It’s About God

In our Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony (Abingdon, 1990), Stanley Hauerwas and I said that there was much a-theism in the contemporary church. Atheism? We go about evoking vague spiritual sensibilities in our listeners (preaching), soothing the anxieties of the affluent (pastoral care), keeping the machinery oiled (church administration) as if God didn’tContinue reading “It’s About God”


A few years ago, John McClure had a good idea for a useful book for us preachers. Professor McClure interviewed a group of master preachers and teachers of preachers, seeking their best advice on various aspects of the homiletical task. I was particularly struck by his section on sermon feedback from the laity. How doContinue reading “GROWING AS PREACHERS THROUGH LAY FEEDBACK TO OUR SERMONS”


Our Bishop’s Convocation takes place this week when the pastors of our Conference will be focusing on the ministry of Preaching. Dr. Thomas G. Long of Emory will lead us, therefore for the next few weeks, my Bishop’s messages will reflect on the task of preaching. When Aristotle was offering, in his Rhetoric the “availableContinue reading “PREACHING: CHARACTER AND CREDIBILITY”

Jesus Christ as our way to God

Our thoughts on United Methodist Believing continue with these thoughts about Jesus Christ as our way to God. The way Scripture tells the story (and nothing we know about Jesus would we know without Scripture – here is a story so wonderfully strange we could have never thought this up ourselves) Jesus is not onlyContinue reading “Jesus Christ as our way to God”

United Methodists Worship the Incarnate Christ

John Wesley often spoke of preaching as “offering Christ.” For Wesley, preaching was more than a string of interesting ideas, even interesting ideas about Christ; it was experience of and engagement with Christ as a living, relational being. With other Christians we join in basing all that we say and know about God on theContinue reading “United Methodists Worship the Incarnate Christ”