Browse posts tag by discipleship
EVANGELICALISM’S FATAL FLAW

EVANGELICALISM’S FATAL FLAW

February 2, 2024 By dwayman

The leading Free Methodist author, Rev. Dr. Howard Snyder, provides an insightful historical and theological study of why the Evangelical church has lost its way.  Though most Free Methodists identify as Wesleyan rather than Evangelical due to the reasons noted in this study, it is important to understand what has and is happening within a large branch of American Christianity.

Evangelicalism’s Fatal Flaw Howard A. Snyder

Evangelicalism in the U.S. suffers from a fatal flaw.

What in the world is “evangelicalism”? The term is contested and variously defined. In the United States however it has come to mean doctrinally conservative Protestants, especially white Protestants, who are also very conservative politically. That perception has taken hold in the media and is backed by evangelicals’ voting record in the past several Presidential elections, going back to Ronald Reagan.

What is evangelicalism really though, theologically speaking? British Baptist historian David Bebbington formulated a definition in the 1980s that is now widely accepted. According to Bebbington, evangelicals are defined by four marks: biblicism (a high view of biblical authority); crucicentrism (central focus on Christ’s atonement); conversionism (conversion by faith in Jesus Christ is essential); and activism (the Christian duty to evangelize).

I have never liked this definition. It doesn’t really click with my own experience growing up in the Free Methodist Church. I always felt something was missing, especially for those of us in the Wesleyan and holiness tradition.

I used to think Bebbington’s definition wasn’t quite right.

HOWARD  SNYDER’s HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHURCH

HOWARD SNYDER’s HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHURCH

June 30, 2019 By dwayman

In 2014 Howard Snyder wrote a “personal and pastoral” reflection on homosexuality.  It is presented here as another ingredient to our ongoing conversation.

 

Homosexuality and the Church:

Personal and Pastoral Reflections

 

Howard A. Snyder

 

[Foreword]

 

One of the foundational problems with the contemporary discussion on same sex marriage is that the church has lost the debate before the first exchange of ideas takes place. This is because the underlying presuppositions of the dialogue are never properly disclosed.  For example, the actual biblical teaching regarding marriage is utterly incomprehensible to the wider culture.   If you read Christian interactions about same sex marriage, it is clear that the church has largely abandoned the notion that there is a divine design to marriage.  In short, we have a priori accepted the culture’s view of marriage; namely, that it is a legal arrangement which allows two people to fulfill each other’s emotional and sexual needs and desires.  Personal choice and autonomous notions of personal fulfillment are just a few of the values which fit neatly within the larger utilitarian framework of the modern understanding of marriage.   Today, marriage has become commodified along with the rest of the culture, as even social relationships are often reduced to measurable economic and emotional exchange units.

In contrast, the Scriptures posit a covenantal view of marriage which is unitive,

WASHED AND WAITING- Wesley Hill

WASHED AND WAITING- Wesley Hill

March 26, 2017 By

Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality by Wesley Hill (Zondervan, 2010). Hill has given permission for this digest.  Much has been omitted from this digest and it is recommended that his book be purchased.  You can purchase the book here.

  1. Introduction: This books is neither about how to live faithfully as a practicing homosexual person nor about how to live faithfully as a fully healed or former homosexual man or woman…This book is about what it means…how practically, a non-practicing but still-desiring homosexual Christian can “prove, live out, and celebrate” the grace of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit in homosexual terms.  This book is written mainly for those gay Christians who are already convinced that their discipleship to Jesus necessarily commits them to the demanding, costly obedience of choosing not to nurture their homosexual desires, whether through private fantasies or physical relationships with other gay or lesbian people….”There are probably nearly as many Christians with homosexual feelings who do not believe that homosexual sex is right for Christians as there are those who are advocating its acceptance.”…The Christian’s struggle with homosexuality is unique in many ways, but not completely so.  The dynamics of human sinfulness and divine mercy and grace are the same for all of us, regardless of the particular temptations or weaknesses we face.  In my experience the effort to live faithfully as a gay Christian has involved me in three main battles.