October 25, 2016
The Order of Elders“The disciple of the Spirit is bidden to announce what he has learned to the elders of the Church of Christ, that is, to those who, owing to their capacity to receive spiritual doctrine, possess a ripe endowment of wisdom.” -Origen of Alexandria, On First Principles IV.1...
October 14, 2016
Can We Agree in Love?In this blog’s statement of purpose we assert that when theological points are discussed in the United Methodist Church we talk past each other instead of to each other. What does this mean? It means we use words that have a different definition for one side than another....
September 23, 2016
Maintain the Discipline? Or Create One?“Why would anyone form a group to maintain the teachings and standards of an institution that they are already a part of?” This line, from Chad Bowen’s piece published here last week, has stuck with me from the moment I first read it in an early draft of his essay....
Statement of Purpose
At present, too many conversations within the UMC are grand experiments in missing the point. We talk past one another, aiming for rhetorical impact rather than theological insight. Our spirit is often one of distrust and hostility rather than charity and peace.
We intend for Holy Conferencing to be a space in which we can confer frankly and faithfully about the things that are most important to our denomination, including the things that divide us. We pray that what we publish on this site will care for the wounds of the United Methodist Church. We pray that we will not do further harm.
We will publish articles about doctrine, because many of our wounds are from ill conceived or poorly articulated doctrine. We intend to provoke conversations of reconciliation, because it is Christ the Lord who has reconciled us to ourselves, to each other, and to God. We are going to confer about holiness, without which no one will see the Lord, and without which we cannot be made one with one another. We will work ardently to maintain a spirit of charity, because God is love and God’s love alone binds the body of Christ together. Above all we are going to confer together in the conviction that peace and truth are one, because the God of peace is the true God and because truth is the spirit of love and the love of peace rather than violence, anger, or deception.