In a podcast I listened to Brian McLaren said that he had been through several different stages of being a Christian and that every Christian he knows is a mixture of several of these traits. I am going to look at this list through Advent this year. None of them is wrong when taken in context with the others and all of them are wrong on their own.
Here are the categories:
- Historically or culturally – as a legacy you are born into
- Institutionally – as a power structure or Heirachy in which you participate
- Doctrinally – as a set of things you believe
- Liturgically – as a set of rituals you practice
- Spiritually or experientially – as an experience, something you feel or felt, something that happened to you and changed you
- Moralisticly – as a set of moral values or laws that you try to uphold
- Missionally – as some plan of action you have in the world
- Demographically – as some sociological or anthropological identity
- Politically – as a way of organising people for political election (a high proportion of people who call themselves evangelical in the USA don’t go to church)
- Socially – as a community of people in whose presence you feel safe
- Linguistically – as a shared set of words and way of communicating.
You can find what McLaren said on this podcast.