Just before Williams' visit, Archbishop Andrew Hutchison was quoted in The Daily Telegraph as saying, "like me, the Archbishop is a liberal." It was an unfortunate choice of words. Clearly, Rowan Williams is not quite that easy to pigeon-hole. A bit like Jesus, I guess.
Within Christian faith, there are legitimate distinctions to be made. Jesus clearly made some. But he tends to call them by more challenging names than left and right. He invites us, for example, to faith rather than mistrust, to obedience rather than disobedience, to fidelity rather than independence.
The growing Emergent Church movement, with leaders like Brian McLaren and Shayne Claiborne, actually describes itself as "post-liberal" and "post-conservative." Apparently, young people seem to have figured out that the old language doesn't help us very much, particularly if we want to be faithful followers of Jesus. The rest of us could learn something from them.
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