I've heard Methodists describe themselves as the "People of the Extreme Center". It gets used to mean that Methodists take the center road on a lot of issues. But I would like to know where the expression started and what it meant originally.
The Methodist Bishop Scott Jones borrowed the term to describe John Wesley's teachings. He continues to use the phrase in sermons and interviews when describing Methodist beliefs.
Jones read a magazine in which someone described himself as being in the "extreme center" in politics. The term "extreme center" is set in opposition to the "dead center" - rather than leaning too far right or too far left, the dead center does nothing. In contrast, the extreme center is living, holding both the left and right in tension, without compromising either.
From a presentation Scott Jones gave in 2007 on "The United Methodist Way":