August 11, 2022
As the United Methodist Church begins to separate and churches are discerning whether to disaffiliate or remain with the UMC, one of the things that institutional United Methodist leaders are saying is that there is no reason for churches to leave the UMC because the United Methodist doctrinal standards won't change. They are codified in the Articles of Religion and Confession of Faith and can't be altered because of the Restrictive Rule. And it's true that some who remain in the United Methodist Church will maintain and orthodox theological position, at least to a degree.
But we also know that from the beginning the United Methodist Church began embracing liberal theology, particularly among most of the official seminaries along with many in the Council of Bishops and denominational agencies. Liberal theology may use some of the same words and concepts as outlined in our doctrinal standards but means something very different by them. In this episode, Bob interviews Dr. Roger Olson, who is emeritus professor of theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University. His latest book is Against Liberal Theology: Putting the Brakes on Progressive Christianity.
Dr. Olson argues that liberal Christianity isn't really Christianity at all, but a different religion altogether. He makes the case that discerning and challenging liberal theology, along with critiquing more fundamental forms of Christianity, are keys to making Christianity Christian again.