking about a certain situation that may require something of a less-nice Christia... [United Methodist Church]

March 3, 12 PM

In a critique of the 1972 Theological Task ( as found in Doctrine and Theology in The United Methodist Church (Kingswood, 1991)) two authors share something I think is spot on: Leroy T. Howe: “Finally, though not indifferentist by intent, in practic... [United Methodist Church]


Have we missed St. Paul’s message… the proverbial forest for the trees? During the debate between New Perspective, Old Perspective, and everything else about Paul’s intellectual origin, what may get lost is Paul’s goal of the Gos... [Books] [Logos Bible Software] [David A. deSilva] [lexham press] [Michael F. Bird]

March 2, 10AM

This is a guest post by Evan W. Rohrs-Dodge, a UMC pastor in New Jersey and a founding member of Via Media Methodists. I briefly read Thomas Oden’s memoir before I passed it on to Evan for review. In these pages can be found a great hope for the peo... [Books] [ivp-academic] [Thomas C. Oden]


CottonGenesisFragment03rGodAdamEve (Photo credit: Wikipedia) We have just had a vision of Adam’s vision of his Other Half. Now, we are ready to shift into another story. Genesis 2.25 is the beginning of the passage. This week, we will pick up here a... [Genesis]

February 27, 5PM

I washed the canvas with Crimson red. The blue, cadmium I think, is mixed with a heavy gloss paste. It is acrylic paint.  I like oil but acrylic allows me to paint fast and to do more abstract stuff. It’s great for a quick brain dump at the end... [Other Posts] [art]


Introduction Preachers and students of the bible once made tedious use of concordances, church libraries, and multi-volume editions of well worded reference sets as they slowly prepared sermons, researched topics, and wrote their own books. It was almost ... [Accordance Bible]


did you all hear about the sequel to minecraft? It’s called UnderMineCraft. You join a leadership team that as a team is supposed to build a kingdom, grow that kingdom, and then protect that whole world from evil entities bent on destroying anyth... [Other Posts]

February 26, 8AM

Logos has a lot of Runge’s works on Sale: Dr. Steve Runge wants to help everyone grasp the intricacies of biblical text, whether they know the original languages or not. To that end, he’s spent years studying discourse analysis and presenting his ... [Logos Bible Software]

February 25, 8AM

Landscape with Noah’s Thank Offering (painting circa 1803 by Joseph Anton Koch) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Genesis 1 contains a mystery. 1.26 reads, “Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them... [Genesis] [ecotheology]

February 24, 8AM

There is this notion that John Wesley somehow cared very little for “orthodoxy, or right opinions,” and yet, we see throughout his sermons (which are official doctrinal standards in the United Methodist Church) a sound footing placed not on ex... [doctrine] [United Methodist Church] [John Wesley]


I do not believe in censoring and I believe differences of opinion are essential to growing as people. Yesterday, my friend and co-blogger Scott wrote a post that my other friend, Bob Chapman, took issue with. I invited Bob write a response. Below is that... [Religion and Politics] [Barronelle Stutzman]

February 23, 12 PM

(there are questions at the bottom if you just want to skip to that point) Plato’s Symposium will  factor into our discussion this week – as I have warned you several times now. If this link opens up correctly, you should see a paragraph begin... [Genesis] [Aristophanes]


In the thick of the street festival, some demonstrators used the occasion to get their message out. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Recently, because of a shared post on FB and my recent post on Rob Bell (1 that was critical v. the dozens or so that are support... [theology] [Fundamentalism]


Her name is Baronelle Stutzman who was 70 at the time that these events took place. She is a florist in Washington State who refused to do the floral arrangements for a same sex couple who was about to marry. For just a moment try and put whatever reac... [Other Posts]

February 20, 11AM

Alan is a great person and has helped me in immeasurable ways. Please consider donating. Hello! My name’s Alan Hooker and I’m a Theology and Religious Studies PhD candidate at the University of Exeter who’s (hopefully) in their final yea... [Other Posts]

February 19, 11AM

English: Rob Bell at the 2011 Time 100 gala. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Some time commentator and bear-poker, Drew, is about to have his hopes dashed as his favorite progressive/emergent/universalist, Rob Bell, is now emerging as a Neo-Marcionite Gnostic. ... [Controversial] [Rob Bell]


(Found on Fb) The post 3 men in history have walked on water appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Intr... [Other Posts] [humor]

February 18, 9AM

English: “John Wesley,” by the English artist George Romney, oil on canvas. 29 1/2 in. x 24 3/4 in. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) “I believe there is no liturgy in the world, either in ancient o... [Reformation] [Ash Wednesday] [John Wesley] [Lent]


Image via Wikipedia If your Lenten journey doesn’t last the year through, I think it is a waste. Saint Peter Chrysologus (c.406-450), Bishop of Ravenna, Doctor of the Church Sermon 8 ; CCL 24, 59 ; PL 52, 208 Exercises for Lent: almsgiving, prayer,... [Church History] [Ash Wednesday] [Lent] [Peter Chrysologus]


Portrait of Martin Luther as an Augustinian Monk (Photo credit: Wikipedia) This just goes to show you how much better Luther was than his lackeys, you know, Calvin and that Zwinugil Zinger Zwinger Zapper, no, well, then, that Zwingli feller. Some of the R... [Reformation] [fasting] [Lent] [Martin Luther]
On the second head it is to be noted, that this “day of salvation” exhorts and invites us by eight ways to holiness… …The ordination of the Church invites us all to confession, and fasting, and frequenting of the church; whence he who does... [Devotional] [Lent] [Thomas Aquinas]


Image via Wikipedia “Ash Wednesday is for people who know that it means for their soul to be logged with these icy waters: all of us are such people, if only we can realize it. There is confidence everywhere in Ash Wednesday, yet that does not mean unmi... [Devotional] [Ash Wednesday] [Lent] [Thomas Merton]

February 17, 10AM

There are study bibles, devotional bibles, and special edition niche bibles — then, there is a bible that brings to life what a bible should be. This, frankly, is it. While there is the Reformation Study Bible, the Wesleyan Study Bible, and the Orthodox... [Books] [Ignatius Press] [James Socias] [Jeffrey Cole]


This is the question posed today by several news outlets on television and in print. I suppose the question is inevitable and fair given the current events in the Middle East and North Africa and the graphic nature of them. The question is most likely the... [Other Posts]

February 16, 11PM

The Church has frequently ignored that Paul considered the heart to be ametanoetos, incapable of repentance: therefore the Church often zealously requires the individual to repent.But because the heart is ametanoetos, Paul was an evangelist, rather tha... [Romans]


The post #QOTD – St John Chrysostom on -doxy and -praxy appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Int... [John Chrysostom]
The post #QOTD – St Maximus on moving to the sublime appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introd... [The Mystics] [Maximus the Confessor]

February 13, 7AM

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1932) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In my CTP class this morning, I tried to address the term “myth.” I think this is a difficult concept for us to wrap our heads around, not least because we can usually see the difference bet... [scholarship] [Dietrich Bonhoeffer] [myth]
Feel free to use and I may add more later The post Wesleyan valentine cards #umc appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Critic... [Other Posts] [humor] [Valentine's Day]

February 12, 12 PM

I am not queasy about onscreen exhibition of physical love — within certain parameters. Nor am I against including the passion of love in stories — sex, geez, I mean sex, people1 — when it is necessary to the story. And sometimes, it is front and ce... [media] [50 shades of grey] [Hedy Lamarr]


The Tree of Knowledge, painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder (Photo credit: Wikipedia) 2 Peter 2.14 is hardly the sum total of the doctrine of theosis, but it is what gives us a sound start and finish when we begin to explore it. St. Athanasius puts it like... [Genesis] [theology] [Theodicy] [tree of knowledge of good and evil]
Cover of John F. Kennedy I am forever the recovering fundamentalist — reminded of those times and that system by various things in my life. Further, I am trying to prepare a post about orthodoxy (again) and why it is healthy. I heard something on the ra... [theology] [United Methodist Church]


I am writing a post on this, but views of the tree of knowledge of good and evil are often complicated and not really reaching to (what I feel is) the proper understanding. Yet, St. John comes pretty close to it. English: Genesis : God the Father forbids ... [John of Damascus] [tree of knowledge of good and evil]

February 11, 11AM

Self-portrait as the Apostle Paul (by Rembrandt) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I saw this on Pre-Pub and I got it. Now that it is out, the price is a bit more, but it is worth it. I intend to review it in the coming weeks. Just wanted to highlight it for you.... [Logos Bible Software] [Daniel deSilva]


Saint Bonaventure (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Now, the loftiness of power requires that there be produced creatures that are not only traces, but also images; creatures not only irrational, but also rational; creatures moved not only by natural instinct, b... [theology] [free will] [Saint Bonaventure]

February 10, 8AM

Icon of Saint John of Kronstadt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I am unfamiliar with the stylization of “saints” in the Russian Orthodox Church. John of Kronstadt is a saint, I believe, of that patriarchy.  There are among us ways to interact w... [theology] [John of Kronstadt] [Russian Orthodox Church]


English: Allegory of Poles (Photo credit: Wikipedia) This is going to be short, but one of the questions we should ask ourselves as interpreters of Paul is how did he read Scripture? I believe Paul looked past Scripture and attempted to decipher it throug... [Genesis] [New Testament] [Allegory] [Paul]

February 9, 12 PM

There are a few things to note as we begin to read Genesis 2–3.  First, let us note the first creation account ends where the second one begins… in Genesis 2.4, “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.... [Genesis] [CTP]

February 6, 5PM

Thanks to Ignatius Press for this review copy. My first thoughts are simple: Wow. Just wow. The Didache Bible presents extensive commentaries, based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, for each of the books of the Holy Bible. It also includes numer... [Books] [Ignatius Press]

February 4, 8AM

Are we any better? CONVERT!!! As we gaze at our TV screens these days and se the barbarities, as we face the capabilities of other humans who share and breath the same oxygen as we do, live under the same bright sky as we do, of committing atrocities agai... [Controversial] [Religion and Politics] [Society and Religion] [lslam]

February 2, 8AM

This is a CTP post, explained here. creation of man (Photo credit: Wikipedia) This week, we are looking at the 6th day of Creation (beginning at Genesis 1.24). The Ancient Near East (ANE) had several types of stories related to the creation of humankind. ... [Genesis] [CTP]


With minor various, these paragraphs goes back to the 1784 Book of Discipline, the very first one. This is from the 1920, ME Book of Discipline V. Necessity of Union Among Ourselves 138. Let us be deeply sensible (from what we have known) of the evil of ... [United Methodist Church] [Book of Discipline] [Francis Asbury] [John Wesley]

January 31, 3PM

English: Statue of St. John of the Cross at Carmelite Monastery, Varroville, NSW, Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia) No new revelations are to be admitted in the matter of that once made, beyond what may be consistent with it, lest we should go astray by... [John of the Cross]

January 30, 7AM

Major religious groups (Photo credit: Wikipedia) When discussing theism and things such as this with others, I sometimes hear the phrase “X needs a dose of reality.” This can come from either the theist or the atheist. I am troubled by the not... [theology]

