The July/August issue of Good News magazine features many words of appreciation (from bishops, professors, pastors, and lay people) for the Rev. Dr. James V. Heidinger II, who retired this week after 28 years of leading United Methodism’s flagship renewal ministry.
He is variously described as “cheerful,” “passionate,” “gracious,” “patient,” “humble,” “sensitive,” “thoughtful,” “truthful,” and “motivated by the love of Christ.”
One writer, Dr. Bill Bouknight of the Confessing Movement, noted that Jim Heidinger “illustrates what it means to contend for the faith without being contentious.”
The July/August Good News republishes three of Dr. Heidinger’s columns (out of more than 170 written over the years), selected by the magazine’s long-time editor Steve Beard: “Remaining United Methodist” (from 1982), “The Legacy of Theological Liberalism” (from 1990), and “The Road to Emmaus” (from 1983).
In addition to his writing, James Heidinger has made himself available as a spokesman for evangelical concerns within the UMC and the larger mainline Church. He has often been called on to explain and defend the Church’s standards relating to homosexuality.
Use the audio and video players below to hear/see various interviews with Jim Heidinger, beginning with the 1984 General Conference in Baltimore.
It was in 1984 that General Conference delegates approved a clear guideline aimed at prohibiting non-celibate homosexual persons from being ordained to the United Methodist ministry. Dr. Heidinger was asked to comment on the General Conference’s action. (This 2:50 audio clip is from a UM Communications production narrated by Harry Johnson. Mr. Johnson is also the interviewer.)
Four years later, at the 1988 General Conference in St. Louis, UM Communications asked Jim Heidinger to comment on a failed attempt to overthrow the ordination restrictions passed in 1984 (the attempt was defeated by a better than two-thirds margin).
Later in 2004, Mr. Heidinger was a guest on the Albert Mohler Program, talking about the Beth Stroud trial (8:55).
And in November 2005, Jim Heidinger again appeared on Issues, Etc., along with Mark Tooley of UM Action, to discuss rulings issued by the United Methodist Judicial Council at its Fall 2005 session. (17:35).
James Heidinger is a retired clergy member of the East Ohio Annual Conference. An Illinois native, he earned degrees from Asbury College and Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky., and from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Heidinger’s books include United Methodist Renewal: What Will It Take? (Bristol Books, 1988), Theological Malpractice?: Essays in the Struggle for United Methodist Renewal (Bristol House, 2000), and Guarding the Gospel: Biblical Faith and the Future of United Methodism (Living Streams, 2007).
Jim Heidinger and his wife, Joanne, live in Nicholasville, Ky. They are members of the First United Methodist Church of Lexington, where Dr. Heidinger has taught an adult Sunday School class for many years.
Related articles and information
|•||Much has changed since Jim Heidinger became a leader of UM evangelicals | Terry Mattingly, Scripps Howard News Service (July 9, 2009)|
|•||Reflections on passing the torch | James V. Heidinger II, Good News (May/June 2009)|
|•||Heidinger reflects on Good News leadership | Linda Bloom, United Methodist News Service (April 2, 2009)|
|•||Good News announces new leadership upon Heidinger retirement | Good News (March 12, 2009)|
|•||United Methodism in crisis: Scriptural renewal through the Good News Movement | Chapter 4 of Public Pulpits: Methodists and Mainline Churches in the Moral Argument of Public Life by Steven M. Tipton (University of Chicago Press, 2008 — via Google Books)|
|•||40 years of vision for United Methodist reformation and renewal (PDF) | James V. Heidinger II, Good News (November/December 2007)|
|•||An interview with the Rev. Dr. James V. Heidinger II | Katherine T. Phan, The Christian Post (Nov. 6, 2004)|
|•||Good News board honors Heidinger | Tim Tanton, United Methodist News Service (Feb. 13, 2003)|
|•||Coalition speaker Heidinger describes renewal ‘phenomenon’ | Evan Silverstein, PCUSA News (May 27, 2003)|
|•||Good News’ response to Cal/Nevada’s dismissal of complaints against 68 clergy involved in same-sex covenant | James V. Heidinger II on behalf of the Good News Board of Directors (Feb. 14, 2000)|
|•||Good News board urges bishops to preserve unity of church | United Methodist News Service (Feb. 2, 1999)|
|•||Good News celebration emphasizes revival and renewal | United Methodist News Service (July 1, 1997)|
|•||‘Good News’ says push to accept homosexual practice threatens to split United Methodist Church | United Methodist News Service (May 6, 1997)|
|•||Evangelical leaders from mainline denominations form new association; Heidinger named chairman | United Methodist News Service (Oct. 24, 1996)|
|•||‘Re-Imagining’ rejects historic Christianity | James V. Heidinger II, Good News (January/February 1994)|
|•||Mainline conservatives protest women’s ‘Re-Imagining’ conference | Carlton Elliott Smith, Religious News Service (Jan. 15, 1994—reprinted in the Feb. 16, 1994 issue of The Christian Century)|
|•||‘Durham Declaration’ asks for ‘Scriptural approach’ to abortion | United Methodist News Service (March 12, 1991)|