Best 12 minutes about United Methodism I’ve seen

Bishop Jones on what the UMC has to offer today

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8 thoughts on “Best 12 minutes about United Methodism I’ve seen

  1. The bishop makes the case as well as I’ve heard, but that leitmotiv of the “extreme center” has now become familiar and haggard and cheap. It just doesn’t have the “ring of truth” for many of us, who are all too aware of the riot of contradictions presently sapping the church of vitality, urgency, and vision.

    1. I’m not particularly fond of the “extreme center” as a name. And I’m not really certain that all the things he describes are really opposites that have a center between them (Predestination and Universalism, for instance). But I do find his overall articulation of United Methodism effective and ringing true to what we are in our aspirations.

      1. I agree with your comment, John, but that term “aspirations” suggests the poverty of our current condition. Aspirations seem to be all we have left in our travel kit.

        1. I understand your point-of-view, and I cannot argue against your point. I pray that aspirations and God are enough.

      2. I’ve always thought of Universalism as a sort of “fuzzy bunny” Predestination. They are essentially the same thing, one just only has one possible outcome.

        1. Exactly. The trouble with Universalism and Predestination is the removal of choice. First, by removing choice, I believe we lessen our perception of the love of God. Love allows the object of love to choose to (or not to) return love. When that choice is taken away, it coercive at best and forced intimacy (rape) at worst. Neither of those are attributes I would describe as Divine. Second, removing choice from a church standpoint easily leads to a “frozen chosen” model of doing church. Nothing we do will have any real ramifications because God has already sorted things out, so why bother? Now, I’ll grant that a theology of free will has not exactly inspired the UMC to get to work fulfilling it’s mission statement, but there are signs of hope. Also, some of the “softer” Calvinists work in the mission field in order to bring glory to God. So, this second part is not hard and fast, but I do believe the danger of not being motivated is always dormant in both Universalism and Predestination.

  2. I’ve read quite a few blogs from UMC pastors who self-identify as universalists. It seems like a pretty common belief in the UMC.

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