Friday, August 29, 2008

How do you label yourself?



The wife and I were talking about where I fit in with the brothers at presbytery in terms of the regular subcultures in our denomination (TR, high church, broadly evangelical). (I get more questions now that I've been seen in a clerical collar.) I guess I'm a stew of all the best of all the subcultures (who am I kidding?).

Here are a few descriptors for what they're worth:

1. Small c catholic - I and my denomination and local church aren't the only ones belonging truly to Christ. That's what we affirm in the Creeds. The Presbyterian and Reformed crowd (to which I belong) are dangerously close to tearing out wheat when they think they are tearing out tares. Jesus will get a tap on the shoulder when it's time to do that.

2. Reformed - I'm such a mess because I'm still reforming. My church and your church is too. Hang in there.

3. Missional - Jesus didn't live, die, resurrect and ascend so I could be guilt free and ingrown. He preached the gospel of a kingdom and so must I and then live for that kingdom mission (transformationalist).

4. Covenantal - God works (at least) down to a thousand generations through his visible means of grace building his visible church out of all the nations. As the old saying goes, "We'll be suprised in heaven at who's there and who's not." We call the baptized and unbaptized to Christ, the King, the Lamb, the Firstborn of New Creation. Kiss the Son lest you perish in your way.

5. Postmillenialist - God's church has a glorious future that will bring fruitfulness to his garden before Christ's return. He will make his habitation glorious. I won't live long enough to see it, but I am working towards this biblical goal (Isaiah).

6. Culturally aware - At the core of the imago dei is engaging in "sub-creation" (Tolkien). I like checking out the latest creations in the indie music scene, textile arts, woodworking, technology (repenting of Apple idolatry, thanks Kenneth.), social networking (Facebook, Twitter) (great for this introvert)

7. Crazy white man who doesn't know what not to attempt - I was told by an Asian friend some time ago, "You white people think you can try and do anything. Shouldn't you hire someone to do that?" Case in point: my basement. (Pictures forthcoming)

2 comments:

Rotundus said...

Re small c catholic:

1. What level of disagreement is acceptable, and how does it affect how you're willing to cooperate with certain groups? (e.g. you've blogged in favour of the Together for the Gospel movement before, but if memory serves correct they don't allow those in favour of female pastors to join them)

2. How do you propose to deal with inactive Christianity when speaking of "small c catholicism"? Lately I've been blogging on marriage and cynicism, with a heavy dose of statistics thrown in. (Three posts so far, starting with this one). One of the interesting things that the statistics suggest is that for the "born again Christian" category that a lot of polling agencies use, they have a higher divorce rate than the population at large, but if you add regular church attendence as a factor in classifying christians for the purposes of polling, then the statistics give you a lower rate of divorce than the population at large. Given Jesus' criticisms of the Pharisees, "religiously active" and "genuine believer" must be seen as two different categories, but how should one deal with the way that, e.g., survey data seems to suggest that you're dealing with two populations with very distinct characteristics?

John said...

Hey, I like this list, but don't forget, #1 should be "chief of sinners." It is on mine!

I like the collar, though I like white shirts better, just to distinguish a bit.

Have you seen this article: http://online.worldmag.com/2008/08/06/why-she-walked-out-of-church/