January 29, 11AM

Note, Book Notes is an abbreviated Book Review. Christian education, liberal arts, and the humanities are all considered, usually, a dead field. Indeed, the concept of a whole person, much less a holy person, does not fit into the spectrum of higher edu... [Books] [Christopher Gehrz] [intervarsity press] [ivp-academic] [Philipp Jakob Spener] [Pietist]

January 26, 9AM

Photo credit: Fight Church Facebook page There is a poll at the bottom. This is a thought experiment and while not vetted by BoD experts, makes use of current UMC policy and precedent. I have tried to be fair and impartial with my presentation of facts a... [United Methodist Church] [federated]


The inspired penman in this history [Genesis] … [wrote] for the Jews first and, calculating his narratives for the infant state of the church, describes things by their outward sensible appearances, and leaves us, by further discoveries of the divine li... [Genesis]

January 24, 12 PM

English: Lakeville United Methodist Church, the oldest UMC in New England (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The other day, the civil rights director at the Global Board on Church and Society did something stupid. This is not beyond ordinary for the GBCS, as they,... [abortion] [United Methodist Church] [Bill Mefford] [General Board of Church & Society]

January 23, 6AM

Saint John on Patmos (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The Liturgy is at the same time the Kingdom of Heaven and our dwelling place, “a new Heaven and a new earth”, the point of convergence where all things find true meaning. The Liturgy not only teaches us t... [Other Posts] [Lex orandi lex credendi] [Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople] [Pope Benedict XVI]

January 22, 10AM

He pulled it down, but you know what… he’s still the south end of a northbound horse. Since he took the tweet down, I decided to leave the tweet before and after to show where it was. The post For all time’s sake: John Piper’s lat... [Controversial] [John Piper] [rape]


This article, written by a member of the World Reformed Fellowship (I am a member) serves a full plate of food for thought  about, perhaps, an explanation for the “clash of civilizations”. Read the article here The post What to say about Chr... [Christian Education] [Controversial] [Debate/Discussion] [Religion and Politics] [Christianity and Islam] [Clash of Civilizations] [France] [Paris] [The Clash of Civilizations]

January 21, 9AM

Behold, the NA28 is in the Original Languages package from Accordance Bible software! As many of you know, the NA28 is the latest in the line for a critical edition of the Greek New Testament and is often used by scholars in deciding such things as textu... [Accordance Bible] [New Testament] [greek new testament]

January 20, 9AM

The people of God throughout history have been a people of exile and diaspora. Whether under the Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks or Romans, the people chosen by God have had to learn how to be a holy people in alien lands and under foreign rule. For much o... [Books] [ivp-academic] [Lee Beach]

January 19, 2PM

One who practices the baptism of infants cannot logically claim the freedom of the will or individual autonomy as the deepest truth about us. Thoughts? The post Quote of the day: Richard Heyduck on free will and infant baptism appeared first on Unsettled ... [Quotes] [richard Heyduck]

January 16, 2PM

Good News magazine is reporting that Mt. Bethel UMC is withholding their apportionments… Its administrative council voted to place its apportioned funds in an escrow account until the Council of Bishops (COB) fulfills the requests made in the “Int... [United Methodist Church] [apportionments] [Randy Mickler]

January 15, 8AM

Great Expectations (1999 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) This is in the same mold of an ongoing discussion of why people leave congregations. Some studies (studies… because we can make them say what we want) have shown that people want Churches to b... [theology]


I wonder if Glenn Beck thinks this is a closeted Mosque? English: Cathedral of Christ the Saviour over Moscow River. Moscow ((Photo credit: Wikipedia) Glenn Beck is a moron. He has taken his paranoia to a new level, attempting to claim Putin and the Ortho... [Society and Religion] [Aleksandr Dugin] [glenn beck] [Ivan Ilyin] [Russia] [Russian Orthodox Church] [Vladimir Putin]


I don’t necessarily blame him, although he is way out of his league in judging what is authentic. Take a gander at what looks like deception for sale: Dorothy King’s PhDiva: Is this More of the “First Century” Gospel of Mark?. The ... [Other Posts]

January 14, 11AM

St. Gregory of Nyssa (eastern ortodox icon) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) For leaving behind everything that is observed, not only what sense comprehends but also what the intelligence thinks it sees, it keeps on penetrating deeper until by the intelligence&#... [Gregory of Nyssa] [apophatic theology]


We live at the so-called end of Christendom. For most of the Western church’s history, its identity has been inseparable from the social, cultural and political institutions of wider society. But now the church’s identity is being slowly and painfully... [John of Damascus] [theology] [christendom]

January 12, 10AM

During a recent interview, my unofficial arch-nemesis Tom Lambrecht of Good News, suggested that some caucus groups are going to propose a few things for the General Conference in 2016. They are, seemingly, focused on the “just resolution” o... [United Methodist Church] [Tom Lambrecht]


What follows is an unedited portion of my dissertation. In the larger context, I am trying to establish that the particular image for the death of Christ would have been known by the people(s) of Galatia. In the end, I believe the image would have been,... [Doctoral Work] [Galatians] [Brigitte Kahl] [Empire Criticism] [imperial interpretation] [Justin K. Hardin]


I first heard this song over the weekend while listening to Outlaw Country on my SiriusXM. You can guess my reaction… not only it is bluesy, but it is theological. And frankly, it is the right sort of theology… Two stanzas frame the song. The... [Devotional] [Willie Nelson]

January 10, 9AM

This picture has nothing to do with the article, but it is beautiful. English: Ukrainian wooden church in Museum of Folk Architekture. Lviv Polski: Cerkiew w Parku Szewczenki (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Yesterday, I posted a quip on Facebook regarding why p... [Society and Religion]

January 7, 11AM

Joel has put up an excellent piece on this that I encourage you to read. It can be found here. The press release about the “just resolution” (it is neither just nor a resolution) can be found here. I have chosen to use the RMN version of the ... [United Methodist Church]


Chett Pritchett, Executive Director of the Methodist Federation for Social Action, writes in response to what is certainly a victory for those who wish to have a more congregational style of polity, While it is important to celebrate this just resolution... [United Methodist Church] [Chett Pritchett]

January 6, 2PM

Over the holidays, I ventured into oil painting. It has been a blast. They aren’t dry yet, as you can imagine — and the color in the house is not giving me the best frame for the picture. This is the first one… This is the second one. A... [Other Posts] [art] [oil on canvas] [painting]

January 5, 1PM

I need to write my review of Revelation, but it is a neatly drawn picture, revealing John’s Apocalypse. You can read more reviews here at the link below or order it here. With the verve and occasional sting that regular readers of his blog will reco... [Logos Bible Software]

12 PM

Creation of Adam ( ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) “If taken in the broadest sense of the term, theology, the logos or the reasoning about theos (God and divine things) is as old as religion. Thinking pervades all the spiritual activities of man (sic). ... [Quotes] [Paul Tillich]

January 2, 6PM

Trinity Institute’s 2015 National Theological Conference “Creating Common Good” Announces Essay Competition on Economic Inequality From January 22-25, 2015, a diverse group of scholars and faith leaders will offer strategies for developing a more ... [Other Posts]

January 1, 4PM

The description: This anthology – the first of its kind in eight years – collects some of the best and most current research and reflection on the complex interactions between religion and computer-mediated communication (CMC). The contributio... [Books] [Charles Ess] [Pauline Hope Cheong] [Peter Fischer-Nielsen] [Peter Lang] [Stefan Gelfgren]

December 31 2014, 10AM

Could such an address be given today? This was given by the Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal, South, in 1906, the same year as the great earthquake in San Francisco. I should think that if such an address was repeated at a General Conference today, ther... [United Methodist Church]

December 30, 7AM

I am, for no other reason (wink wink), reviewing older versions of the Book of Discipline. I found this statement in the 1912 version of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This would have been the northern half of the split. …While its polity and admin... [United Methodist Church]

December 29, 11AM

“Slow your roll, Jim” – God the Father, Cima da Conegliano, Circa 1510-17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Poor Jim. I no longer know what it is like to have such a deficit in theology — so it is difficult for me to empathize with him. As he... [Atonement] [John McLeod Campbell]


Over the weekend, Jim took to the blog and then tried to defend his position on Twitter. Much like Zwingli on the battlefield, or Calvin in the after life, he went down. NEIN! And- Satan Goes to Supper | Zwinglius Redivivus. The cross is the means of reco... [Other Posts] [jim west]

December 27, 6PM

This is not a review. This is a small post dictating some thoughts I have on the two recent major motion pictures re-telling biblical stories. For a review, see here. For my quick review of Noah, see here. I am currently re-watching Noah with my son. I li... [media] [Exodus - Gods and Kings] [Noah]
John of Damascus Greek icon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) So, then, this same truly precious and august tree, on which Christ hath offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sakes, is to be worshipped as sanctified by contact with His holy body and blood; likewi... [John of Damascus]


During the 1970’s and early 80’s, there was a huge fight in the Southern Baptist Convention over the direction of the denomination. The conservatives of the denomination were successful in marginalizing liberals, moderates, women, and others ... [Society and Religion] [John Piper] [southern baptist convention] [the 15]

December 25, 11AM

Christmas Day, 1784… just a few months after the Treaty of Paris recognizing the independence of the American colonies was signed… We would dare to use Wesley’s extraordinary ordination of Dr. Coke and Mr Asbury to establish our own pugn... [United Methodist Church]

December 24, 4PM

Today Christmas has become a commercial celebration, whose bright lights hide the mystery of God’s humility, which in turn calls us to humility and simplicity. Let us ask the Lord to help us see through the superficial glitter of this season, and to... [Quotes] [Christmas] [Pope Benedict XVI]

December 22, 10AM

You can subscribe here in order to be notified when it becomes available. Clive Staples Lewis (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor ... [Boethius] [Logos Bible Software]
We have found a new lost gospel — and why it has not been translated before now, I don’t know. This is the original text along with an interpretation. This proves so much we didn’t know. Ρούντολφ, ο τάρανδος με την κό... [Other Posts]


During this time of year, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Messiah of Israel. Christian tradition believes that this singular birth is God Incarnate, the one who came to deliver all both Jews and Gentiles from the clutches of evil unto the hand of God... [theology]

December 18, 5AM

Hey. You want humor? Good humor? Wesleyan Humor? Go here: Wesley Bros.. The post Wesley Bros. appeared first on Unsettled Christianity. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criti... [Other Posts]

December 17, 12 PM

Adonis Vidu has no need to argue in his work, Atonement, Law, and Justice: The Cross in Historical and Cultural Contexts, which atonement model is the most accurate. Rather, his purpose is to trace a path of model development next to evolving systems of ... [Atonement] [Books] [Adonis Vidu] [Anselm] [Baker Academic] [John Duns Scotus] [Peter Abelard]

December 15, 1PM

The book is written by Barrie Wilson and Simcha Jacobovici; the title is The Lost Gospel. Should we not ask if something “lost” has been found and is it a “gospel”? In Jacobovici’s video, I stressed that his alleged “lost gospel,” Joseph an... [Controversial] [Barrie Wilson] [James H. Charlesworth] [simcha jacobovici] [the lost gospel]


Motion of gas molecules  (Photo credit: Wikipedia) There is a new, interesting, theory on the origin of life: “You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant,”... [science] [Abiogenesis] [Jeremy England]

