Nazarene scholars Mark Bilby, Ron Dalton, Craig Keen, Nathan Kerr, Steve McCormick, Thomas Jay Oord, and Richard Thompson met at Christ Church College, Oxford, England, with scholars from other Wesleyan denominations in August. The occasion for the gathering was the Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies conference, which is held every five years as an affiliate of the World Methodist Council.
"Gathering with our Wesleyan kin is important for exploring what it means to think and live in holiness," said Oord. "I personally believe that the Wesleyan way of understanding the Christian faith is especially relevant in our contemporary situation."
The conference theme for the August meeting at the college from which John Wesley graduated was "To Serve the Present Age, Our Calling to Fulfill." The theme comes from a Charles Wesley hymn, which is especially appropriate in the year celebrating the 300th anniversary of Charles' birth.
Oord says that Nazarene scholars find the ten days studying and lecturing at Oxford stimulating and inspiring. "In our present age—with its globalization, increased inter-religious interaction, and postmodern sensitivities," says Oord, "we Wesleyans are uniquely positioned to preach the good news of God's love in ways that other Christians might not."
Additional information on the Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies is available on the institute web site: www.oxford-institute.org/2007meeting.
Holiness Today, Sept/Oct 2007