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  • Writer's pictureRev. Steven R. Giddens

Let us begin.

I am a Christian.

I am tempted at times to modify that confessional statement with some adjective because it sometimes seems inadequate to assert one's Christian identity without some type of modifier: Am I an evangelical Christian? Am I an orthodox Christian? Am I progressive Christian? Do I aim for the super-modifiers —am I paleo-orthodox or post- liberal? Or, do we take it to the next level: I am Christian but X, Y, and Z. I am Christian but __insert denomination here__. I am Christian but only... While all of these are valuable terms and can help us to more readily identify one another, they can also serve to diminish the core of the Christian confessional claim. The use of any of these terms can also be seen as labeling, boxing, or shelving one another or worse, as battle lines which will pit one Christian expression against another. Certainly, I have used some of these terms at various times in my life, but let me in the simplest terms possible claim that I am a Christian. Just as the Christians of the 19th-century Christian Church— counted among our forebears in the United Church of Christ—proclaimed among their six principles that “Christian is a sufficient name for the church,” so I too believe that “Christian” is a sufficient name for my faith.

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