Keeping Faith: An Ecumenical Commentary on the Articles of Religion and Confession of Faith in the Wesleyan Tradition, by D. Stephen Long, offers resources to help Christians reclaim the importance of doctrine and thereby to know and love well God and God’s creation.
Although it gives particular attention to the Wesleyan and Methodist tradition, it is of necessity an ecumenical effort. Neither the Wesleyans nor the Methodists invented Christian doctrine. In fact, the Wesleyan tradition contributes little that is distinctive or unique. This is a good thing, for unlike other disciplines where originality and uniqueness matter greatly, Christian doctrine depends on others and not the genius of some individual.
This book is an ecumenical commentary on the Confession of Faith and Articles of Religion found in the Wesleyan tradition, which also draws on ancient and modern witnesses to God’s glory. It is ecumenical, because it brings these doctrines into conversation with the broader Christian tradition.
Doctrine unites us in a “communion,” which is greater than any single denomination and makes us what we otherwise cannot be: one, holy, catholic and apostolic.
Long is an ordained United Methodist elder in the Indiana Conference. He serves as professor of Systematic Theology at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisc. The book was edited by Randy Cooper, Andrew Kinsey, D. Brent Laytham and D. Stephen Long and is part of the Wesleyan Doctrine Series.
According to Bishop William Willimon of the North Alabama Conference, “This is a quite wonderful adventure into theology led by one of our most talented theologians. Stephen Long has a gift for reframing ancient truth and giving it contemporary clout. The dear old Articles of Religion have rarely been more lively and immediately relevant to contemporary church life than when presented by Steve Long – timeless Christian wisdom rendered direct and demanding!”
For a copy of this book, contact your favorite bookseller or order directly from the publisher by phone at 541-344-1528, fax 541-344-1506 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Discounts are available on multiple copies to the same address.
Facing the loss of a loved one is probably the most difficult passage of life. Seeking help during this time is needful. To help with that need, Diane Pearson, a member of St. Matthew United Methodist Church of Frankfort, Ind., has written a book titled God in the Midst of Grief. This book is a collection of Pearson’s writings that were originally written as a column titled “Real-Life Devotions.”
Her 100 selected stories are true stories of comfort by people experiencing death in their lives. This is not a book about grief, but a collection of personal stories of people sharing their souls as they experience their own grief affirming that in the midst of death, God is present.
Grief is experienced at different times in life and at various dates on the calendar. Pearson also shares stories of how to help others through grief and how people have grown during times of grief. Topics covered include: those who have lost friends and loved ones, those going through the process of dying, those helping others through death and grief and helping those who work with the bereaved.
Each story begins with Scripture and ends with prayer.
God in the Midst of Grief also has a companion guide, which assists leaders in group discussion or individuals with personal reflections on the 100 stories in the book. The book and companion can be valuable resources for pastors, nurses, hospice workers, grief counselors, support groups and leaders of classes about grief.
Pearson, who received an M.S. degree from Butler University, was called in 1997 to retire from the faculty of a community college to devote full-time to Christian-based writing, speaking and teaching. She has had more than 600 articles published, including 500 from her newspaper column. She has taught adult Sunday school classes for 30 years and has led more than 20 short- and long-term studies outside the Sunday school hour.
God in the Midst of Grief was published by ACW Press in Nashville, Tenn. The book is available online at www.acwpress.com.