The trouble with talking about our “identity in Christ”


When it comes to explaining the Christian life, these days the premier conceptual tool that evangelicals are deploying is that of “identity.”  And in doing so, we’ve turned the affirmation of people’s “identity in Christ” into a cliche, neutering it of its force and stripping “identity” of any meaningful, positive content that people can actually understand and interpret their lives through.

Let me, though, back up a second.  For a long time, I’ve been touting the language of people discovering their “identity in Christ.”  The wisest, most Godly person in the world I know started drilling it into me some eight years ago, and I haven’t quite recovered from it.  I make use of the concept in my chapters on sexuality in Earthen Vesselsin part to try to separate out the ways in which our sexual lives intersect with the reality of Christ’s work.   So I think I know whereof I speak here and am as sympathetic as they come.