Apologies for the lengthy absence. It was caused mainly by the week of mud and Bible which we have been taught to call Forum 2008. Forum, for those of you who don't know, is the annual UCCF conference for CU leaders. Highlights from this year, along with links to other people's reflections, can be found over with Bish, who liveblogged from the conference whenever the wifi was working. For me, Forum is always a high-point, and this year was no exception. The main speakers (Cunningham, Piper, Daniels) were excellent, the atmosphere was (despite the mud) electric and the worship was a fantastic blend of old hymns and newer songs brilliantly led.
But the best part for me was that Forum '08 made me feel like I could say 'we' about evangelicals.
You see, so much in the evangelical sub-culture bugs me. Often shallow and simplistic grasp of doctrine. Often catch-phrases rather than a grasp of the truth. Often pragmatism rather than worship. Often sectarianism rather than catholicity. Often, frankly, banality. So I end up saying 'the problem with evangelicals is that they...'
But Forum makes me realise: for as long as there are labels, this is the label I want to be under and these are the people I want to stand with and for. They are my people, because they love Christ and want to serve him.
Forum didn't magic away all of the issues for me, but it helped me to remember that, whatever the faults, this is where the gospel is shining brightest in the UK today. So, we evangelicals may have all manner of issues, but we can still stand together for the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.