Why I am still a United Methodist
John Meunier
by John Meunier
6d ago
I’ve had a few people on other social media platforms and offline ask me why I am still a United Methodist. These questions arise, I believe, because I am clearly out-of-step with many in the UMC theologically now. I am a Wesleyan evangelical in a denomination that has shed millions of people who share many of my theological commitments. I also have not been much of a cheerleader for the #BeUMC movement. I often offer what are seen as critical or contrarian views about the state or our denomination in a time when many people want a positive narrative about where we are going, to paraphrase Bis ..read more
Visit website
Saving faith
John Meunier
by John Meunier
6d ago
My last post in this series about John Wesley’s sermon “Salvation by Faith” looked at three versions of faith that are not saving, which Wesley labeled as the faith of a heathen, a devil, and an apostle. Here now, we see how he describes the faith that actually saves. 4. What faith is it then through which we are saved? It may be answered, first, in general, it is a faith in Christ: Christ, and God through Christ, are the proper objects of it. Herein, therefore, it is sufficiently, absolutely distinguished from the faith either of ancient or modern heathens. This should be completely nonc ..read more
Visit website
The faith that does not save
John Meunier
by John Meunier
1w ago
Here we get to the meat of John Wesley’s sermon “Salvation by Faith.” The first main topic is one that every Christian should find worthy of careful consideration: Exactly what is the nature of the faith that saves? In my hardback copy of the works of John Wesley, I wrote notes on each of these sections asking if I had attained even these insufficient levels. If we could administer a test that revealed where the people in our pews were, if we could pinpoint the heathens, devils, and apostles in our congregations, would help us make more of them into actual Christians? 1. What faith it is ..read more
Visit website
Veruca Salt does God a favor
John Meunier
by John Meunier
2w ago
Nothing brings home how different early Methodism was from contemporary United Methodism than reading John Wesley’s sermons. As we continue looking at “Salvation by Faith,” try to imagine hearing this in the bishop’s address at your annual conference. The previous paragraph, you may remember, was making the point that we do not deserve anything from God. Every good thing that we have is from God and not ours. This creates a problem for sinners. How can we pay for our sins if we don’t have anything good that we can say is ours? 2. Wherewithal then shall a sinful man atone for any the least ..read more
Visit website
The lost meaning of ‘grace’
John Meunier
by John Meunier
3w ago
As threatened, this post begins an extended serious reading and commenting on John Wesley’s first standard sermon “Salvation by Faith.” As we will see, this sermon speaks to what Wesley deemed to be the animating doctrine of the Methodist movement – “inward, present salvation” by faith. The sermon and the doctrine arise out of a reading of Ephesians 2:8, which the King James of Wesley’s day renders: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” In another place, I have suggested that if you were to reduce all Methodism to three verses, Ephesians ..read more
Visit website
The teaching that can unite us
John Meunier
by John Meunier
3w ago
In 1745, John Wesley wrote a letter to a friend about the relationship between the Methodists and the clergy of the Church of England. In the letter, he began by describing the core doctrine of Methodist preaching that gave rise to the Methodism movement. “About seven years since, we began preaching inward, present salvation, as attainable by faith alone. For preaching this doctrine, we were forbidden to preach in the churches. We then preached in private houses as occasion offered: And when the houses would not contain the people, in the open air. For this, many of the Clergy preached or prin ..read more
Visit website
A need for clarity on singleness and sex
John Meunier
by John Meunier
1M ago
As I understand it, the ordination standards for the United Methodist Church now include the following paragraph: 2. For the sake of the mission of Jesus Christ in the world and the most effective witness to the Christian gospel, and in consideration of the influence of an ordained minister on the lives of other persons both within and outside the Church, the Church expects those who seek ordination to make a complete dedication of themselves to the highest ideals of the Christian life. To this end, they agree to exercise responsible self-control by personal habits conducive to bodily health ..read more
Visit website
The 3 audiences in every congregation
John Meunier
by John Meunier
1M ago
One of the most challenging things I find in preaching is that you are always preaching to a mixed body. No matter how small the congregation, the people who are hearing your sermon are at different places in their relationship with Jesus Christ. In his sermon “Scriptural Christianity,” Wesley writes about the ways that we should vary how we speak to people depending on where they are spiritually. To the careless, to those who lay unconcerned in darkness and in the shadow of death, they thundered, “Awake thou that sleepest; arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” But to those ..read more
Visit website
Methodism in three verses
John Meunier
by John Meunier
1M ago
As an exercise, I tried this morning to set down three verses that I believe are especially important to Methodism. I set a limit of three to force me to try to focus on what I thought were the most important. None of these are unique to Methodism, but I do think these three together at least capture something of the core of what animated Methodism as a movement and helped make it powerful. Without holiness, no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14) For it is by grace you have been saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8) He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for ..read more
Visit website
Butchers, hackers, and pastors
John Meunier
by John Meunier
1M ago
Two of the writers who have had a lot of influence on my understanding of the pastoral vocation are Wendell Berry and Eugene Peterson. Berry does not write much about the church or the work of the pastor, but I find many things he writes about farming and poetry have a lot of resonance for the ways that I think about the work of the pastor. I don’t know if Berry and Peterson were aware of each other’s work, but I hear a lot of overlap in their attentiveness to the local and the particular and their rejection of consumerism and efficiency as the highest goal in the life of an organization. In h ..read more
Visit website

Follow John Meunier on FeedSpot

Continue with Google
Continue with Apple
OR