Andrew Thompson explores, explicates, and argues for doctrinal preaching as a key to renewal.
Doctrinal preaching as I began to think about it in my preparation to preach at annual conference would accept that we in the present have much to learn from our ancestors about the interpretation of the Bible and the core elements of faithful discipleship. And doctrinal preaching would also stand against the liberal individualist temptation to think that faith is about each of us figuring out what we want to believe in order to gain a sense of self-authentication. In short, doctrinal preaching, I came to believe, ought to be about reinvigorating the meaning of doctrine as “sacred teaching” vital for the present, which has been handed down to us by the saints who have gone before us.
A post on the absence of Eucharist from the life of the United Methodist Church.
A golden moment today. I was following a man up the stairs from our post-worship Bible study. He’d joined the church by profession of faith in the fall. As he walked up the stairs he said, “I wish I had done this a long time ago.”
This post about the five crucial things for a church to do well came across my social media network. It reinforces what lots of people say, but it does it well.
Horrible story. Sin and sex in the pulpit at a Dallas United Methodist Church.
Paul’s advice to Timothy:
This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from from, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.
When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die in their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. (Ezekiel 3:18)
A pastor once told me that he tells his people that he is not their “sin police.” Being a person who wants everyone to like me, I liked that little phrase. But I don’t think Ezekiel would have gotten away with that.
When George Whitefield was forlorn about the state of his soul, he was given by his friend Charles Wesley a book that changed his life. It was a book cherished by John and Charles. They had been urged to read it by their mother.
In it, we can see much of what we now call the Wesleyan understanding of the nature of religion. I recommend it to you: The Life of God in the Soul of Man by Henry Scougal.