These conversations are not statements of our doctrine as expressed in the Book of Discipline, nor are they guidance provided by the Study Commission on Doctrine (SCOD), but they are intended to be open and respectful discussions on various present-day topics. Our intention is not to limit discussion but to elevate it by assuring that God’s love and respect is always expressed. For more information click ABOUT.
Browse posts tag by David Bauer
THE CHURCH AND MISSION

THE CHURCH AND MISSION

December 20, 2016 By dwayman

Dr. David Bauer and Dr. Denny Wayman

The recent tendency to use the word “missional” to divide the church’s inward and outward responsibilities is true neither to the Church’s nature nor its God-given mission. Mission is the very essence of the Church’s existence. Mission is not something the Church does. Mission is what the Church is. Mission encapsulates the Church’s entire life. This Church’s existence — its mission — is made possible by the calling of God. Indeed, God’s calling brings the Church into existence and directs its life. The Church’s mission is its response to the calling of God.

The Church lives out its mission first in relation to God. Its primary stance toward God is vital relationship with God, expressed especially through worship and submission. Yet the Church’s relationship to God inevitably involves its relation to itself and to the world. In its relation to itself, the Church cares for its own; it lovingly embraces and nurtures those within its fold. In its relation to the world, the Church —by the Holy Spirit’s power — witnesses to God’s end-time rule that has come in Jesus Christ and is about to be consummated by Christ at His appearing. This witness is active proclamation, which will be expressed through sacrificial service in Jesus Christ’s name to the needs of all those within the world. This witness will be formally expressed through the verbal announcement of the gospel of Jesus Christ in preaching and teaching.

All the Church does expresses mission.

GOD IS RESPONSIVE

GOD IS RESPONSIVE

December 20, 2016 By dwayman

Dr. David Bauer

Free Methodists believe that we must take seriously the fact that Scripture presents God as both knowing the future and sometimes changing his mind. Some readers of the Bible take these two descriptions to be contradictory. After all, they would say, how can God change his mind on the basis of something that happens at a point in time if God had had full knowledge of the future and was thus aware of all that would happen? This consideration has led certain readers of the Bible to deny either God’s complete foreknowledge or God’s practice of changing his mind on the basis of what human beings do.

But the Bible affirms both of these descriptions of God, and does not consider them contradictory. Although the biblical writers do not argue explicitly for God’s complete foreknowledge, they do assume God’s foreknowledge and many passages describe God as knowing the future (Genesis 15:13, Daniel 2:21-49, Acts 20:23, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). In addition, there are several New Testament passages that represent Jesus as knowing the future (Matthew 24:5-25, 13:11 and 38; 21:18-19).

Other biblical statements describe God as changing his mind on the basis of what humans do (Exodus 32:1-34, Jonah 3:1-10; 1 Samuel 15:1-35, Matthew 2:20-22). The Old Testament describes this divine change as an instance of God’s “repentance.” This language does not suggest that God realized that what he intended to do was morally wrong, and therefore changed his behavior. Rather, it indicates that in response to specific human actions God reconsidered what he had intended to do.