AAR Member Note

Darryl W. Stephens

Books and Publications

Reckoning Methodism: Mission and Division in the Public Church

From the publisher:

"Reckoning Methodism addresses the brokenness of The United Methodist Church (UMC) in the United States. Homosexuality is but one of several fault lines with decades-long histories in this predominantly White denomination. Demographic shifts, racism, and imperialism are heavily implicated in the current state of division. What, then, is the true nature and mission of this church? The UMC is the public church divided. Distinct missional theologies arise from competing commitments and priorities. When Methodist programmatic initiatives--such as vital congregations, environmental witness, and volunteers in mission--fail to account for these differences, denominational unity is weakened. Constructively, this book seeks historical clarity, collective repentance, charismatic learning, and institutional courage as United Methodists reckon with inherited animosities and divisions. This book provides no answers or programmatic fixes. Rather, it provides possibilities for repairing past harms as United Methodists seek ways to continue living out their Wesleyan faith. Reckoning with the public church divided, we glimpse the nature and mission of the church--not only as it has been but also as it could be."

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