Francis Asbury in Maryland

Maryland, without question, was a hotbed of Methodism in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was in Baltimore where the first Christmas conference was held, and it was in Abingdon Md. where the first Methodist college--- Cokesbury College, was started, which sadly burned to the ground during Asbury's lifetime.In the museum in the current version of Lovely Lane Chapel in Baltimore (it is the sixth edition of this chapel, see the next post) there are several items of Asbury memorabilia. For … [Read more...]

Quoth the Raven—- a Boston Man in Baltimore

Here is the house where Edgar Allan Poe lived for a period in Baltimore with his wife (yes, it's true, he married his 13 year old cousin). And below you will see the marker on the house itself, which today stands in the 'projects', which in various ways is appropriate since Poe was for much of his life a poor man who died under suspicious circumstances.As the Wiki summary will tell you, Poe was actually born and raised in Boston, and then went to the University of Virginia, briefly. He … [Read more...]

The John Wesley Fellows at Old Otterbein UMC

Old Otterbein UMC is the mother church of the United Brethren, which is where the word United comes from in the label UMC. In 1968, the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical and United Brethren to form one denomination. The EUBs as they used to be called, were German pietists who basically agreed with Wesley's approach to theology, evangelism, and like the Methodists focused on the Sermon on the Mount when it came to ethics. Otterbein himself is buried behind this 19th century church … [Read more...]

Rick Warren on Gay Marriage more recently see..... of the fundamental issues in this discussion which do not come up in these videos is: 1) must a marriage, as Biblically defined, involve both a husband and a wife, who at least potentially can become a father and a mother? If the answer to this is no, then all sorts of arrangements could be called marriage on … [Read more...]

Dreams of my Father

The above pictures are of my father, and Ramses the mascot for the UNC Tar Heels. My father was a cheerleader for Carolina in the mid-30s, during the Depression. As you can see, there were not many persons in the football stands, as the Depression had taken its toll on college enrollment all over the country. My Dad entered Carolina in 1933 at the tender young age of 16. Unfortunately, in 1935, my grandfather, also named Ben Witherington, died unexpectedly of pneumonia, forcing my father to … [Read more...]

The Jesus of Testimony– A New Film … [Read more...]

New Year’s Revolution

Different persons have different views of change, and of course New Year's Resolutions are all about change and improvement. One of the fundamental assumptions behind New Year's Resolutions is of course that people can change all by themselves. I would call this mostly a myth. If there is one thing you learn from studying conversion narratives, and breaking of addiction narratives, it is that people mostly are unable to change themselves without outside help. And if we are talking about a … [Read more...]

What Christians Live and Die For

THE FOLLOWING IS A FINE POST BY MY FRIEND TIMOTHY GEORGE, DEAN AT BEESON DIVINITY ABOVE SEE A PICTURE OF PASTOR SCHNEIDER WITH HIS BELOVED WIFE GRETELPaul Robert Schneider (1897-1939) was the first Protestant pastor to die in a concentration camp at the hands of the Nazis. His story is one of unmitigated courage, self-sacrifice, and martyrdom. Only in recent years has he begun to receive some of the recognition he deserves.Schneider was not a theologian of first rank like Karl Barth … [Read more...]

They Say its my Birthday— When I’m 62

Also---- who is that cat in the hat below?Muhammad Ali--- "A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life."Kitty Collins--- "Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life."George Harrison--- "All the world is a birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much."Unknown-- "Artificial intelligence is a wonderful thing. I told my computer that today is my birthday, and it said that I need an … [Read more...]