December 12, 7AM

Image Credit: Ruthless Reviews Every now and then, I like to examine myself and see where I fall on issues. Am I still a Mainliner? Am I drifting away, towards apostasy, or worse, evangelicalism? Am I committed to remaining open on the non-essentials and ... [theology]

December 11, 2PM

Honey, I’m home! English: Jesus resurrected and Mary Magdalene (Photo credit: Wikipedia) A puff piece on Jacobovici and Wilson’s book, “The Lost Gospel,” has appeared where there are plenty of erroneous statements made. Personally,... [Controversial] [Barrie Wilson] [daniel o mcclellan] [Joseph and Aseneth] [simcha jacobovici] [the lost gospel]

12 PM

This will not be a long post, because the topic of online communion is almost worth not having. Yet, it is a theological one and frankly, this is great because it means United Methodists are talking about something more important that genitals. Chad Holtz... [communion] [United Methodist Church]

December 10, 8AM

Well, call me controversial… I am indeed attempting to resist the temptation of posting political posts, but this is more a begging for reason and sincerity than anything political although I know I will be accused of being a “political unrea... [Controversial] [Debate/Discussion] [media] [Religion and Politics] [Society and Religion]
Introduction: I will need to explain a few things before I draw a conclusion. I am focusing on John Walton’s statement, “Ontology trumps biology” found in the soon-to-be published work, The Lost World of Adam and Eve. Ontology: Ontology... [theology]


Why do I like the Book of Discipline? Let me count the ways… As many of you know, I grew you fundamentalist, and a particularly peculiar branch of it. Like many fundamentalists, we did not have a polity beyond the pastor’s moods and whims. Yet... [United Methodist Church] [Book of Discipline]

December 9, 8AM

On facebook, I stated my concern regarding Walton’s stance on the historical Adam and Eve. I am troubled he makes these statements without support, whereas nearly every other statement he makes is supported by well-reasoned logic. There is a fallac... [Books] [historical adam] [ivp-academic] [John Walton]

December 8, 8AM

I am not a Calvinist, nor one who believes in St. Augustine’s error. Rather, I believe we can theologically explain the transmitted nature of sin better. However, in reading a particular book, the federal headship view was mentioned (sort of). I wa... [theology] [federal representative] [historical adam] [ivp-academic] [John Walton] [louis berkhof]


The package I am reviewing includes the New English Translation of the Septuagint, a favorite of mine. I opened Accordance this morning to search the NETS for Isaiah 9.5 (9.6 ENG). “because a child was born for us, a son also given to us, whose soverei... [Accordance Bible]
  “because a child was born for us, a son also given to us, whose sovereignty was upon his shoulder, and he is named Messenger of Great Counsel, for I will bring peace upon the rulers, peace and health to him” (Isaiah 9:6 NETS) This famous verse... [Other Posts]

December 5, 2PM

Random acts of Racism Many of us, perhaps the overwhelming majority of us, do not carry one ounce of racism in our DNA if we consider racism regarding another person’s race inferior to ours and unworthy of our respect. However we are capable, and, i... [Debate/Discussion] [Race Issues]

December 4, 9AM

I think this may just one of the most fitting quotes I’ve read in a long time. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Comme... [Deuterocanon] [2 Esdras (4 Ezra)]
I wanted to really sit down and focus on Accordance, so I’ve done so during the past few weeks. Before I go on, let me point you to the features page in Accordance 11. I noticed that after I had not opened Accordance for 7 days, I needed to go onli... [Accordance Bible]


You can find it here: Allan R. Bevere: An Unsettled Interview with Joel Watts. This is really the first time I’ve broached the topic of “fringe separation.” If we cannot even get along enough to talk about our issues, is there any hope?... [Other Posts]
Go here. you know how I feel about Logos and Macs. Like Mac and Cheese…. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary,... [Other Posts]

December 3, 9AM

The Sermons of John Wesley are included in our doctrinal standards. Behold… the lamb that comes to take away the sins of the world… My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mime... [Other Posts] [Reformation] [John Wesley]


According to James Charlesworth (who used John Vicker’s data) he did. This is taken from James Charlesworth paper for the Charles Wesley society (PDF). He concludes that both Wesleys, while some differences of use, still used and cherished the hidd... [Deuterocanon] [Reformation] [charles wesley] [John Wesley]

December 2, 5AM

Tertullian is the John Wesley of the 2nd and 3rd centuries. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to F... [tertullian]

December 1, 11AM

I had hoped to invest some time in exploring this subject, either for a chapter or a paper, but right now I am swamped. I was recently reminded of this, first in reading this book and second via an email. So, I wanted to take a quick second and sketch out... [Mark] [Mark 13]


The Christian Ed director at our local UMC congregation has started a nifty advent idea. Each day, we have a verse or so from the Gospel of St. John to cause to consider. We are give responses, usually ours. But, I am going to choose this time to draw out... [Godhead] [Hilary of Poitiers]
This is going to be awesome. Oden is one of the premier Wesleyan intellectuals and theologians today. I believe his work on paleo-orthodoxy and the confessions is essential in moving the UMC forward. How did one of the twentieth century’s most celeb... [Books] [ivp-academic] [Thomas C. Oden]

November 27, 8AM

SBL 2014 was great and I had the opportunity to interview three scholars for MAP. Dr. Yael Avrahami is the author of the award-winning book Senses of Scripture: Sensory Perception in the Hebrew Bible. In our discussion, she addresses why the 5 senses alon... [Bible Translation] [Books] [Doctoral Work] [Linguistics] [old testament] [Publications and Papers] [scholarship] [grammaticalization] [sensorium]

November 22, 8AM

Thomas Oden looks to St. Vincent as a way to give rebirth to orthodoxy. I would like to explore St. Vincent and Clement of Alexandria’s focus on the true Gnostic. For now, here is St. Vincent: A simplified chart of historical developments of major... [doctrine] [Vincent of Lerins]


Weaponizing Scripture? Second Annual Graduate Student Colloquium in Scripture, Interpretation and Practice March 22nd-23rd, 2015 at the University of Virginia The 2015 Graduate Colloquium in Scripture, Interpretation, and P... [Other Posts]

November 20, 9AM

I’ve been thinking about this and have been asking the question “why not?” There are a few things to consider here: Watch here Is this or is this not a “freedom of religion” believing country? Why are Christians only the one... [Debate/Discussion] [Religion and Politics] [Society and Religion] [theology]

November 18, 10AM

The (now) first Jewish Study Bible (JSB) was a major breakthrough in establishing a critical, yet faithful, study system for the Jewish canon (for Protestants, the Old Testament). It brought to the table both modern research as well as rabbinical sayings,... [Books] [Adele Berlin] [Marc Zvi Brettler] [Oxford University]

November 17, 3PM

Perhaps it is because I just read a marketing letter from another publisher that was filled with fallacies, lies, and sheer stupidity, but my opinion of the House of IVP is at an all time high. They really do publish a lot of good books and a few more gre... [Books] [intervarsity press] [ivp-academic]


Admittedly, Wilson, et al,’s book “The Lost Gospel” is a midrash of fantasy, but sometimes there are crossovers in fantasy worlds. So is the case, I speculate, between Wilson, et al, and Morton Smith. In “The Lost Gospel,” Wi... [scholarship] [Barrie Wilson] [Morton Smith] [Secret Gospel of Mark] [simcha jacobovici] [the lost gospel]

November 15, 10AM

I intend to highlight and review these books this coming week. I’ll update this post with links to those reviews, of course. But, what would you like to see in these reviews? My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Medita... [Books] [Fortress Press]

November 14, 10AM

The modern concept of history, judged by whether or not it gets the facts right, is by and large a modern conception. In the past, all peoples told stories set in the past for a variety of reasons, e.g. to entertain, to enlighten, but rarely to recreate ... [old testament]

November 13, 8AM

Jewish bees? Gentile bees? If they are pollenating, one is Jesus and the other is Mary Maggie-pie. Pollen Comb of Honeybee Hive (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Long before the “lost gospel” was found, Dr. Mark Goodacre had a webpage devoted to the p... [pseudepigrapha] [Barrie Wilson] [didache] [Joseph and Aseneth] [simcha jacobovici] [the lost gospel]


English: “Christ in Triumph over Darkness and Evil”, stained glass window by French artist Gabriel Loire in memory of Earl Mountbatten, at St. George’s Cathedral, Cape Town, South Africa Français : “Christ in Triumph over Darkness... [theology] [Oliver Clement] [Theodicy]

November 11, 11AM

Tomorrow is the press conference, to coincide with the release of the book, according to Jacobovici. It will be held at the British Library’s conference center which can be rented for a nominal fee. Due to the early release of the book on Google boo... [Controversial] [Barrie Wilson] [Joseph and Aseneth] [simcha jacobovici] [the lost gospel]


Thanks to Accordance for sending me this software bundle. I’ll speak more about what is in it later. Warning, this is my first Accordance package, so I cannot compare it to 10 or below. My focus will be on the ease of Accordance and what it can do (... [Accordance Bible]


English: Jesus Christ – detail from Deesis mosaic, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In this month’s Circuit Rider (the print magazine of Ministry Matters), Drs. William Abraham. They conclude, Wesley knew what so many of us hav... [theology] [United Methodist Church] [David F. Watson] [William J. Abraham]

November 10, 1PM

“Snow is the air, election days have passed, the leaves are brown and another non-scholar has a book out with a “startling revelation” about Jesus. It’s almost time for me!” English: Photo of Jonathan G. Meath portraying Sant... [scholarship] [Barrie Wilson] [Gospel of Jesus' Wife] [Joseph and Aseneth] [Mark Goodacre] [Mary Magdalene] [Pseudo-Zacharias Rhetor] [simcha jacobovici]


English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia) There is another plan aiming to combat not the problems of the United Methodist Church but manifestations of those problems. It is put forth by members of an Annual Conference in Ohio. They call it a centrist plan and it... [Other Posts]

November 7, 5PM

: United Methodist Church (Photo credit: Wikipedia) As bishops of The United Methodist Church, our hearts break because of the divisions that exist within the church.  We have been in constant prayer and conversation and affirm our consecration vow “to... [United Methodist Church]
Those who “abjure” violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf. via George Orwell, “Notes on Nationalism,” May, 1945 . Thought this might start a conversation… My books are now available on... [Quotes] [Religion and Politics] [George Orwell] [Just War] [pacifism]


Fuqua School of Business (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Imagine if the cure to a problem went against your political leanings… you are then more likely to admit that the problem does not exist. “Logically, the proposed solution to a problem, such as an... [Religion and Politics] [science] [Solution Aversion]


There are a few names unmentionable, at least in the positive sense, from the Christian pulpit. One of them, if not the main one of them, is Charles Darwin, the 19th century scientist many accuse of creating evolutionary science. But, there are more than ... [Books] [science] [charles darwin] [energion publications] [Robert D. Cornwall]
The Fall depicted in the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo (Photo credit: Wikipedia) WHY DO THEY HAVE BELLY BUTTONS! The verse in English, Hebrew, and Greek (LXX): I make the light, I create the darkness; author alike of wellbeing and woe, I, the LORD, do al... [John Chrysostom] [tertullian] [theology]


I am not a singer, but I do like the idea of having a small hymnal at my whim. Plus, this gives me hope of including denominational hymnals one day. Anyway, it plays MIDI files, includes images of the hymns (words and music) as well as printed words. You ... [Logos Bible Software]

