The Publishing Office of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) announced the release of a new book, “Bid Our Jarring Conflicts Cease: A Wesleyan Theology and Praxis of Church Unity.” In this work, David N. Field examines and interprets three of John Wesley’s key sermons and Wesley’s interpretation of holiness in terms of Methodist identity and diversity especially as it relates to human sexuality. Field’s main point is that schism and heresy are not doctrinal divisions but failures to love.
Theological discussions about diversity in Methodist Churches usually reference a few standard quotes from John Wesley, particularly his sermon “Catholic Spirit.” Field suggests that these references are only a part of the greater whole of Wesley’s theology and his understanding of the mission of the Methodist movement.
Field is a research associate at the Research Institute for Theology and Religion at the University of South Africa, and academic coordinator for the Methodist e-Academy. The e-Academy is a theological education project for Methodist Churches in Europe, providing online supplementary education in Methodist Studies for ordination candidates and continuing education for pastors and lay leaders. Field received his Doctor of Philosophy from University of Cape Town, South Africa. Author of many publications, Field is a lay member of the Evangelisch–methodistische Kirche (United Methodist Church) where he serves on the Commission for Church and Society of the Swiss Annual Conference. He is a member of the World Methodist Council and a member of the executive committee of the Basel Bible Society.
“Bid Our Jarring Conflicts Cease” has received endorsements from United Methodist leaders around the world. Patrick Streiff, bishop of The United Methodist Church, Central and Southern Europe, described the work as, “Deeply needed and well researched. Dr. David Field gives new insight into Wesley’s perspective of church unity. ‘Spreading scriptural holiness over the land’ as the core of Wesley’s mission is shown in this inspiring book to give birth to a unique understanding of unity and diversity. Wesleyan and Methodist churches still have to discover and embrace it in their conferencing, in becoming agents of God’s transforming power, and in embodying love in the midst of present debates.”
“For the reader committed to discerning a Wesleyan way forward to unity amidst current threats of schism, Field offers an approach centered in the doctrine of holiness and the practice of sanctified conferencing. Measured, thoughtful, and thoroughly grounded in Wesley’s writings, this timely book should be studied, then put into practice by Methodists around the globe,” Priscilla Pope-Levison, associate dean for External Programs and Professor of Ministerial Studies, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University said.
About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to lead and connect the educational and ministerial life of the church. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call on their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.