Last week I was surprised to hear from 3 different people that they thought I was theologically moderate. I was taken aback because I have always thought of myself as theologically conservative. But all three insisted that they knew conservatives and I was not one of them.

A few months ago I was accused of being an outright liberal by some folks because I dared to question the creation account in Genesis as scientific. In my mind it is not. God may have created the world in 6 days but science is not the intended meaning of Genesis 1 – 3. I have no problem with people believing in a literal 6 day creation but I also think that both science and Genesis are correct. It was assumed by these people that because I don’t believe in a literal 6 day creation I also don’t believe in the resurrection or the authority of scripture! Two important matters I affirm. In fact the ironies abound: it is precisely because of my conservative approach to Scripture that I cannot affirm 6 day creation as scientific…

Then a few weeks ago I had coffee with an old friend. An old friend who I was an AG pastor with. A good friend who believes that I might have crossed the line and become a liberal. Why? Because I read Karl Barth and NT Wright. It was our former Bible College principal who saw me reading Karl Barth’s Evangelical Theology not long after I started attending seminary (note these are two different institutions) and shook his head (seriously) and said, “I thought we taught you better than that”.

And finally there are my colleagues. Most of whom, in my mind and not always negatively, I would consider Liberal. Many of them trained in what I would consider a liberal seminary. When I stand next to them I know I am conservative!

So what am I? Conservative, Moderate or Liberal? I guess it depends on where you stand doesn’t it…

 

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