Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
September 29th, 2014 by Joel Watts

Introducing “United Methodist Scholars for Christian Orthodoxy”

UMC Scholars for Christian Orthodoxy

It is also one of the main reasons we started UMSCO. We believe scholars have an important role to play in the church, one that extends far beyond the conventional and sometimes stereotypical view of college and seminary professors. It is our job to help teach the church and provide academic leadership to help other leaders lead and teach the church. Furthermore, we believe strongly that the most important of our difficulties in United Methodism relate directly to doctrine and discipline.

via Why United Methodist Scholars for Christian Orthodoxy? | United Methodist Scholars for Christian Orthodoxy.

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Comments

7 Responses to “Introducing “United Methodist Scholars for Christian Orthodoxy””
  1. Seems I’ve had lots of smaller convos about “orthodoxy” lately. The only issues I have is…what IS orthodoxy anymore? I see the desire the have a set order of “right teaching” in front of us, but what exactly is it? With the church history tree of Christianity so branched out, with so many different traditions in the branches, what exactly is right and what is wrong?

    • For Christians, orthodoxy goes to the creeds. For wesleyans, we include several doctrinal standards otherwise, such as prevenient grace and connexionalism.

  2. Know More Than I Should says

    Orthodoxy is enforced theological groupthink. Quite often, the seminal question isn’t so much the think as the enforcement thereof.

    The fun comes when groupthink morphs into doublethink. It’s one of the things that makes humans so much fun to watch. Small wonder God reportedly laughs at the follies of those created in his image!

  3. I find the word “discipline” interesting.
    It would be nice to zero in on exactly what is meant by it in the UMSCO web site. Or by UMC. It seems to reflect a negative connotation to me… Certainly as an adult, I guess I need to be guided by others, smarter than me, on how to think, act, and believe? (OK, I expect the obvious response, “of course, that’s exactly what you need!)

    But I would like to see what exactly the UMC definition would be today, versus the definition from the 1700’s. I bet they are the same. If so, that might be why there is so much controversy today.

    “difficulties in United Methodism relate directly to doctrine and discipline”

    “Lack of doctrinal clarity, made worse by lack of willingness to discipline ourselves according to our doctrines”

    From a dictionary:
    dis·ci·pline
    noun: discipline
    1.
    the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.
    “a lack of proper parental and school discipline”
    synonyms: control, training, teaching, instruction, regulation, direction, order, authority, rule, strictness, a firm hand; More
    the controlled behavior resulting from discipline.
    “he was able to maintain discipline among his men”
    synonyms: control, training, teaching, instruction, regulation, direction, order, authority, rule, strictness, a firm hand; More
    activity or experience that provides mental or physical training.
    plural noun: disciplines
    “the tariqa offered spiritual discipline”
    a system of rules of conduct.
    “he doesn’t have to submit to normal disciplines”
    2.
    a branch of knowledge, typically one studied in higher education.
    “sociology is a fairly new discipline”
    synonyms: field (of study), branch of knowledge, subject, area; specialty

    • Gary, the Book of Discipline (basically the UMC constitution and by-laws) comes from the idea that discipline is order (as in Robert’s Rules of Order) not so much “YE MUST OBEY OR I WILL CUT YOU”

      Also, we may look at it as a spiritual discipline, something to maintain for a personal benefit.

  4. Good. Nice to know it’s not punishment for being loose with creeds. Nuns with rulers, comes to mind.

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