Dr. Sean Michael Lucas
New St. Peters PC, Dallas, TX
October 26-27, 2007
Who Are You?: Understanding Identity
When you think about who you are, what comes to mind?
- Son, upper middle class, suburbs, two parents married 38 years, one sister
- Moved many times, mainly up an ddown the I-95 corridor between Washingong DC, and NYC.
- Husband, married nearly 14 years, four children
- Became a believer when a teenager–unusual religious journey
- Pastor with scholarly bent; historian with a pastor heart
- Writer and reader–love Mark Twain and Wendell Barry
- Avid sports fan–Indiana sports teams
- Springsteen, U2, country music
- Trucks, Fords, but when I follow NAsCAR, I am a Gordon fan.
Three Key Aspects to identify.
- the core understandings that form and motivate what and how I practice; they are also reinforced by these practices and by my stories.
- The regular activities that I engage in shape my understanding of myself and the world.
- narratives that help to make sense of what I believe and what I do.
- When someone is having an “identity crisis,” he/she has become disillusioned or is experiencing dissonance within her core.
- Perhaps produced through a lengthy questionaing of previously held beliefs.
- Perhaps caused through an interruption of key practices that reinforced identity.
- Perhaps result of a disillusionment with the master story
- A version of this identity crisis would be the “mid-life crisis.”
Identity Formation in “Modernity” and “Post-Modernity”
Pre- and Early Modernity
- Social relations and family connections
- Trade generally passed on through generatons.
- Church connections more by birth than over belief.
- Identity fairly stric==pre-determined by others and before birth.
Late and Post-Modernity
- Social mobility, loss of extended and nuclear family.
- Trades determined through interest,
- Church connections determined by belief less than birt; challenge to lay on any type of denominationalism
- Identity radically dynamic-self-created through choices
Forging Christian identity
The transition from “non-religious” [non-Christian] to “religious” (Christian] identity.
- New Beliefs–from Idolatry to faith in Father, Sond, Spirit (1 Thessalonians 1:9)
- New Practices–from non-observent to observant (Ephesians 4:17-24)
- New Stories—from “self-determined” to divinely determined within the story of Israel and the Church as found in the Bible.
- The forging of Christian Identity is varied and common
- No two transitions are exactly the same
- No two experiences of sin, grace, faith, repentance are exactly the same
- The need experience by all human beings is the same
- The Gospel embraced by all believers is the same
- The grace granted to believers is the same
- The means for forging Christian identity (Acts 2:42-47)
Tomorrow, I’ll post Saturday night’s outline.