Our Top Posts of 2013

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1. Misplacing Charisma: Where Contemporary Worship Lost Its Way (Matthew Sigler)

“Many forget (or don’t know) that ‘contemporary’ worship was inextricably linked to the Charismatic Movement of the 1960’s and 70’s. This connection forged a musical style that was rooted in a particular understanding of the Spirit in worship. Specifically, the singing of praise and worship songs was understood sacramentally. God was uniquely encountered, by the Spirit, in congregational singing.”

 2. Why I Am a Methodist (Jim Harnish)

“What if, on your way to work between floors in the elevator, someone asked you, ‘Why are you a Methodist?’ That’s shorthand for, ‘Why have you chosen to live out your discipleship in the context of the Wesleyan/Methodist tradition?’ How would you respond?”

3. Slaves, Women and Homosexuals (Timothy Tennent)

“Over the past few decades, some Christians have begun to compare the legitimization of homosexuality and the legalization of same sex marriage with earlier struggles in our society over slavery or the status and role of women in the church and society. One of the more recent examples of this argument can be found in an article published in the Washington Post by Adam Hamilton, the well known and influential senior pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.”

4. 6 Things that Have Changed Since I Began Leading Contemporary Worship (Matthew Sigler)

“Many still use the term ‘contemporary worship’ as it was used in 1995. What should be clear is that several things have changed over the past two-decades. Parishioners, pastors, and scholars must navigate the pros and cons of these new developments in ‘contemporary worship.’ In my next post I’ll look more closely at the changing sound of contemporary worship music.”

5. Book Review: What We Talk about When We Talk about God by Rob Bell (Timothy Tennent)

“As we face a culture increasingly abandoning the Christian faith we have much to learn from Bell’s missional heart and his willingness to listen deeply to the angst of popular culture.  But, the solution is not to further domesticate the gospel.  Rather, the church must rediscover a more robust gospel; the good news proclaimed in the New Testament.”

6. 10 Reasons Why I Am a Wesleyan (Carolyn Moore)

“Wesleyan doctrine can be summed up in two words: grace and holiness. That’s our great claim. Our tradition isn’t primarily about a form of worship (though we have written thousands of songs to God). It isn’t primarily about getting people out of hell (though Wesley preached that we should flee the wrath to come). It doesn’t claim to be charismatic, though we honor the gifts of the Spirit. It isn’t doctrinally heavy, though we certainly consider ourselves creedal. At its core, Wesleyanism is about claiming a free gift of salvation then working it out daily with fear and trembling. It is a call to live a holy life.”

7. 10 Reasons Why I Am a Wesleyan (Andrew Dragos)

“Most basic to God’s nature and character is love and relationality. God exists in community of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In this community there is pure delight, mutual submission, and grace that paints a perfect picture of love. This means God did not need to create the world—he was sufficient in himself, but since he did, we have a most perfect model for what loving human relationships should look like. It also provides a beautiful means by which we may commune with him—because of the Son’s work, we may commune with the Father through the Holy Spirit.”

8. Why You Should Partner with Joel Osteen (or at least pay attention to his ministry)

“As much as this made me want to watch an Osteen sermon, deconstruct it, and cry heresy another thought occurred to me while sitting in that prison; while sitting in that prison enjoying one of the most wonderful experiences of sharing the gospel with some of the most receptive and honest people I had sat with in a long time: maybe I should just partner with Joel Osteen instead.”

 9. 10 Best Tactics for the Worst Marriage (Kelly Grace)

“While we all know it takes work to make a good marriage, what are we doing that works against us?  The following list is a collection of what any spouse may fall prone too.  While some may be too familiar to be funny, work on getting your relationship right by taking a lesson on how to get it wrong.”

10. Recommended Reading: Key Wesleyan Theology Resources (Kevin Watson)

“People often ask me to recommend five ‘must reads’ for helping shape an orthodox Wesleyan future for the church. The only problem I had was that I was not successful in keeping the list to only five books! Here is what I recommend, with a brief introduction to each book.”

11. 7 Things Senior Pastors Want Their Youth Pastors to Know (Jeremy Steele)

“Though I know most of these are not rocket science, I know that the easiest things to understand can often be the most difficult to live out (like love God and love your neighbor as yourself). These are seven things I have discovered over the years that senior pastors want from their youth pastors.”

12. Was Paul For or Against Women in Ministry? (Craig Keener)

“The question of a woman’s role in ministry is a pressing concern for today’s church. It is paramount first, because of our need for the gifts of all the members God has called to serve the Church. The concern, however, has extended beyond the Church itself. Increasingly, secular thinkers attack Christianity as against women and thus irrelevant to the modern world.”

13. The Theology of John Wesley in Two Words (J.D. Walt)

“One day I asked the noted John Wesley scholar, Ken Collins, how he would concisely summarize the Wesleyan theological vision. He said, ‘I can do it in two words: Holy Love.’ John Wesley gave us Sola Sanctus Caritas.”

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