Sorry to do this again!!!
You may not know how big Indiana Wesleyan University is, but we have about 16,000 students now. I just found out yesterday that we have more graduate students in education that IU or any other institution in the State of Indiana. Our Adult and Professional Studies college is where most of these numbers are and they are all keen on our mission as a Christian institution. The problem is that I don't think they have a clue what it means to be Wesleyan--certainly not what the undergraduate School or seminary thinks it means to be Wesleyan.
So I find myself once again wanting to capture the identity of our brand of Wesleyanism in about 15 pages of writing that could be printed in a booklet like my little piece on women in ministry. My last attempt ended up 44 pages long--too long for a booklet, too short for a book. What's worse is that I wrote it with "audience drift," meaning that I did not consistently have one audience in view as I wrote. There's also a tightrope to walk between a sense of openness and generosity and being proud of certain identity features. I do fine in front of one audience or another, but I struggle to do justice to both at the same time.
I thought I would just try an outline today. Things to say with no more than one or two pages in each instance to say it.
1. Generous tradition toward other traditions (gen. orthodoxy, identity among diversity, flexibility in practice)
2. Heart oriented tradition (not afraid of postmodernism, pietist, revivalist, heart more than hands or head)
3. God as heart oriented (according to light, wanting to save everyone, not absolutist)
4. The cross as love and wooing (not primarily as justice)
5. Free will (which affects our politics, our parenting, our discipline)
6. Love as the law (and optimistic about it, our sense of sin as intent, as defeatable)
7. Love beyond spiritual (beyond evangelism to material needs, social justice)
8. Love into the structural (past on slavery and women, present, not fundamentalist)
9. Importance of faithfulness (works part of the equation, nature of grace)
10. Scripture as sacrament (of transformation, of divine encounter)
11. Scripture as story (of our identity, of God's walk with humanity and his people)