This brief introduction to the United Methodist Church spells out the major beliefs of the Church in a clear, nontechnical style. William Willimon, the beloved United Methodist author, preacher, teacher, and bishop, discusses the great theological themes that United Methodists share in common with all Christians as well as the particular accents and emphases that characterize United Methodist understandings of Christian doctrines.
In his engaging style, Willimon opens the door for further study, challenging the readers to move toward a continuing reflection on their faith. This guide will be of great value to those who are beginning their study of United Methodist beliefs as well as those who have long been in the church and want a helpful way to refresh their understandings of the distinctiveness of United Methodist doctrine.
Sometimes the professor, sometimes the pastor, occasionally the bishop and always the fellow traveler on the Christian Way, Bishop Willimon bridges the space between the academy and the congregation to offer fresh, clear insights into historic United Methodist beliefs. Pastors will want to use it for preaching and membership classes. Laity will find it useful in Sunday School and small groups. Enjoy.
—Bishop Janice Riggle Huie, Texas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
Sure-footed, reliable, readable authoritative companion to United Methodist theology (as delineated in the official presentation in the Discipline) by a teacher-guide intent on instructing, reproving, coaching and encouraging those who would walk a Wesleyan road of discipleship and who therefore need to grasp its orienting and empowering doctrines. A wonderful exercise of the Episcopal teaching office.
—Russell E. Richey, Dean and Professor of Church History, Candler School of Theology, Emory University
This book should help lay to rest two prevalent and pernicious stereotypes: 1) that Methodists as a group do not take theology seriously; and 2) that United Methodist bishops devote little attention to the role of teaching the faith. Willimon offers a winsome and seasoned presentation of the heart of Methodist belief.
—Randy L. Maddox, Professor of Theology and Wesleyan Studies, Duke Divinity School
William H. Willimon is a prominent author and a bishop in the United Methodist Church. His many books include Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry, Acts in the Interpretation commentary series, and, with Stanley Hauerwas, the groundbreaking work Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony.