Included here are various topics that relate to theological issues, especially ministry and Christian growth in the context of the Church. Also included are historical documents of the Church, including many of the classic creeds and confessions of the Church, as well as contemporary Articles of Faith and position statements.
Short essay contrasting theology seen as absolute truth and theology understood as testimony conditioned by time and place.
A simple chart listing the major differences between the five points of classical Calvinism and corresponding Wesleyan-Arminian views.
Comparison of the basic perspectives of Arminianism and classic Calvinism, concluding that most modern-day churches that cling to Calvinism in doctrine are actually Arminian-Wesleyan in practice, as well as noting the need for balance between the extremes of either position.
Examination of the Christian doctrine of security, contrasting the two extremes of unconditional security and eternal insecurity, concluding with a middle position that emphasizes God's grace in mutual relationship.
A discussion of the logical and biblical problems with the idea of predestination and the absolute foreknowledge of God, with a proposal for an incarnational model of God rather than a metaphysical one.
Examination of the word "change" in Malachi 3:6-7a as a proof text for the immutability of God.
A detailed essay examining from a biblical perspective the tension between the death of Jesus as predestined by God, or as the result of human decisions; concludes by examining the implications of this tension for theories of the atonement.
The concept of the 'pre-existence of the Son' in systematic theology in relation to the historical dimension of the biblical witness to God, highlighting the differences in method and goals of systematic theology and biblical interpretation.
A discussion of the roots of the debates about biblical inerrancy, their impact on the church, the relation to various theories of inspirations, and inerrancy in relation to Faith Statements about Scripture.
An examination of the theological basis for the renewed emphasis on "word and table" as the structure for Christian worship in some historically low church traditions.
Short article distinguishing humanism from secularism and atheism, concluding that some of the the biblical perspective is humanistic, but is sacral humanism in which all of life is placed under God, which calls for a careful balance in how the term "humanism" is used pejoratively.
A reflection on the problem of natural evil in the world, challenging the common assumptions about God that force the question to be framed in certain ways, suggesting that the problem is actually created in how we view the nature of God and the expectation of how he should work in the world.
An analysis of biblical perspectives on the Second Coming of Christ, in contrast to many popular ideas of the rapture.
A detailed look at the popular concepts surrounding the Second Coming, the millennial reign of Christ, and the rapture with an analysis of their biblical basis from a Wesleyan theological perspective.
A brief survey of some of the problems with the idea of a secret rapture and speculations about end times.
A series of ten biblical and theological questions that appear to have easy answers, but require a little more reflection to avoid folk theology.
A short article in outline format that compares the classical philosophical idea of ex nihilo creation ("out of nothing") with a more biblical model of creation out of chaos.
Theology and the Church
An essay on the Protestant Principle of "Faith Alone" traced through Habakkuk, Paul, Martin Luther, and John Wesley, concluding that genuine Faith is faithfulness in commitment to God despite circumstances and religious ideas about God.
Essay on the need for dialog in the Church of the Nazarene on homosexuality with suggested parameters for that dialog.
A brief survey of the inadequacy of traditional ways of expressing the doctrine of entire sanctification, proposing that the relational concept of love of both God and others provides an overarching and inclusive model.
A frankly negative evaluation of the current state of the holiness movement in traditional holiness churches, concluding with a positive outlook for the future of the holiness message and the rise of a new emphasis on holiness.
A reflective article based on Nehemiah 13 addressing the tendency of religious traditions to drift from their original purpose and vision as they move further away from their origins; suggestions for maintaining religious identity.
A biblically based reflective essay dealing with the mission of the Church and implications for ministry and education in the church in light of that mission. Note: If printed, this will take 25-30 pages.
Dr. M. V. Scutt is now retired, but served as the District Superintendent, Southwest Indiana District Church of the Nazarene. This is his 1995 Annual Report to the District Assembly in which he lays a theological foundation from the Wesleyan tradition for the evangelistic mission of the Church.
Examination of the popular idea of "born Again" used by some evangelicals, its biblical background, and what the biblical and traditional concept of "new birth" means.
Some people have a false view of God as vindictive and judgmental, when in fact God is presented in the Bible as gracious, loving, and forgiving.
A short article providing practical guidelines for ethical decision making based on biblical moral principles.
A reference archive and a short history of various creeds and confessions of the Christian Faith from all periods of Church History, including the Ecumenical Creeds, Creeds of the Reformation, Roman Catholic and Orthodox, the Reformed Tradition, the Wesleyan Tradition, Modern Faith Statements, and Various Position Statements.
A collection of biblical studies, theological reflections, and general articles that address primarily the topic of women in ministry, as well as other topics related to women in the Church.
Links to online articles dealing with the general topic of women in ministry.
Selected writings from the history of the church that address significant or relevant issues facing the church today. Since there are many sites on the web that contain the full text of many historical writings, those presented here will normally be limited to short excerpts that have particular relevance to ongoing discussions in the various forums, are not easily available elsewhere, or are presented in digested or edited form to make them more readable.
John Wesley's Sermon "Catholic Spirit" in modern English
John Wesley on Differences of Opinion Among Christians
The Question, “What Is an Arminian?” Answered by a Lover of Free Grace (John Wesley)
John Calvin on Infant Baptism
C. S. Lewis on Inerrancy, Inspiration, and Historicity
Women's Speaking Justified, Proved, and Allowed by the Scriptures (Margaret Fell Fox)
Female Ministry; or, Woman's Right to Preach the Gospel (Catherine Booth)
A series of articles examining the concern with the idea of holiness of heart and life in the history of the church.
Psalm 51 and the Language of Transformation (Dennis Bratcher)
Holiness in the Early Church (Jirair Tashjian)
The Holiness Movement: Dead or Alive? (Keith Drury)
Sin and Holiness (Brad Mercer) [Dutch]
The Holiness Manifesto
-Dennis Bratcher, Copyright © 2013, Dennis Bratcher - All Rights Reserved
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In the early 1830s, when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was less than three years old, the Lord invited members of the Church to seek wisdom by study and by the exercise of faith:
“And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (D&C 88:118).
This is more than a simple exhortation to learn about the gospel. It is an invitation from the Lord to recognize that not all sources of knowledge are equally reliable. Seeking “out of the best books” does not mean seeking only one set of opinions, but it does require us to distinguish between reliable sources and unreliable sources.
Recognizing that today so much information about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be obtained from questionable and often inaccurate sources, officials of the Church began in 2013 to publish straightforward, in-depth essays on a number of topics. The purpose of these essays, which have been approved by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has been to gather accurate information from many different sources and publications and place it in the Gospel Topics section of LDS.org, where the material can more easily be accessed and studied by Church members and other interested parties.
The Church places great emphasis on knowledge and on the importance of being well informed about Church history, doctrine, and practices. Ongoing historical research, revisions of the Church’s curriculum, and the use of new technologies allowing a more systematic and thorough study of scriptures have all been pursued by the Church to that end. We again encourage members to study the Gospel Topics essays cited in the links below as they “seek learning, even by study and also by faith.”