Embracing the Wideness: The Shared Convictions of The United Methodist Church
Embracing the Wideness: The Shared Convictions of The United Methodist Church  -     By: Kenneth H. Carter Jr.
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Abingdon Press / 2018 / Paperback
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Embracing the Wideness: The Shared Convictions of The United Methodist Church

Abingdon Press / 2018 / Paperback

This product will be released on 09/04/18
Email me when this product is available.
Stock No: WW871562


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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 128
Vendor: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 2018
ISBN: 1501871560
ISBN-13: 9781501871566

Publisher's Description

Embracing the Wideness describes the shared space where author Ken Carter contrasts a generous orthodoxy with the culture wars that seek to drive a wedge between Christians with deep faith convictions.  A generous orthodoxy is possible for The United Methodist Church because scripture supports both a confessing movement and a reconciling movement.

In addition to our divergent understandings of holiness in The United Methodist Church, we apparently have two distinct conceptions of church. These two conceptions of church present in American Methodism for at least 200 years from seeds were planted in the earliest practice of British Methodism, are:

  1. a separatist church, which views holiness as a calling that separates us from the world—"come out from among them and be separated" (2 Corinthians 6:17). Here holiness is a quality that distinguishes Christians from the world.
  2. an activist church, which understands holiness as a movement for change in an unjust world. The boundaries between church and society are blurred, with the "wheat and tares" growing together (Matthew 13) until God’s final judgment.
At times, a denomination is able to hold these two conceptions of church in tension. And at times, as in recent experiences of American mainline Christianity, there is fragmentation and division.  The division may finally be the result of clearly articulated values that are not compatible. And the division may also be the result of how leaders of the two conceptions of church do harm to each other.

What great things could be accomplished if we rediscovered an orthodoxy in service of the healing, instead of dividing, of our bodies, that is, our churches! Such a generous orthodoxy would help us not to become immersed in the emotional processes that pit people against each other. Such a generous orthodoxy would keep us from becoming stuck in cycles of harmful collusion and escalating conflict. Such a generous orthodoxy would know that the source of our capacity to be healed of our schisms is a miracle beyond our human power or goodness or intelligence.

Author Bio

Kenneth H. Carter Jr. is Resident Bishop of the Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. He is a moderator of the Commission on a Way Forward and in 2018–2020 will serve as president of the Council of Bishops.
Bishop Carter is the author of ten books, including Pray for Me, A Way of Life in the World, The Gifted Pastor, and Near the Cross. He is a contributor to Feasting on the Word and The Wesley Study Bible. He formerly served as senior pastor of Providence United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, where his ministry was described by the American Religious Historian Diana Butler Bass in her Christianity for the Rest of Us, and superintendent of the Smoky Mountain District in Western Northern Carolina, which included seventy churches across seven counties, all in the region of Appalachia. 

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