Again this morning I noticed that people I know from separate worlds - France, Wales, UK, Mission, etc - discover each other or know each other, without me introducing them or knowing they knew each other. It's a bit alarming sometimes. Everyone I know also knows each other. I dare not sniff, I am surrounded!
It's not that surprising, really, though, is it. Birds of a feather and all that. Six degrees of separation.
I thought about this the other day. Someone described a church I know and love as "just scraping in as conservative evangelical". I was surprised. The church in question is eminently conservative evangelical and more or less in the centre of the spectrum of evangelical churches in its city. Of course, we could do with defining our terms - what is a conservative evangelical anyway? Not only that, but you ask the more "right-wing" of our brothers and they'd agree that the church barely cuts muster, but ask folk on the left-wing and my friendly church would be seen as deeply conservative or even hide-bound.
We think at Bordeaux Church that we're pretty radical. After all, we hold our services café-style, seated round tables. At the same time our worship is deeply conservative. All the things we do are what people like us have always done. No dance, no symbolic actions, no ecstatic utterances.
I think the points I'm making are:
1) It's almost impossible to know how others would describe us on the conservative - modern spectrum, and it doesn't matter a bit anyway. On the great and last day faithfulness will be of the essence, but faithfulness to the faith once delivered to the saints, not to any tradition of conservative or radical or modern or whatever.
2) We shouldn't worry about whether we are too conservative, sufficiently conservative, too radical, radical enough or whatever. Who cares? Anyway all these standards are shifting shadows. Who wants to try and keep march in step with a shadow as it fades? What matters is communicating biblical truth in a biblically faithful and intelligible way so that people can become disciples of the Master.