November 6, 7AM

Chaos (cosmogony) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) This is something few people get, or accept. It is also why I don’t buy Young Earth Creationism and yet still maintain a high view of Scripture. The language of Genesis 1 (different in order and style from... [Genesis] [Conrad Hyers]

November 5, 1PM

Ironically enough, one of the greatest medieval Christian theologians lived under a Caliphate. What have we done with our freedom? Is not the blessed table matter which gives us the Bread of Life? Are not the gold and silver matter, out of which crosses a... [John of Damascus]


My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls is in paperback or ... [theology] [William J. Abraham]

November 3, 10AM

A few months ago, I among others suggested we close the conference. We were roundly attacked by people who abused rape culture and the narratives of People of Color (see something of a rebuttal here. This type of colonizing narrative is common among mode... [United Methodist Church] [Andy Oliver] [Love Prevails] [Reconciling Ministries]


() – Emblems of belief available for placement on USVA headstones and markers (Photo credit: Wikipedia) We believe the Divine and Sacred Scriptures to be God-taught; and, therefore, we ought to believe the same without doubting; yet not otherwise th... [theology] [Calvinism] [Eastern Orthodox Church]


I’d like to note that, for now, this seems to be a uniquely American call: Other conservatives agree, pointing to Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, in which the upstart self-proclaimed Apostle Paul describes a meeting when he called out Peter—the ... [Society and Religion] [Candida Moss] [Roman Catholic Church] [Ross Douthat]
The Holy Father has once again amazed people by being Catholic. No one was more shocked by this revelation than Ken Ham and Al Mohler. So, why has Ham decided to take issue with this re-statement of long-standing Catholic dogma? I suspect it is because th... [Society and Religion] [Answers in Genesis] [Ken Ham]

November 1, 1PM

This looks important: The supposed collapse of Roman civilization is still lamented more than 1,500 years later—and intertwined with this idea is the notion that a fledgling religion, Christianity, went from a persecuted fringe movement to an irresisti... [Books] [Church History] [Bloomsbury] [Douglas Boin]

October 30, 5PM

I was interviewed for a piece on the rise of Christian Domestic Discipline. Here is a part of it: Right. But where does CDD fit in here? Is CDD a particularly Fundamentalist thing? “Not all Fundamentalists use CDD,” says Watts. “I would wage... [Controversial] [domestic discipline]

October 29, 7AM

These Cards We’re Dealt (Photo credit: Wikipedia) This is due to my dissertation which at some point may be completed or even, one day, started on. This is more of an exercise to put some words down on paper.  The use of the scapegoat image is p... [Galatians] [J. Louis Martyn]

October 28, 10AM

First of all, Joel told me that I should post here because no one reads my blog. And that’s not very nice. But, he’s probably right. And, once I changed his blog’s tagline to “Where Joel incessantly brain vomits nonsense into cyber... [Linguistics] [Logos Bible Software] [Technology] [Case frames] [logos 6] [meaning] [Semantics]


I made this: Let me show you how: There is so much you can do with this feature, both church and academy. It’s going to be a great tool for us bloggers Teachers and Preachers can use it for teaching via media. My books are now available on Amazo... [Logos Bible Software]


Not only did I, perhaps, get to beta test this, I am now reviewing it. One of the coolest, quickest features I really like is the addition of the in-line search. This allows you to search, from the same screen, the text before you. Look for the little mag... [Logos Bible Software]


You’ll just have to deal with me for a minute. I am not a sales rep nor do I participate in the Logos Affiliate program. More power to those bloggers who do. I would rather not, so that at least in appearance, I can presume to give you unbiased advi... [Logos Bible Software] [Mark]

October 27, 9AM

I am doing a Fouetté rond de jambe en tournant right now because of this new feature. First, the video: Now, some screen shots: My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Critic... [Logos Bible Software] [Other Posts]


I may have been among some of those beta testing the new Logos 6 engine. Right now, my engine is updating so I will have to have time to let it index, etc… But I wanted to call your attention to it immediately. The teaching versatility of the softw... [Logos Bible Software]


From the official listing: Informative essays that address a wide variety of topics relating to Judaism’s use and interpretation of the Bible throughout the ages Section and book introductions that deliver insights into the background, structure, ... [Books] [Oxford University Press]
Robert H. Stein has written a very specific book on a very particular chapter in the Gospel According to Saint Mark. Taking only chapter 13 (although he does provide a lead-in by exploring its place in the book itself), Stein goes virtually line-by-line t... [Books] [Mark] [ivp-academic] [Robert H. Stein]
English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I am tired of using secular terminology to describe viewpoints in the Church. Yes, all terms are really open and have a fair use, but given the highly charged atmosphere in the United States, perhaps would could use term... [United Methodist Church]

October 26, 10AM

link to original post: here “Because this was now being handled in public, I was fortunate to receive the support of hundreds of people on Twitter – as well as attacks from others. I always expect some form of trolling, but I did not expect one of the... [Controversial] [Debate/Discussion] [Other Posts] [Technology] [emergent church] [Tony Jones]

October 23, 1PM

Since he-who-must-not-be-named is reviewing the “normal books,” I wanted to take some time and focus on the books you good Protestants are missing due to the drunk who threw them out. Frankly, they are among my favorites. Yes, you Wesleyans li... [Books] [Deuterocanon] [Eileen M. Schuller] [Fortress Press] [Vivian Johnson]


These are brief thoughts on why I choose orthodoxy. I hope to edit, and develop this later. It is, thusly, unfinished. I am asked why I strive for orthodoxy when it is presumed this since I came from a fundamentalist background I am less likely to navig... [doctrine] [Reformation] [Cost of Discipleship] [Dietrich Bonhoeffer] [Orthodox]

October 22, 7AM

I recently wrote a review for this book. It’ll appear in a journal so I can’t post it here. I have surrendered my copyright. However, I wanted to call your attention this. It is a new concept for me, called theological humanism. This book is f... [Books] [david jasper] [david klemm] [human flourishing]
Romans is one of the most difficult New Testament books. It has started Reformations and continues to plague us as the artificer of poor readings today. I am always interested in seeing how Romans is presented… and as my readers know, I believe Roma... [Books] [Romans] [Cynthia Briggs Kittredge] [David A. Sanchez] [Fortress Press] [Margaret Aymer]


 The Dead Sea Scrolls, as a mystical object the majority of Jewish and Christian believers still ignore, is relatively new. As an object of study, newer still. Yet, in recent years scholars have paid more attention to the content of the scrolls more than... [Books] [Dead Sea Scrolls] [Joshua] [Ariel Feldman] [Walter De Gruyter]

October 21, 9AM

DEAL WITH IT. English: William Tyndale, Protestant reformer and Bible translator. Portrait from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Česky: William Tyndale (portrét ve Foxeově Knize mučedníků) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Something Mark Shea wrote caught my e... [United Methodist Church] [Indefectability]

October 20, 3PM

 – One, a temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises, (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of w... [Other Posts] [United Methodist Church] [Synod of the Family]


This is simple and perhaps even simplistic, I admit, but, I guarantee you it is at least one first step to avoid legal problems, that is, if you object to performing gay marriages. (Disclaimer: I have voiced my opinion as to gay marriage plenty of times i... [Controversial] [Debate/Discussion] [gender issues] [homosexuality] [Religion and Politics] [Gay Marriages]


You wouldn’t believe the people who hated my via media. Stripped image of John Wesley (Photo credit: Wikipedia) There is some confusion as to exactly what a Via Media Methodist is. In fact, not a single one of us will usually capitalize v or m when ... [United Methodist Church]

October 18, 2PM

From the conclusion of the matter: Positive statements about the usefulness of the Scriptures in instructing mankind for salvation affirm more about the Bible than a negative statement that it is without error. The Bible is not the ultimate end. Instead, ... [Inerrancy] [Joel Stephens Williams]

October 17, 12 PM

This research considers people who live in the so called Bible Belt as “Conservative Christians” and also “implies” that anyone who identifies themselves as Religious Conservative, really is any or both… So, if I live near go... [Controversial] [Debate/Discussion] [media]


English: Johannes de Campo, St. Peter, a Saint Pope, St. Francis, fresco, XV century, Oratorio di San Pantaleone, Boccioleto (VC), Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia) First, start here. Yes, there’s chaos, but this too shall pass. Ignore the alarmists. Anyo... [Society and Religion] [Cardinal Walter Kasper] [Roman Catholic Church] [Synod of the Family]

October 16, 1PM

You wanna hurt the global mission of the United Methodist Church? English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia) There is a move, a threat, something akin to civil disobedience (if we must bring secular methods into the sectarian realm), unfolding before... [United Methodist Church] [apportionments] [Book of Discipline]
An up-to-date commentary on all the significant manuscripts and textual variants of the New Testament This small and insightful volume is an essential resource for the committed student of Greek New Testament. Using the same trim size as UBS and NA28 Gree... [Books]


Dr. Paul R. McHugh “…transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that merits treatment, that sex change is “biologically impossible,” and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disor... [Controversial] [Debate/Discussion] [gender issues] [homosexuality]

October 15, 12 PM

This guy is being laughed at by Zwingli. Just imagine that scene. Benjamin Hoadly by Sarah Hoadly (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Basically, and help me if this sounds familiar, the Bishop of Bangor said that there is no biblical support for church government/a... [Church Government] [Bangorian Controversy] [Benjamin Hoadly] [Bishop of Bangor] [Church of England] [William Law]

October 14, 6AM

“I’m not loyal to every Church, but when I am, it’s to the Church of England. Stay Anglican, my friends.” English: Charles Wesley (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Take note Charles Wesley’s words here: I told them I would remain wit... [United Methodist Church]
“Wait, I wrote that? Heck yeah I did. But you Methodists don’t sing it do you? Did it get lost on the way to the publisher?” English: Charles Wesley (Photo credit: Wikipedia) FOR THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND 1 TILL then preserve the faithful se... [United Methodist Church] [charles wesley]

October 13, 4PM

St Peter in Penitence (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I’m almost convinced that William Law is one of the greatest unsung theological heroes of the past 500 years. Here, he is urging something… using something else… Remember, he is Anglican. A... [Church Government] [William Law]

October 10, 6AM

John Piper (theologian) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In one of the UMC fb groups, someone asked a question about how we can handle now-legal marriages that are forbidden by the Book of Discipline. Indeed, the UMC prevents clergy from officiating these (gay) ... [United Methodist Church] [John Piper]

October 9, 3PM

More than 100 for-profit colleges are so dependent on taxpayer money that they would be violating a law designed to prevent profiteering if not for a loophole that excludes GI Bill funds and Department of Defense tuition assistance to active duty military... [Society and Religion] [University of Phoenix]

12 PM

Irish penal rosary (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The monotony of these repetitions clothes the poor old woman with physical peace and recollection; and her soul, already directed on high, almost mechanically, by her habitual gesture of drawing out the rosary,... [theology]

October 8, 6AM

No, I am not a Young Earth Creationist – I take Scripture too seriously to be one. And I have been against this fiasco since the beginning, altogether thankful they didn’t bring it West Virginia. But this is a hoot. Tax incentives for the Noah... [Religion and Politics] [Ark Park] [Ken Ham] [kentucky] [young earth creationism]

