Steve Harper writes as an evangelical who loves the United Methodist Church. He has written a thoughtful, helpful, and surprising book on the church he loves and the ways it might wrestle with the issues that divide it.
-Rev. Adam Hamilton,
United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, Kansas
For The Sake of the Bride is a helpful reflection on the unity of the church concerning human sexuality. He risks moving deeply into the conversation, and he does so in a way that is evangelical (Christocentric) and mystical. His rediscovery of E. Stanley Jones's round-table discussion points a way beyond our tribalism. I hope you will read this book, for the sake of the bride--the church of Jesus Christ.
-Bishop Kenneth Carter,
The Florida Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church
Steve Harper has written a book for "just such a time as this." He provides a balanced theological reflection on the crisis facing The United Methodist Church today. Reflecting upon Scripture, tradition, and the work of E. Stanley Jones, Harper lovingly proposes a way forward.
-Rev. Steve Manskar,
Director of Wesleyan Leadership, Leadership Ministries, GBOD, The United Methodist Church
For the Sake of the Bride sets aside the all-too-easy rhetoric of division and antagonism and invites the divided church to fully engage the greater way of love that Jesus models and bids us follow. Harper writes with pastoral courage, sensitivity and genuine humility, inviting us not to a particular position, but to generous dialogue on behalf of the church we cherish.
-Dr. Kandace Brooks,
Tamoka United Methodist Church, Ormond Beach, Florida
Steve Harper succeeds in his desire to move the Church beyond the impasse of name calling and shouting and calls for schism, and brings us to the table, the Round Table, in a spirit of grace filled love, integrity, honesty and mutual respect for all parties. That's a difficult place for many to maintain, but it's where we all must meet.
-Dr. Dan Johnson,
Trinity United Methodist Church, Gainesville, Florida
Steve Harper reflects the evangelical and holiness traditions of American Methodists. From this framework of traditional Christian piety, he shows how we can reflect faithfully on these contemporary issues in ways that honor each other as the presence of Christ, the "Bride of Christ." This is a breath of fresh air amid the rancor that has too often polluted church conversations in recent years. His concern is that Christians damage the church - not just the institution of the church but the church as the body and "bride of Christ" - by the uncharitable and unprofitable conversation we too often carry on, especially over the issue of same-sex relationships.
Perkins School of Theology