Reinventing Peace

We live in a broken and hurting world. It cannot be ignored that division is the norm for Western society. The fractured nature of humanity is not new—it has been recorded throughout history for many millennia. The goal of peace theology is to bring reconciliation to a broken world—this is the message of the gospel….

A Harmonious Future

In his 1821 autobiography, Thomas Jefferson reflected upon one of the crowning achievements of his career, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom: “Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it should…

A New Brand

“The spirit of Jesus penetrates social boxes. Barricades of suspicion, mistrust, stigma, and hate crumble in his presence. He also invites us to see human beings behind the labels of stigma. His kingdom transcends all boundaries. He welcomes people from all boxes. God’s love overpowers the social customs which divide, separate, and isolate. All are…

Learn the Language

In Leonard Sweet’s book Aqua Church 2.0 he refers to a quote from French philosopher Voltaire in reference to a communication philosophy: “If you would speak to me, you must first learn my language.”[1] In this chapter, Sweet analyzes how the church must be willing to adapt to the changing technological world around it. How…

Parallel Frontiers: The Leadership of Francis Asbury

This post is an excerpt from my master’s thesis, “Parallel Frontiers: Looking to Early Methodist Circuits in America for Insights on Church Multiplication in a Post-Modern Culture.” Francis Asbury was an incredible leader, one who likely changed the shape of American religion more than any other leader. It has been said that Asbury may have traveled more…

My Good Samaritan Was a Muslim

I have told this story to a few people and have often received responses like, “You have got to be joking… that sounds just like the parable of the Good Samaritan.” Unfortunately, I assume there has often been a bit of skepticism in those persons’ responses, thinking I may have fabricated this story. I can…

In All Things, Love

Talking about unity is important because I believe it is essential for our nation’s current state. In order for unity to occur in the present, we all have to be willing to try to understand each other’s points of view. That has to start with us being open about how we feel about the issues we all face….

A Church Caught in the Middle

1776 marked the year of American succession from the British Empire. 1814 marked the end of the American War of 1812. This thirty-eight year period of political tension was also a foundational era for the North America Methodist work. The American and British political tensions from 1776 – 1814 might have caused a significant impact on Methodist missions…

Parallel Frontiers: The Leadership of Thomas Coke

This post is an excerpt from my master’s thesis, “Parallel Frontiers: Looking to Early Methodist Circuits in America for Insights on Church Multiplication in a Post-Modern Culture.” I was particularly intrigued by the work of Thomas Coke, as I was researching and writing about his leadership.  The leadership of Thomas Coke is probably the least recognized of…

Multiplication Through Unity

This article was originally written for a course at Wesley Seminary. It was also published in the July 2015 issue of Church Planter Magazine. One of the greatest losses of the Protestant Reformation was the splintering of Christ’s church. Starting with the Great Schism and rapidly increasing with the Protestant Reformation, churches have divided, and…

Contrary to Their Religious Persuasion

A few weeks ago, I was doing some research and became more aware of a unique part of American history. As a Pennsylvania native, I have always been intrigued by the microcosm of religious diversity that has been part of this state’s history. You might be aware that Pennsylvania was founded as a British province…

Both–And

If you’ve been tracking with some of my recent blog posts, you will know that I have a strong interest with the intersection of church history and missiology. I am particularly intrigued by historical multiplication movements in church history. But out of all of them, the Methodist story is one of the most unique. I…