October 7, 11AM

Quadtych with scenes from the life of Christ and Mary – Resurrection of Christ and Nativity. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Mary’s life must be regarded as the prototype of what the ars Dei can fashion from a human material which puts up no resistance ... [theology] [Hans Urs von Balthasar] [rosary]


The Destruction Of Sodom And Gomorrah, a painting by John Martin (painter), died 1854, thus 100 years. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I do not like the term “universalism” for several reasons. It smacks of (Reverse) Calvinism It smacks of white p... [Genesis] [theology] [Sodom and Gomorrah]

October 6, 4PM

There are two books you need to read if you put any stock in the rapture mythology. The first is the ancient commentary by Oecumenius. I can think of no better commentary (theological, not so much textual) than his. The Eastern church gives little evide... [Other Posts]


In the eighties when I flew constantly over Brazil and a few countries of below the Southern Hemisphere, I used to notice how many “agnostics” and “atheists” all of a sudden would become “religious” during periods of heavy turbulence or any co... [Controversial] [Debate/Discussion] [Society and Religion]


La consécration de Déodat (huile sur bois) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Yesterday was the annual World Communion Sunday where Protestants attempt to strive for ecumenical unity by holding communion with other congregations of different denominations. Our C... [United Methodist Church]


This is my first painting since my whatever-it-was-freak out-episode. The first picture is what I started with. I have no idea what I’m doing. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation,... [Other Posts] [art]

October 5, 1AM

I was listening to the Michael W Smith song “Missing Person today, and I was struck by the line: And like a child he would believe without a reason I find this more than just a little bit annoying. Firstly, its a misuse of what Jesus says in Matthe... [Other Posts]

October 3, 6AM

Men take care that their rosaries are of a certain workmanship rather than another, of a certain colour or material, and with particular ornaments. One rosary does not contribute more than another towards the hearing of our prayers: he is heard who tells ... [John of the Cross] [The Mystics] [rosary]

October 2, 5PM

I’d like to continue my line of thought from my previous post while swinging to the other “extreme”. After having grown up in a Disciples church and not having any creeds or doctrines in front of me to guide me or direct me, I reflected ... [Other Posts]


Known until the 18th century only from fragmentary quotations and references in patristic literature, more recent discoveries of Greek, Coptic, and Syriac manuscripts have drawn fresh interest and attention to the Odes of Solomon, a collection of Christia... [Books] [Logos Bible Software] [Fortress Press] [Michael Lattke] [Odes of Solomon]

October 1, 8PM

My opinion of certain bloggers with membership in the UMC has fluctuated. For some, my opinion dropped to the bottomless pits of hell. For others, it has inched up, ever so slightly. But, for some humor today, imagine if the UMC bloggers were characters i... [United Methodist Church] [humor]

12 PM

If I had been asked two dozen years ago for an example of what Christ forbade when he said ’Use not vain repetitions,’ I should very likely have referred to the fingering of beads. But now if I wished to name a special sort of private devotion most... [theology] [Austin Farrer] [rosary]


Really, Joel? That’s the title you chose to go with? #clickbait This is another quick post (mainly for memory’s sake). In Mark 11.2, Jesus commands his disciples to go and get a colt. Matthew sees this, but expands this passage. In Matthew 21.... [Matthew]


I don’t care much about getting into the details of this, but for sometime now the one and only Tony Jones has been held up as someone important in progressive/emergent circles, so much so that you’ll see him on various UMC blogs  (this, I gu... [Controversial] [Julie McMahon] [Tony Jones]

September 30, 8AM

I grew up in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). If you’re not familiar with this group, the organization began in the late 1790’s in what could described as the first “non-denominational” movement. Many settlers were comin... [Other Posts]

September 29, 7AM

It is also one of the main reasons we started UMSCO. We believe scholars have an important role to play in the church, one that extends far beyond the conventional and sometimes stereotypical view of college and seminary professors. It is our job to help ... [United Methodist Church]


Jesus is angry you’ve forgotten him In discussing something recently with a friend, we both agreed it was okay to say “this is right,” “this is wrong” but we must find a way to do it without arrogance or self-righteousness. ... [United Methodist Church] [mainline Protestantism]

September 27, 12 PM

Hi there. My name is Jeremy Shank. I am a local licensed pastor in the West Ohio Conference of the UMC. I have been added to the Unsettled Christianity blog as a contributor. I blog mainly for the purposes of working out my sermon material for Sunday morn... [Other Posts]

September 26, 7AM

I wrote a post in a follow-up with Dr. Watson, followed by a post at Via Media by Drew M. Jeremy Smith, someone I imagine I could agree more than I disagree on certain topics, goes on to rebut us, not on arguments, but by accusing us of date rape, among o... [Other Posts]


you can read about it here. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritu... [Other Posts] [Christ Cathedral] [Crystal Cathedral]

September 25, 3AM

Yesterday, a question was posed in one of the UMC FB forums about inerrancy. Granted, this question was posed by a rather young, confused non-Methodist, but it sparked conversation. One of the people in the conversation brought up Bishop Willimon to his d... [Inerrancy] [United Methodist Church]

September 24, 12 PM

I guess that, in the Charismatic capital of the World, this seems to be a very appropriate place for the practice of exorcism. Perhaps Charismatics are not the target, but, I think they should! From the local AM/FM Tulsa station KRMG Read here   My ... [doctrine] [Society and Religion] [theology] [Exorcism] [Roman Catholic Church]


&lt;br /&gt;<br /> HT to HN for this: Even if the Pentateuch is not from Moses, and many Psalms attributed to David are not from David, and the second part of Isaiah is from another author than the first part, this does not detract from the... [Inerrancy] [Herman Bavinck]

September 23, 12 PM

Luke’s parables are narratives of disorientation that subvert conventional wisdom about many issues such as the use of wealth and possessions. The parables use specific rhetorical strategies (character identification and premature closure) in order to t... [Luke]


The Theotokos of Vladimir, one of the most venerated of Orthodox Christian icons of the Virgin Mary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) This isn’t going to be a long post. First, I read this by Stephen Webb this morning. I was left with the distinct impressi... [theology] [apophatic theology] [Stephen H. Webb]

September 22, 11AM

both look interesting… Scholars of the Gospel of Mark usually discuss the merits of patristic references to the Gospel’s origin and Mark’s identity as the “interpreter” of Peter. But while the question of the Gospel’s... [Books] [Mark] [Fortress Press] [ivp-academic] [Michael Kok] [Robert H. Stein]
I am getting very excited about this.  My book Muted Hosannas is very close to becoming an actual real thing.  I’ve sent proof pages back to the editor with some final (I hope) changes and corrections, and my friend, Joel Watts, has finally come o... [Other Posts]


Dr. David Watson has suggested we close, even in part, the General Conference. I like this idea, not in the least because of the hijacking both the left and the right attempt to do. Years ago, groups on the right threatened to disrupt. Currently groups on... [United Methodist Church]


A bit ago, David M. posted a question about Judges 5.2 on Facebook. As you know, I am currently researching a “unique” view of the death of Christ so when I read this, it immediately jumped out to me as something I could use. Judges 5.2 is set... [Doctoral Work] [Judges] [Septuagint] [devotio] [Judges 5.2]

September 18, 12 PM

First, this is country music. Second, it fits, right? Thoughts? My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear ... [Other Posts] [country music] [oak ridge boys]


Oh yes I will make you come down here! (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Morgan has asked for some feedback on this post: Do you deserve to be crucified for your sin?. I missed it, but I guess Brian Zahnd and Michael Brown had a debate on Penal Substitutionary ... [Atonement]

September 17, 3PM

I am, most days, fairly reasonable. I enjoy a good conversation, a good and lively debate, differing opinions and view points. None of that means that I do not have view points of my own, but I do enjoy others. I like diversity. I enjoy most when the R... [Other Posts]


Richard Rice has written a marvelous little book on the problem of suffering, or rather, the mystery of suffering. He has written it in gentle, direct language, without the need of an interpreter. He has done so through parables, stories, and letting auth... [Books] [ivp-academic] [Richard Rice] [Theodicy]

September 15, 10AM

I am having an issue with forgiveness lately. Not with those I know and love but with those I do not know and struggle to love. Mostly media figures, sports figures and today, again, a company known as Urban Outfitters. So many people and groups have been... [Other Posts]


All About Evil (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I leaned towards the soul making theodicy as explained by John Hick, but I would go further than that. I am still toying with it, but I am leaning to calling something like entropic theodicy. Here are the basic p... [theology] [Theodicy]

September 12, 5AM

Discover highlight articles from 60 years of scholarship To celebrate the 60th volume of New Testament Studies, the following key articles from the journal, selected by the current Editor Francis Watson, can be accessed, downloaded and shared at no cost u... [scholarship]

September 11, 4PM

Many of you wont know about Oscar Pistorius, you can read up on him here: Its been a quite interesting case with many experts giving evidence. What’s also quite interesting is an article on ... [Other Posts] [CMI] [Oscar Pistorius] [YEC]


This is a day when we remember a tragedy and it is good and right that we do so. It is a day to respect the dead and to remember those who were misguided enough to cause those deaths. It is a day that we pray for the peace that only Christ can bring so th... [Other Posts]


I did this about a month ago… But haven’t shared it yet. And just for fun, if you ever want one just let me know. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and ... [Other Posts] [art] [painting]

September 10, 7AM

Periodically, Christians will awaken to the fact we no longer live in a pure, unadulterated Christendom. Since 1776, the West has been rocked by the notion that pluralism can happen and if it does happen, previously secure groups will begin to lose adhere... [Books] [ivp-academic] [Kenneth D. Litwak] [Paul Copan]


Dr. Jerry Falwell (en, d. 2007), the founder of Liberty University (en), was a Christian pastor and televangelist. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) We have seen the pictures and videos (or, preferably, read the headlines) about the horrible atrocities committed ... [Religion and Politics] [United Methodist Church] [Candida Moss] [Ebola] [Hal Rogers] [Isis] [jerry falwell] [Pat Robertson] [Westboro Baptist Church]
Come on y’all, I was the one who wrote the Shorter Catechism. Why ain’t you using it? Just a short post on a quick idea… The UMC is held to be non-confessional. I’m generally okay with that, except we have such wide ranging views t... [United Methodist Church] [Heidelberg Catechism] [John Wesley]

September 9, 7AM

The Sting (Photo credit: Wikipedia) But as for us, we have been taught that to expose newly-born children is the part of wicked men; and this we have been taught lest we should do any one an injury, and lest we should sin against God.1 The early Christia... [theology]

September 8, 10AM

The above is a link to a Huffington Post piece about racist phrases. Some of what is said here is valid, some is not. The problem is that it is sloppy, and makes things which have no racial connotation, or do not have an origin in or about racism, racist.... [Society and Religion] [racism]


The Church of St. Sophia in Ohrid (1345-1346), The Repentence of King David (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I don’t spend a lot of time in James since it includes very little about people going to hell, but noticed this today: πρὸ πάντων τὴ... [Peter] [james] [Paul J. Achtemeier]


Some of us would like this so consider pre-ordering it… The Liturgy of the Hours, together with the Mass, constitutes the official public prayer life of the Catholic Church. A canonical obligation for Catholic clergy and the basis of prayer for mona... [Logos Bible Software] [Lex orandi lex credendi]

