I think of myself as a “theological sheep-pig”.
The image comes from the film adaptation of a children’s book called “Babe” about a pig that thinks it’s a sheep-dog. The pig is so good at sheep-herding that the farmer enters Babe into a competition. There’s a moment where the farmer contemplates the application form and the line “Name of animal”. The narrator remarks that the farmer takes comfort in reading this, for if it had said “Name of dog” he might not have entered Babe into the competition.
Similarly, the idea of a “sheep-pig” is possibly the best way I can make sense of myself and where I stand in my theology. I don’t belong – and yet I do.
In particular, I often find myself at odds with aspects of what is called evangelical Christianity. I am not one who would try and completely remove this strand from the church, and I recognise that how evangelicalism manifests in the US is markedly different to the UK (and I live in the UK). I used to identify as an evangelical and hope that one day I will again.
However, as a pearl is made through irritation, I believe that the potential of this strand of Christianity will only be realised when evangelicalism is discomforted by people like myself.
Because, sometimes it feels like they are preaching an ‘other gospel’.
An open letter to Nate Sparks on leaving evangelicalism (aka “Why do I consider myself an irritant to evangelicalism?”)
95 statements on hope, sexuality and consent (aka “Some stuff I believe and much of it would challenge evangelicalism”)