Labels. I recall strolling the streets of Barcelona with a group of pastors. One member of our group and I were locked into a conversation about labels. One aspect of our gathering was to talk about the idea of “multi-affinity” churches. In some sense, those churches who may be described as “multi-affinity” could not be so neatly pitched into a category. They defied labels.
Was the church liberal, conservative, fundamentalist, evangelical, missional, emerging, denominational? How did the church self-identify doctrinally? According to confession, creed, aesthetic? Multi-affinity churches, it would be described, worked with a variety of groups even if there was not lock-step agreement on all matters of life and faith.
I admit to thinking labels are lazy. My friend believed them helpful. I believe them to be confining. My friend believed them to be important for context. We did not agree. We are still friends – and that is not simply a label.
In one of my first “Clippings” posts, I noted the recent swirl around labels, categories. The dust-up and discussion continues. I am working on a freelance project addressing one of the recent labels a particular Christian movement used to self-describe its overall ethos.
Over the past decade labels have contributed to a hyphenating of Christianity. Keep Reading »