September 6, 8AM

English: Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church, Houston, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia) A lot of folks are sharing that Al Mohler article rebuking Victoria Osteen for her and her husband’s bad theology. We can go on and criticize the Osteen’s “... [Society and Religion] [Al Mohler] [Joel Osteen] [Lakewood Church] [prosperity Gospel] [prosperity preachers] [victoria osteen]

September 5, 6PM

I like this Billy rather than the previous Billy. But the really shocking revelation, that will confirm the worst fears of critics among the fundamentalists at Bob Jones University and elsewhere, is that Graham told one reporter that if he was starting ov... [Society and Religion] [billy graham]


Except for the last part of the book, which is clearly added… My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From ... [Other Posts] [country music] [Ecclesiastes] [humor] [Merle Haggard]


The price to pay for being a former Pentecostal preacher is often high and it comes in all sorts of currencies. People often look upon you as “a little of that, but not much of that other” as in “too Pentecostal for the Calvinist and too Calvinist f... [Controversial] [Debate/Discussion] [Charismatics] [Pentecostals] [superstition]

September 4, 5AM

Dear friend, I have heard about your dilemma. Trust me, I have. You’re sick and tired of hearing about how you can’t criticize your senior pastor, because “Touch not my annointed.” Every Sunday you feel like you want to leave, but... [Controversial] [Society and Religion] [Christian fundamentalism] [Fundamentalist Christianity]

September 3, 8PM

Found on FB – the creator is free to claim. Evan has written a post about labeling and listening. Several responses are floating around on FB that suggest defending orthodoxy makes one conservative. I beg to differ. I am not a conservative (unless I... [United Methodist Church]


Everyone repeats the same line: Sunday is the most segregated day of the week, and remains so. Why does some Christians fight so hard for racial justice, and others do not? This is a question that has been going through my mind a lot recently. God made a... [Christian Education] [Controversial] [philosophy] [critical race theory] [critical thinking] [Race] [racism] [white supremacy]

September 2, 8AM

: United Methodist Church (Photo credit: Wikipedia) While Joel is on vacation, I promised him I would contribute a few original posts this week on here. For the past year, Joel has given more of his energy to the United Methodist Church and the -ism Schis... [Church Government] [Church History] [communion] [Religion and Politics] [United Methodist Church] [American Civil War] [donatism] [Schism]


Atrial fibrillation (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Wesley had been on missionary journeys, preached, and taught and yet he did not know the blessed assurance of Christ. He had received this and that advice from pious men, generally to continue on until he knew... [Devotional]

September 1, 10AM

This will take more than one song I suspect. The first up is a favorite that simply lays it out there. If you have suggestions, let me hear ‘em My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation,... [Other Posts] [country music] [sammi smith]


Have you seen the video, with the apocryphal ending (like Job or Esther) that makes it better? This is what she said, “I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look... [Controversial] [Joel Osteen] [victoria osteen]


Image via Wikipedia I was asked by a good friend the other day regarding if I thought that the way society goes will or should the Church follow. My contention is that no. The Body of Christ stands in a safe and abiding place, and must in of itself prote... [Religion and Politics] [Catholic Social Teaching] [Human Rights] [Labor Day] [Roman Catholic Church]
Jesus in the Gospels (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Memory research is interesting exactly because of the way we remember things – even the way we remember the remembrances of the Gospels. I believe that such science can help us even in understanding how... [Gospel Criticism] [Social Memory Criticism] [historical criticism] [memory] [Tomonori Takeuchi]
Originally from here, WEBCommentary(tm) – The Dignity of Labor and the Rest of God. But, I think it has moved… To the Coal Miners, to the Steel Workers, to the stay at home mothers, to the workers who labour…God bless you. Monday, Septe... [Other Posts] [Bible] [God] [Justice] [Labor Day] [labor unions] [Labour] [Labour Day] [Lord Shaftesbury] [personhood] [religion] [Rest] [social justice] [union] [unions]
Image by wallyg via Flickr 4135.Rights of Workers I. Biblical/Theological Background Scripture teaches that human beings, created in the image of God, have an innate dignity (Genesis 1:27). God grants dignity to work by commanding human beings to be stew... [Religion and Politics] [United Methodist Church] [Collective bargaining] [Labor Day] [unions] [workers]
Image via Wikipedia I don’t know much about the polity of the ECLA, but this is a statement from them: ELCA Churchwide Assembly Action CA91.06.35 Passed by the 1991 Churchwide Assembly in Orlando, Florida. Whereas To approve the following recommen... [Religion and Politics] [Collective bargaining] [Evangelical Lutheran Church in America] [Labor Day] [Labor rights]

August 28, 1PM

By now everyone knows and many have participated in the so called “Ice Bucket Challenge” with the intent to help charity. It is absolutely wonderful that someone helps charities and, often, the motivations and ulterior motives for one doing so... [Charities] [Controversial] [Debate/Discussion] [Current Issues]

August 27, 12 PM

Journey from Genesis to Revelation with the “father of Methodist missions” as a guide. Thomas Coke’s Commentary on the Holy Bible provides an in depth look at both the Old and New Testaments. Coke—cofounder of the Methodist Church in America and t... [Logos Bible Software] [United Methodist Church]


Tertullian (Photo credit: Wikipedia) My interest in the concept of personhood is multifarious as I believe it will help in building a proper theology for various elements in our society and Church. In reading Vincent of Lerins, I happened upon this chapt... [Godhead] [Vincent of Lerins]
  William of Ockham – Logica 1341 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Above is a link to the Connectional Table of the UMC in case anyone who might read this is unfamiliar with it and it’s stated goals and mission. They have a new proposal that the... [United Methodist Church]

August 26, 10AM

Do you know how difficult it is to find a country song about the acid trip that is Revelation? I kid… slightly. Because of the difficulty, I may post more than one. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On th... [Revelation] [country music] [Merle Haggard]

August 25, 10AM

English: Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia) This is really for discussion… In Mark 11, Jesus enters into Jerusalem 3 times, each one more grander than the last. Καὶ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ε... [Mark]


The question was asked of me recently when it was that I actually realized I had faith…I decided to answer in this way. My faith was born in blood. Not the blood of Christ as you probably would expect, but the blood of a young lady when I was a youn... [Other Posts]


The title is my own Ettelloc Publishing seeks papers from students in the fields of theology, practical theology, ethics and church history on the detrimental effects Reformed theology and especially Calvinism in its various forms have had on Black people... [Other Posts]

August 23, 9AM

I did it for my son… So… My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitti... [Other Posts] [art] [Doctor Who]

August 22, 11AM

This will be short, not overly sweet and blunt. While so many of us are busy debating who will go to hell and who will not, a decision that is far above our pay grade incidentally, we all to often ignore the fact that across the world and in our own nati... [Other Posts]

August 21, 2PM

This link is to a statement from Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño who is a Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop, is Board President of the General Commission on Religion and Race of The United Methodist Church. It is a shining example of how we, no matter how u... [United Methodist Church]


Let me begin by saying what this is not…this is not me taking a side in the issue nor is it me trying to give an opinion of blame toward anyone involved. This is not me trying to comment on race in America and whether or not it is a true issue or no... [Other Posts]

August 20, 4PM

He goes on to say autistic babies may be “enhanced” so keep them… He’s like an atheistic version of Pat Robertson. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic C... [atheism] [Richard Dawkins]


Andrei Rublev’s Trinity, representing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in a similar manner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I was raised an anti-Trinitarian oneness guy. This view is based on ignorance of Christian Tradition, Scripture, and certain key con... [Church History] [Monotheism] [Trinity]


Official seal of Dyersburg, Tennessee (Photo credit: Wikipedia) As you can imagine, when you rip away the “holler doors” and expose fundamentalism, especially the more pentecostally kind, people get upset. One of the statements I made was in r... [justification] [Oneness Pentecostalism]

August 19, 9AM

From the Jim West, Peter Lang Verlag is launching a new series titled The History of Reception of Biblical Texts. Scholars working in the field of reception history are encouraged to send along their manuscripts to the series Editor, Jim West. The Series... [Other Posts] [jim west]


Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I’ve seen this discussion taking place in the blogosphere (and wider social media venue) so I’ve had some time to think about it. What would happen if the canon wasn’t... [Inerrancy] [canonical theism]

August 18, 3AM

You can find it here: Former fundamentalist preacher Joel Watts, now an active member of Christ Church United Methodist, holds a book of essays he co-edited on the process of leaving fundamentalism. The book includes a chapter on his isolating, fear-based... [Other Posts]

August 14, 1PM

I had the privilege today of interviewing Dr. Ryan Stokes of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He told me about his research on satan (both a noun and a verb in biblical Hebrew). Stokes has concluded that the Satan in the Hebrew Bible is not an ... [Bible Translation] [doctrine] [Enoch] [old testament] [Demonology] [Devil] [MAP] [Satan] [SWBTS]
In the last few decades, academia has produced few, but great intertextual scholars. I suspect that soon we will add a name such as Andrew Streett to that list. His work, The Vine and the Son of Man traces the interpretation and reinterpretation of Psalm... [John] [Psalms] [Andrew Streett] [Fortress Press] [Psalm 80]


Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Rubens) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Two stories have come to my attention recently. I believe both represent some of the issues involved in the current discussions within the United (not an adjective) Methodist Church. The fir... [United Methodist Church]

August 12, 4PM

So I am ate up with this song at the moment. This is the original: There are several editions of it, but I heard the one from Sammi Smith today…for the first time… and it was awesome. Sorta of that feeling when I hear the Creed recited by a l... [Other Posts]


When the news first broke of ISIS’s beheading of children, some those of my political persuasion took to social media to question the stories, eye-witness testimonies, and pictures. Perhaps this is because if the lies told by the previous administra... [Religion and Politics] [Isis] [mark durie]

August 11, 5AM

This doesn’t really apply to the entire book, but the ability of the person to see and know what it happening above his grave serves as the connection. Plus, I really like the song. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, M... [Tobit]

August 8, 4PM

I struggled to publish this here, but this is from the 90′s when I used to be a TV translator, lip-synchronizer  and dubber. The face is familiar, but ONLY THE VOICE is mine! It was viewed and heard by circa 100 million people around the world, 40 ... [Controversial] [Religion and Politics] [Social Memory Criticism] [Pentecostalism]

August 7, 7PM

A French post card showing Yezidi leaders meeting with a chaldean clergyman in Mesopotamia. Yezidis are part of the Gnostic cult of Angels. A mysterious religion that seems to have been influenced by Islam and Zoroasterism. Today they number 200,000 mostl... [Religion and Politics] [Caliphate] [Iraq] [Isis]

12 PM

Note the logical fallacy used by this guy on this video. His intention is  nothing more than interfering with the free conduction of a business. If you don’t note the logical fallacy here, you’re hopeless! Here is a man who should know better... [atheism] [Religion and Politics] [Society and Religion]


This is the largest canvas to date. 30 x 40. It may also explain why my right wrist is producing mind-numbing agony. Tried the washes….the sun has a red/yellow/orange wash coming off of it while the rocks have a white wash acting as foam. There are ... [Other Posts] [art]

August 6, 7AM

If you biblically love John Wesley, raise your hand. Dang it, George, I said one hand. From:George Whitefield: a biography, (Photo credit: Wikipedia) There comes a time to reconsider our heroes. We have the Historical Jesus movement, the need to see if Bo... [biblioblogging] [satire]


