Firebrand Magazine

New Thought Journal Launches for Methodists

on June 2, 2020

Here’s my interview with two founding editors of Firebrand, a brand new online magazine aimed at enlivening intellectual discourse in the Wesleyan tradition: managing editor Maggie Ulmer of “Plain Truth: A Holy Spirited Podcast” and lead editor David Watson, dean of United Theological Seminary.

Sometimes Methodists are accused of lacking a strong intellectual tradition. Often contemporary Methodism is accused of lacking identifiable theological parameters. Methodists are often missing or underrepresented in American Christian public conversation, theological, cultural and political.

Firebrand is hopefully the beginning of a new and momentous chapter in Methodist thought and spiritual life, in which the Wesleyan tradition speaks compellingly both to heart and mind.

Enjoy our conversation.

The IRD · Interview with Founding Editors of Firebrand
  1. Comment by Roger on June 3, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    Its been about 12 years now that a Methodist Pastor, later DS, wondered aloud by an article, why were there so few Methodist writers of publications etc. not as available/ on the market as other denomination Pastor’s writings were? A quick survey found that Methodist had a low percentage of the markets. I also find Methodist do not talk about J. Wesley or the beliefs of Methodist as they used to do, clergy or laity. Do Methodist follow, Calvin, Moravians, Luther, Armenians, Presbyterians, or Others?

  2. Comment by Jeff on June 3, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    This is a noble pursuit. Having said that it is interesting that when you search in scholarly journals very few Wesleyan scholars have anything published. To be taken seriously in theological circles you must publish in the Evangelical Theological Society journals. I have searched for discipleship articles by Wesleyan/Methodists and discipleship materials through Abingdon Press and found very little. Cokesbury is useless. What I have found, purchased, and reviewed for use in discipleship training was awful. Isn’t it ironic that a denomination professing “making disciples for the transformation of the world” produces no useful material on the subject. One UMC Bishop wrote a book on discipleship that was pathetic. Perhaps Methodist theologians should return to the faith and theological heritage of John Wesley and produce something useful. To find anything useful one must turn to Seedbed. Time to take faith seriously, abandon LGBT and feminist hermeneutics, and focus on saving souls and making disciples.

  3. Comment by Michael McInnis on June 4, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    I’m very much looking forward to this. I’m an Asbury (ATS) grad who has been reading First Things since it was first published in (around?) 1990, and was always aware that Wesleyan / Methodist / United Methodist contributors to FT were seldom seen.

    I look forward to seeing how Firebrand develops – this is much needed, as both David and Maggie (and you, Mark) said – Wesleyan theology has much to offer the church – especially our own (the upcoming, new denomination) – so let’s do the rich work and mine the depths of Wesley’s “practical divinity” (to use Thomas Langford’s phrase). Then let’s flesh it out in our lives corporately in this new church!

  4. Comment by MJ on June 5, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    Great idea. I wish them success. One concern though. A Google search reveals several other publications with the same name. Is this going to be a problem?

  5. Comment by senecagriggs on June 5, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    Is there a link?

  6. Comment by Carolyn Braddy on June 6, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    Looking forward to more from a Wesleyan persective !

  7. Comment by Steve Kamerick on June 7, 2020 at 9:42 am

    Hello Mark, and thanks for this forum type of discovery, or re-discovery, wherever it leads. I have wondered why I have NEVER seen or heard of an invitation to meet Jesus as the Savior, either at the alter or a prayer room. It may have happened in a small group or a Bible study, but I have never heard of any such invitation. I have read about John and Charles Wesley and find them both genuinely true and open to inviting anyone to learn about and to be introduced to Jesus as a follower. However we all knowing and authentic American
    Followers of God’s plan for Salvation “METHODISTS” have nearly destroyed any faint resemblists of John Wesley. People don’t signup, join the group, rake-in, or any other form of becoming a Christian. We all are given an introduction to the Jesus of the Bible and when we realize our own sin, and that of humanity, it becomes a personal, deliberate, conscience, act of kneeling at the foot of the cross and asking our Savior to be my Savior also. The life-changing event now begins an eternal life experience. The new life opens spiritual understanding. As this person becomes aware of the Holy Spirit living in him and leads the person into all truth……. now the new life journey grows with God keeping us in His care.

    If I am not mistaken, this is what the Wesley Brothers had in mind (as a somewhat rough draft)

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