This page includes answers by Rev. Andy Halstead. Questions are grouped into two headings: Methodism and other questions.

..."Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope."

1 Peter 3:15 (NAB).

star Questions about Methodism

What do you feel are the distinctive traits of the Methodist Church?

Many people tell me it is our sense of close community people feel that sense of belonging and being cared for.

Why do you feel the Methodist Church is declining in membership?

What will be will be – I feel sad that the church is in the place it is – but as it was born for a purpose so we may have to accept that we have run our course. BUT in the meantime we continue to faithfully serve as Methodist Christian communities.

What priorities should the Methodist Church have in the future to arrest this decline?

We need to be less top heavy have much better local leadership in order to give continuity and quality in our worship and pastoral care.

Why does the Methodist Church adopt an 'Arminian' as opposed to 'Calvinist' theology?

Because of the free gift of God's love, we believe that anyone can be saved, but that this is based on our own human response to God's love and not on some preordained idea that God allows some to be born to salvation and others to be damned.

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star Other Questions

What is your personal view of the Ecumenical movement?

In my view the ecumenical movement is working well. I do not believe we will reach uniformity but there is a better understanding and cooperation in the church now.

How do you foresee the future of Christianity here in the UK?

I believe Christianity will change and adapt as it has done throughout its history, I believe there will be much more diversity in the expressions of Christian community.

How can we you reconcile Human free will with Divine sovereignty?

I am not sure we can.

What do the terms 'Inerrancy' and 'Infallibility' mean to you with regard to the Bible?

For me the Biblical text cannot be without error (inerrant) because it was written out of people's expression and understanding of faith, spoken in one language i.e. Hebrew, then translated into Greek, then English etc. How can we be sure there is not human error in recording or writing. Nor could the Bible said to be infallible (being incapable of error) as The Christian Church does not follow all its teaching without exception. Some of its teaching is defined by the age and community it was written to.

What does the term 'Sola Scriptura' mean to you?

For me it means that the Bible has all the information I need to inform me of my need of God's saving grace in Christ and how to live in that reconciled relationship with God.

What are the chief causes of division and dissension among Christians?

For me they all man made. The things it seems to me which divide us are not necessary for salvation, only the means by which we govern and work out our faith. For all I hope assent to the historic Creeds which set the platform for our relationship with God.

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