Healing Our Doctrinal Dyslexia (Abraham, 1995)

One of the most heartening features of life in the United Methodist Church is the deep yearning for renewal that can be detected at almost all levels of the church. In the patchwork of renewal movements within the United Methodist Church, the Confessing Movement focuses quite deliberately on the need for our denomination as a whole to be faithful to the deep doctrinal treasures of the church across the ages which are spelled out so clearly in the Articles of Religion, The Confession of Faith, and in Wesley’s Sermons and Explanatory Notes on the New Testament. Equally, it calls the church to lift high these doctrinal treasures for the whole life of the church in evangelism, liturgy, mission, pastoral care, social action, and every aspect of the work of the church. Implicit in this call to fidelity, reform, and renewal is the judgment that we have neglected these doctrinal treasures or, more seriously, that we have replaced these treasures with alien doctrinal material, which distorts our tradition, which separates us from each other and from the classical faith of the church, and which undermines crucial aspects of our life and mission together. Why do we need a confessing movement? There are at least four very substantial reasons.