Last week, John Ortberg penned an article on the Out of Ur blog (which I highly recommend, by the way), entitled, "Who Speak For Evangelicals?" He describes how evangelicalism has become increasingly divided, so there is no central voice that can be identified as THE voice of evangelicalism.
He points out many of the problems that can occur with the lack of clear leadership, particularly in contrast to the Pope and Catholicism (there's no doubt who has the final word). And I agree, this can cause some confusion.
However, I think the benefits of no clear spokesman outweigh any disadvantages. This is coming, though, from someone who is not a particular fan of authority and being told what to do. Particularly in the realm of spirituality, though, I believe it is important to have autonomy and to be able to be identified independently of any denomination, movement, church, or even religion.
When we insist on putting others in boxes (or putting ourselves in a box), we lose the richness of the intellectual diversity God granted all of us. And we also lose the sight of the fact that none of us will ever get all of theology correct. As we continue to institutionalize faith more, the organicity that brings life to faith is lost. And we lose the ability to speak freely (as discussed in yesterday's post), leading to hiding and shame.
I don't want someone to speak for me. I want to speak for me. What about you?