Four new books were authored by United Methodist clergy located in North Carolina. These books speak to United Methodism and Christian theology.
Being United Methodist Christians: Living a Life of Grace and Hope
By Andy Langford, Ann Langford Duncan, Sally Langford
Published September 2023
Learn what it means to be a United Methodist Christian.
Who wrote this book? Andy and Sally Langford are retired pastors in the Western North Carolina Conference. Their daughter, Ann Langford Duncan, has previously served as a United Methodist pastor in North Carolina and now pastors a church in California. Retired Bishop Will Willimon wrote the preface.
What is this book about? The Langfords are authors of a well-loved book, Living as United Methodist Christians: Our Story, Our Beliefs, Our Lives. This new book is an updated version designed specifically for what is currently happening in The United Methodist Church. The authors lead readers through what it means to be a United Methodist, what makes United Methodism distinct from other denominations, and how these characteristics apply to our daily lives.
Who is this book for? This book is an excellent resource for new member classes, but it also helps longtime United Methodists learn how to speak confidently and passionately about why they have claimed this faith and continue to do so. If your church has had a vote or conversation about disaffiliation, or if your church is taking in new members from churches who have disaffiliated, the authors wrote this book with you in mind. A Sermon, Worship, and Study Series Download is available to purchase from Cokesbury, and video introductions for each chapter are available on Amplify.
More Info! The authors recorded a webinar about the book with Amplify Media that you can watch for free.
Published June 2023
Embark on a journey through the history of Christian belief and practices around human sexuality.
Who wrote this book? Charlie Baber is a Deacon in The United Methodist Church and Pastor of Youth Ministry at University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, NC.
What is this book about? Charlie Baber is the creator of Wesley Bros, an online comic featuring John and Charles Wesley. He previously authored a graphic novel about the history of United Methodism titled Submitting to Be More Vile: The Illustrated Adventures of John & Charles Wesley. This new book is a graphic novel that centers around the events leading to the current split within the United Methodist denomination while exploring how the full inclusion of LGBTQ Christians is a faithful witness to the work of the Holy Spirit.
Who is this book for? If you want to understand the history behind the “incompatibility clause” in the Book of Discipline, this book lays out significant facts and events in a format that is fun and easy to read. The book also gives language for a theological argument for the full inclusion of LGBTQ Christians in the life of the church, which would be helpful to those looking to understand that belief. The comic-book-style images make the book appealing both to youth and adults. Discussion questions are included for small groups.
Published May 2023
Reflections on pastoring a United Methodist church through the disaffiliation process.
Who wrote this book? Richard Bryant is a pastor in the North Carolina Conference. He currently pastors New Sharon UMC in Hillsborough, NC.
What is the book about? Richard Bryant frequently writes articles for the United Methodist Insight online publication. This collection of his sermons and essays documents his journey leading local congregations through disaffiliation while he remains a United Methodist pastor. Witnessing the polarization in society make its way into his churches, Bryant attempts to analyze what’s happening to his church and the world around him.
Who is this book for? This book is for anyone in The United Methodist Church that is concerned about the disaffiliation of local churches from the UMC and its impact on clergy, churches, and communities. United Methodist clergy who have led churches through the disaffiliation process will find much to relate to here.
Published July 2022
Connecting cutting-edge post-Barthian trinitarian theological movements all around the world.
Who wrote this book? Heejun Yang is a pastor in the North Carolina Conference and an adjunct professor at High Point University. He currently pastors Star UMC in Star, NC.
What is this book about? Heejun Yang received his BTh from Methodist Theological University in Seoul, Korea, and holds an MDiv and a ThM from Duke University. He studied under Ingolf Dalferth as his last doctoral student at Claremont Graduate University and the University of Münster, where he earned his PhD from the Faculty of Protestant Theology. From these experiences and his personal identity as a Korean theologian, he connects these global theological movements: postliberal theology (Yale school) in the US, radical orthodoxy (Cambridge school) in the UK, German radical hermeneutic theology (Zurich school in the German-speaking world), and the theology of inculturation (Korean Methodist school) in Asia. The author argues for the necessity of a God-focused theology to embrace different human understandings in a world where Christianity is not dominant.
Who is this book for? This book is an academic treatment of trinitarian theology written for teachers and students of Christian theology. However, Will Willimon writes, “[Yang’s] expansive mind, his dynamic Trinitarian faith, is just what we need to help us think about the role of the church and the Christian faith as we come up against the challenges of contemporary secular culture. Theologians, pastors, and thoughtful Christians will be challenged and invigorated by this wonderful book.”
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