The romanticized woodcut engraving of Flavius Josephus appearing in William Whiston’s translation of his works. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I will propose Mark is borrowing two well-known and horrible entries into Jerusalem. First up, Mark 11.1-17: ... [Mark] [Publications and Papers] [Josephus]

August 4, 3PM

Watermelon (Photo credit: Adrian & Andrée Warnock) Jonathan Merritt writes, When Christians have grown so bitter toward someone that we can’t even accept their apologies, something has gone seriously wrong. If Driscoll had ignored these comments,... [Religion and Politics] [Jonathan Merritt] [Mark Driscoll] [mars hill church]


Saw someone post this on FB…. WOW My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hi... [Devotional] [Sinead O'Connor]


No need to really give you all the lead up-to pictures. I admit, I like blue and red. It creates a 3-d image, at least on my phone. Funny thing… so I see two angels/birds in here. That means I see the red as hell. The “bird” on the left... [Other Posts] [art]


Triumph of Faith over Idolatry, by Jean-Baptiste Théodon (French, 1646–1713). Church of the Gesù, Rome, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The middle is getting disparaged. Matt O’Reilly doesn’t understand it. Others, on the right, suggest i... [United Methodist Church]

August 2, 6PM

Ht the twitters My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls is... [Quotes] [james baldwin]


Ht DM via Fb My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls is in ... [Other Posts]

August 1, 3PM

HT to KC My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls is in pap... [Other Posts] [humor]

July 30, 5AM

The Shield of the Trinity or Scutum Fidei – a traditional Christian visual symbol which expresses many aspects of the doctrine of the Trinity, summarizing the first part of the Athanasian Creed in a compact diagram. Original Latin-language version. ... [doctrine] [United Methodist Church]

July 29, 6AM

I remember hearing this when it came out and then after a long separation, hearing it again. It got…odder…as I got older… My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic ... [Other Posts] [contemporary christian music] [humor]

July 26, 4AM

I recently watched the movie Legion, a 2010 apocalyptic supernatural action movie. In the movie, God has lost his faith in humankind and has sent his angles, led by the Archangel Gabriel, to wipe out humankind. The Archangel Michael “disobeysR... [media] [Society and Religion] [legion] [movies] [pop culture] [religion] [theology]

July 25, 8PM

DOUBLE TALK? Reason with me for a second: Calvin’s quote on Idolatry We Protestants, giving honor to our name protest against relics, the preservation of statues and statuettes (the statutes wives), shrines, or anything that remotely resembles idola... [Controversial] [Religion and Politics] [Society and Religion] [theology] [john calvin]


Read Dr. Jim West, here: I believe that one can make a fair case that Bush’s war in Iraq brought the dreadful law of unintended consequences with a vengeance if we think in terms of Christians and the History of Christianity. There is a tough questi... [Religion and Politics] [Iraq]


Read here If the article linked is true there will be many interesting and rather unexpected results. The immediate one is that some black churches will be hurt the most as they are the ones who invite candidates that not necessarily share their faith,  ... [Charities] [Controversial] [Debate/Discussion] [Religion and Politics] [Society and Religion]


I tried to paint a flower – a purple-white lily (real thing) on a black background. I didn’t get very far. So, I painted something else. The first painting is the black-painted canvas. The second is me attempting to draw a stem. It looked like... [Other Posts] [art]
English: Ignatius of Antioch (Photo credit: Wikipedia) First, John M. has a post up. I have left a comment I am reproducing here: A few things… Wesley didn’t argue for holiness before doctrine. Why? I would suggest that unless we know our doctrine, w... [United Methodist Church] [John Meunier] [Tom Lambrecht]
You can find it here: A Common Written Greek Source for Mark AND Thomas. By John Horman. Studies in Christianity and Judaism 20. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2011. Pp. viii + 256. Cloth, $85.00. – Watts – 2014 – Religi... [Publications and Papers]


A flag, with the Shahadah, frequently used by Hamas supporters Proportions: 9:16Citation needed (Photo credit: Wikipedia) As one who has no problem going controversial, I find that this topic is something I stress about with finding the correct words. I s... [Religion and Politics] [Anti-Semitism] [Hamas] [israel]

July 24, 10AM

There are rampant protests all over the world and commonly they are against Israel. It all happens because of the current events of the Middle East, which one must be living under a rock if, of which, he is still unaware. A protest, however, is not legiti... [Other Posts]

July 23, 10AM

Never be sorry to celebrate You should read Matt’s post. At the end, he asks several questions. I wanted to see if I can provide some answers from my perspective. If two people with irreconcilable views can both be said to occupy the middle, it̵... [United Methodist Church]

July 22, 7AM

The left-wing in this country has been very clever in creating what I call “buzzwords” whose purpose is to intimidate people from voicing opinion on almost anything. For example we have the “R” word so that when one voices any opin... [Christian Education] [Controversial] [Debate/Discussion] [Religion and Politics] [Society and Religion]
Do you know our lord and savior, Zenu-nu-nu the Bloody Conquerer? (Photo credit: jurvetson) A few weeks ago, Ken Ham posted something decrying the United Methodist Church and our internal troubles. Several of the more conservative people on the forums ate... [science]

July 21, 7PM

)Photo credit: Bazstyle | Photography) I am going to help lead a new class in the fall (if it all works out) on covenant discipleship, from the Wesleyan perspective. I am looking for various quotes and thoughts at the moment. This one… Well, he was ... [Holiness]

July 19, 1PM

My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls is in paperback or ... [Other Posts] [humor]

July 17, 3PM

I passed this today in Morgantown… My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to Faith: Stories o... [Religion and Politics]

July 16, 5PM

I consider Dr. David F. Watson one of the brightest minds, sincerest hearts, and better Christian scholar-theologians I know. Nothing here is to suggest any deficit in his person, character, or otherwise. I am dismayed. I am greatly disheartened. I am sad... [United Methodist Church]


After spending a considerable amount of time reading theology and thinking through some of the more serious matters in biblical scholarship, I went to seminary. I was joined by more than a few fellow students who had read little more than Scripture itself... [Books] [Eric D. Barreto] [Fortress Press]


: United Methodist Church (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Not because he wants too, of course,and maybe not officially — shoot, he may just be doing this to lull us into sleep and then pop one or two caps (schism resolutions) into the hind-end of the UMC̷... [United Methodist Church] [Institute on Religion and Democracy] [Mark Tooley]

July 15, 4PM

From Hendrickson (click through, as there is a sample chapter on the publisher’s site): While the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece is designed for scholarly research, the Greek New Testament, 5th Revised Edition is designed for translators and... [Books] [greek new testament] [Hendrickson Publishers] [UBS5] [United Bible Societies]

July 14, 9AM

Your life ain’t worth 2 shekels (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I found this interesting. I am currently researching substitution (hint, I don’t think Jesus was classically substituted in Galatians) for my dissertation. These passages all connect f... [Exodus] [justification] [maccabees] [Purgatory]


I’d like to say that the room is dark so the painting doesn’t come out well on pictures, but to be honest, I wanted to quit halfway through. I had an image in my head of a very lonely, dark room with a very absent chair. Out the window is a ni... [Other Posts]
Atheism (Photo credit: boynumber1) So sayeth science. Well, actually, a “science writer.” I’ve scanned the article and could not find much in collaborative evidence. Don’t get me wrong. I want to believe that science says our metap... [atheism] [science] [Graham Lawton] [jim west] [New Scientist] [Nury Vittachi] [Pascal Boyer]

July 12, 6AM

Thom Stark transcribed this and it is awesome. English: English comedian Russell Brand. Español: El comediante inglés Russell Brand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Josh Green: Russell, quit hating on Dawkins. You... [atheism] [new atheism] [Richard Dawkins] [Russell Brand]

July 11, 7AM

And that you may understand it to be said as a mystery and not in reference to the bare number that two are better than one, he adds a mystical saying, A threefold cord is not quickly broken*. For that which is threefold and uncompounded cannot be broken.... [Ambrose] [Godhead] [Trinity]

July 10, 2PM

God is—and the Christian faith adds: God is as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three and one. This is the very heart of Christianity, but it is so often shrouded in a silence born of perplexity. Has the Church perhaps gone one step too far here? Ought we ... [Godhead] [Pope Benedict XVI] [Trinity]

July 9, 10AM

Bernard of Clairvaux, as shown in the church of Heiligenkreuz Abbey near Baden bei Wien, Lower Austria. Portrait (1700) with the true effigy of the Saint by Georg Andreas Wasshuber (1650-1732), (painted after a statue in Clairvaux with the true effigy of ... [Godhead] [Bernard of Clairvaux] [holy trinity] [Peter Abelard]


If I were to survey the current state of hermeneutical exegesis, I would get the strong sense of a blathering mess of chaotic interpretation fostered upon Holy Writ by people who simple have no idea what they are doing. Perhaps I would then seek to find w... [Books] [Herbert Bateman IV] [Kregel Publications]

July 8, 9AM

Saint Bonaventure (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Concerning the plurality of Persons within the unity of nature, true faith bids us believe that, in the one nature, there are three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The First does not originate from any of... [Godhead] [The Mystics] [Saint Bonaventure]
I wanted to do something different with my second painting. Remember, I am not claiming to be a professional, or to know what I am doing – shoot, I don’t even claim to have actual talent. But, it is relaxing and the helps with the writing proc... [Other Posts]


Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Jeremy at Hacking Christianity as a post up about the perception of how public opinion moves the United Methodist Church. It is the catalyst of this post, but not the progenitor. Rath... [United Methodist Church] [apostolic succession] [Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral] [Methodist Episcopal Church] [Methodist Protestant Church]

July 6, 4PM

Jude 1:1 “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to the ones called in God the Father, having been set apart, and having been kept by Jesus Christ:” I will admit that I have a special affinity for Jude. I think there is a lot p... [Other Posts]


My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls is in paperback or ... [Other Posts]

July 4, 11AM

So… because I want to focus all of my writing on my dissertation (and blog) I still need a creative outlet, right? So, I decided to try my hand at painting. Here you go. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditat... [Other Posts]

July 3, 10AM

Last night, a new friend brought to my attention this news article about the passing of Rev. Charles Moore. “Passing” is not, I think, the proper word. Rev. Moore, a retired elder of the United Methodist Church, died as a result of the injurie... [United Methodist Church] [Charles R. Moore]


Call it a hobby…but I like figuring out ways to get my point across. One of the best ways is using pop culture references. Anyway, this is another in the series of using country music to discuss Scripture. This time, it is Romans. Can you guess why... [Society and Religion]

July 2, 3PM

Via the Twitters… My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual W... [philosophy] [free will] [humor]

July 1, 6AM

I don’t want to fully comment on the case because: 1.) I believe SCOTUS is actually the “decider-in-chief” of the constitutionality of laws, 2.) From the few summaries I’ve read, the decision is a logical one based on current case ... [Religion and Politics] [Hobby Lobby] [Supreme Court of the United States]

June 30, 3PM

I found this floating by on Facebook… Here was my answer in reply: Vengeful – Deuteronomy 32.35, 1 Samuel 15.3. Temperamental – Exodus 32.10 Blood thirsty – 1 Sam 15.3, the Book of Joshua and Judges Bible thumping – Exodus ... [theology]


I am working on inviting and recruiting persons to participate in a Doctor of Ministry Cohort at United Theological Seminary in the fall: this particular Cohort, which I will lead, will explore the nature of “Leadership in the Wesleyan Spirit,” with s... [Christian Education]


There seems to be an ongoing trend with this sort of article lately. Can you be a Christian and be a homosexual? Can you be a Christian and have a beer? Can you be a Christian and go to fortune tellers? Can you be a Christian and…the list is seeming... [Other Posts]

June 28, 1PM

Cropped image of shooting for Transformers with the vehicle for Optimus Prime. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) There are approximately two good things about this movie. One, we get to see the Autobots on the big screen again. As one who grew up watching the car... [media] [Transformers 4]

June 27, 3PM

“I just want a more mature kind of faith, a more rational, and reasonable form of faith that can interact with archaeological discoveries and history without having to hide,” Moss said. “I think of it as a process of refining. So you learn things an... [Society and Religion] [Candida Moss]
Dr. Candida Moss, a historian, professor and expert of New Testament and early Christianity whose research and writings often draw the ire of conservatives and liberals alike, recently said that she hasn’t encountered anything in her extensive research ... [Other Posts] [Candida Moss]


Every now and then, I take the quiz to see what I may have changed. Previously, I was something else… now… and for a while… My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimeti... [Other Posts]

June 26, 11AM

My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls is in paperback or ... [Other Posts]


Note, this is a Book Notes (a possible new feature), not a full review which may follow later. The goal of this feature is to give you a brief summary. There is not a more important book to understanding Paul’s theology than Deuteronomy. Likewise, w... [Books] [Deuteronomy] [Daniel I. Block] [Eisenbrauns] [Jason Gile] [Jason S. DEROUCHIE] [Kenneth J. Turner]

June 25, 11AM

To make my point, I want to insure that the original decision, and it’s intentions, are known. The original decision was a suspension of 30 days where Frank Schaefer’s credentials were suspended. The church court asked that in those 30 days he... [Other Posts]


Note, this is a Book Notes (a possible new feature), not a full review which may follow later. The goal of this feature is to give you a brief summary.  Peter W. Gosnell, associate professor of religion at Muskingum University, attempts to examine ethi... [Books] [ethics] [ivp-academic] [Peter W. Gosnell]

June 24, 2PM

“I…I… Dang, that is the smack down” – Charles Wesley There is a key line in the ruling issues today, re-frocking Frank Schaefer. The penalty the Trial Court imposed on Rev. Schaefer is unlawful for the additional and independ... [United Methodist Church] [Book of Discipline] [Frank Schaefer] [Minority Report]


There is something to be said about a person who continues to be an active part of a denomination in which they are at odds, especially when the topic is interpretation of Scripture. It must present something of an identity crisis, where you identify as ... [Books] [ivp-academic] [Ronald E. Osborn]
Time to laugh a little at the expense of the same ol’ Simon Peter: OOOOOOps… My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and ... [Other Posts] [Christian humor]

June 22, 8PM

Another church interior (Photo credit: Giorgos~) Chris Morton has written a rather provocative piece suggesting that only Church Plants (or rather, missional minded congregations) will survive the next decade. He writes, Many established Churches are fig... [Society and Religion] [9marks] [Mark Dever]


“Don’t let the door hit ya, where the good Lord split ya’.” In this age of looking out for the numbers and not hurting people’s feelings, Wesley’s view may not be too popular. To understand this, take a look at Bishop W... [United Methodist Church] [John Wesley]

June 19, 8AM

DISPARAGE transitive verb 1 :  to lower in rank or reputation :  degrade 2 :  to depreciate by indirect means (as invidious comparison) :  speak slightingly about This is the definition of disparage according to Merriam-Webster. This is the def... [Other Posts]

June 18, 3PM

Apparently, creationism is no longer allowed to be taught as science in UK schools, which is all well and good, but I hope they still teach about it, so that kids will have the information in order to decide for themselves. You dont have to teach it as s... [Other Posts]

June 17, 11AM

Saint Augustin et Sainte Monique (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I tell you of a truth, my Beloved, even in these high seats there is both wheat, and tares, and among the laity there is wheat, and tares. Let the good tolerate the bad; let the bad change themsel... [augustine]

June 16, 9AM

My readings today were from the book of James, which I have a particular fondness for. One part of it struck me again and would not leave the forefront of my mind. It is a familiar passage, but one that bears mentioning.  James 1:13-17. I want to begin w... [Other Posts]

June 13, 11AM

The news today is all abuzz with stories of the violence in Iraq. Of course depending on who you are listening to it is the fault of A. The current administration for the way that soldiers were removed from Iraq, B. The Muslim extremists who are trying to... [Other Posts]


There are several, even one from the conservative side, plans on how to stay together. Most, if not all, require a great deal of legislative action — which may or may not make it through the Judicial Council. They would require a moving of heaven and ea... [United Methodist Church]

June 12, 7PM

My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls is in paperback or ... [Devotional] [Arvo Pärt]


Avert your eyes! My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls i... [Other Posts] [jim west]


For a while now, rumors have swirled of the demise of the humanities — that area you study in college if you don’t want a good job, or so we think. Likewise, there are stories about the death of the death of humanities. For the unlearned, the ... [Technology]


How do you bring to bear a cross-disciplinary approach to a generally discarded book of Scripture, suddenly transforming it from a canonical oddity to a pearl? You do it the way John Anthony Dunne has — with careful attention to detail, a wonderful wri... [Books] [Esther] [John Anthony Dunne] [Wipf and Stock Publishers]


Recently, a former UMCer-turned-North-American-Anglican suggested that the “traditionalists” (if a schism were to occur) could find a home in the Anglican Church in North America, even if it meant women could not be ordained. Sure, they could... [United Methodist Church] [n.t. wright]


You can find it here. The story about it is here. Look at the completely diverse way they described me: SPONTANEOUS • STERN • RESTLESS • RESERVED • CURIOUS My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On t... [Other Posts]

June 11, 12 PM

On May 22, before the season of annual conferences began, a time when United Methodists gather to conduct business — and this year, a time when delegates to the 2016 General Conference will either be nominated or elected — a group of 80 “theologians... [United Methodist Church]

June 10, 9AM

I was sitting in my car listening to Sirius 58 (Prime Country) when Reba’s “Fancy” came on. I have come to hate this song. I mean, here is a girl forsaken, orphaned, and downtrodden who turns to her body to help save herself. Then I was... [Other Posts] [humor]
Tom is getting rid of a lot of his books. Go here. My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to Faith: Sto... [Other Posts]


(Photo credit: NeilsPhotography) There are a numerous amount of prosperity, believe it and achieve it type pastors out there, and I want to begin by laughing at them and their flawed concept of scripture. They would have you believe that if you are “... [Devotional]
Wesley feels your pain but wonders if you aren’t causing it yourself. I do not believe the United Methodist Church needs saving. That would, in my mind, indicate the Church is lost, or losing, rather than the reality we actually face. I am, most day... [United Methodist Church]

June 9, 2PM

Dear hearts: Allow me to change the subject here just a bit from the potential schism in the Methodist Church. I am not an attorney; I’ve been offered a few times an opportunity to go to law school and there was no shortage of people to help me in t... [Other Posts]


The Death of Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Jerad and Amanda Miller, the two who ambushed and killed two on-duty (and on lunch) police officers over the weekend are said to have had a death wish. I think this is abundantly clear. But, so do some martyrs ... [Atonement] [Doctoral Work] [Jack Miles] [Suicide]


Scars of a whipped slave (April 2, 1863, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. Original caption: “Overseer Artayou Carrier whipped me. I was two months in bed sore from the whipping. My master come after I was whipped; he discharged the overseer. The very wo... [United Methodist Church] [abraham lincoln] [Horace Greeley] [slavery] [Wesley Putnam]

June 8, 7AM

My books are now available on Amazon. Praying in God's Theater, Meditations On the Book of Revelation, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary, and From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls is in paperback or ... [Reformation] [John Wesley]

June 6, 9AM

A Stripped image of John Wesley (Photo credit: Wikipedia) couple of disclaimers. One, I am not overly well versed in the politics of the UMC. I may propose things that are not currently possible due to the government of the church. If that is the case, it... [United Methodist Church]


It’s been a rather long week in the forums – what with the 80 reduced to 79, unity covenants going around, blog posts, defriendings, hurt feelings, and very little humility. Or humor. So… Here are some not necessarily connected thoughts ... [United Methodist Church] [humor]

June 5, 10AM

On Simcha… Dr. Robin Jensen and her employer, Vanderbilt University, have filed motions to dismiss thelawsuit brought against themby pseudoarchaeologist, professional filmmaker, andrecent filer of multiple lawsuits against critics who disagree wi... [Other Posts] [Robin Jensen] [simcha jacobovici]

June 4, 7AM

Schism my left Calvinist cheek! There are hopeful spots popping up in the most unexpected places, rays of light that forecast both hope and gloom. First, in the North Georgia Annual Conference, they have passed a unity resolution. The United Methodists of... [United Methodist Church]

June 2, 7PM

My book on scripture’s authority, Scripture and the Authority of God, makes clear where I stand. I take the whole of scripture utterly seriously, and I regret that many who call themselves “inerrantists” manage to avoid the real challenge at its hea... [Inerrancy] [n.t. wright]


Christ is Born (Photo credit: Eustaquio Santimano) It is my sincere hope that somehow, someway this finds you as I do not know the means in which to respond to you directly. This forum suits well for my purposes though as I believe that anyone who saw you... [United Methodist Church] [Institute on Religion and Democracy] [John Lomperis]
The UMC is broken. There is talk of schism everywhere. People are busying themselves preparing their arguments and justifying their positions. The discussion is intense, the debate fierce. The name calling escalates and the people continue to fracture. A... [United Methodist Church]


c. 1437-1446 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The Revised Common Lectionary includes Acts 1.6-14 in this week’s readings. Likewise, it includes Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35; 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11; and John 17:1-11. From a cursory reading, you can see the connec... [theology] [Revised Common Lectionary]


How did I miss this?  The letter to the Galatians is a key source for Pauline theology as it presents Paul’s understanding of justification, the gospel, and many topics of keen contemporary interest. In this volume, some of the world’s top ... [Books] [Galatians]

May 30, 1PM

I found this, via Logos, as part of my current dissertation work. You will note why, I believe. A Roman copy of a Greek statue commemorating the victory over the Galatians called The Dying Gaul. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Thanks to Thomas Bolin for this tr... [Galatians]
a very ironic picture of John Lomperis John Lomperis, director of the United Methodist program at The Institute on Religion and Democracy, told The Christian Post that bad times were ahead for the UMC regarding the debate. “While no one can say wi... [United Methodist Church] [Institute on Religion and Democracy] [John Lomperis]


Schism is the topic of the day of course, so far be it from me to try and deviate. I have come to a few more conclusions about it however…oddly enough from Michael Jackson. (I am also beginning to think that the only spiritual gift I may have is the... [Other Posts]


English: beginning of the Gospel of John (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I am changing my dissertation focus from a literary analysis of the Fourth Gospel’s use of Deuteronomy to something else. Therefore, I am posting what I have already written. I̵... [Doctoral Work] [John]