The missing State Convention

While proposing this new church, I think it’s important to support it with as many of the charisms, or distinctive gifts, that Universalist Christianity has developed, whether or not they are actively appreciated. Not that every distinctive was a charism, or deserves this attention. The Universalist habit of debating theological opponents — our alternative to… Continue reading The missing State Convention

So what’s a creedal test?

Unitarian Universalists have an outsided fear of creeds. Outsized because the expressed fear, for example, doesn’t match the reality of how throughly the “Principles and Purposes” of the Association have become the theological touchstone of the movement, and how theological eclectism, reinforced by middle-class tastes, has become the defacto majority theological view. I know I’m a… Continue reading So what’s a creedal test?

A new church

I’ve started planning a new church for Washington, D.C. To be specific, a Universalist Christian church. As I put it in a letter to denominational and local stakeholders: My vision (much less the plans) for this new church is still developing, but I see it as a traditional-postmodern church start, as found in other denominations;… Continue reading A new church

My Universalism in June post

UU Salon‘s appeal to discuss Universalism as “the other U” and review of a graduate-level Universalist class curriculum at Transient and Permanent — to be put plainly — pushes my buttons. For the last two decades or so, I’ve seen Universalism viewed normatively through a Unitarian lens, though this process is actually more than a… Continue reading My Universalism in June post

Covenant, overplayed

Minister and blogger Dan Harper thinks we should “get rid of covenant as an organizing principle.” I think he’s right and lays out a good case, particularly about how covenantalism — as now extolled — was not what Universalists had. Consider the Gloucester, Massachusetts 1786 Charter of Compact — this was John Murray’s pastorate —… Continue reading Covenant, overplayed

An academic’s look at Universalism’s reputation as second-rate Unitarianism

Ann Lee Bressler’s Universalist Movement in America, 1770-1880 is one of the finest works on the subjects I know. This thought, from page 42, is vital to our understanding of the movement — as a social movement — in conjunction with Unitarianism. The rise of restorationism during the second quarter of the [nineteenth] century helped… Continue reading An academic’s look at Universalism’s reputation as second-rate Unitarianism