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Dialogues: Amongst the People Called United Methodists Paperback – July 16, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is in the time-honored format of a dialogue among various parties of the United Methodist Church: The Traditionalist, The Evangelist, the Reconciler, the Pietist, and the Progressive; these are not defined, but presumably involved United Methodists know what he means. I don't usually like this format because instead of presenting all sides of the issue, usually most of the characters are straw men, but I think that Abraham has done a good job of using it here. What one might see as a problem is that the author, necessarily perhaps, gives the various parties personalities. My initial impression was that he didn't like Traditionalists, because the character was rather abrasive, but in the end that faction has the most to say and probably, within the book, "wins."
In this rendering, Traditionalist and Evangelist, portrayed as much more mellow, are united in thinking that a schism is desirable. Traditionalist wants Progressive to pack up and leave without the properties they are using if they are unwilling to abide by the decisions of the General Conference; Evangelist thinks that it is unrealistic to think that Progressive will, and wants an amicable schism (if possible) with a fair division of property. Progressive thinks that LGBTQIA rights are so important that they need to break the rules. Pietist has come over to Progressive's point of view on LGBTQIA rights, and together with Reconciler wants the church to agree to disagree and let individual congregations make their own decisions on the issues.Read more ›