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Christian that everyone among us woulduniformly affirm, which is why we

find ourselves worshipping in differentcommunions, emphasizing different

essentials, and giving voiceto multifarious paths toward faithful discipleship.

Certainly we profess the same Lord and submit ourselvesto the same sacred

writ, whichtogether forms the dual affirmation that unites our

organization--whether we call it evangelical or simply Christian. But

however important these shared commitments(and I don't deny that they

are), they do little more than to fashion a context for Christianfellowship and

a bigtent under which many diverse voices can speak and explore. To

presume that these nominal professions providean adequate basis for

exploring faithand history is to settle for a monotonic high school garage

band when the Cleveland Orchestra is available and willing to play atno cost.

In order to hear themélange of significant voices represented in our

membership, in all their wondrous rangeand ponderous depth, we must

consciously reconnectto our respective traditions of Christian faith and

practice and consider the resources they provide at our disposal.

We're asking members of the organization neither togive up their

own distinct conception ofChristian belief and practice, nor to flatten their

sense of orthodoxy as ifall perspectives were equally valid. Quite the

contrary. We hope instead that all willfeel even freer to assert openly the

distinctives of their traditions, while speaking to and learningfrom others

whose commitments are theologically and historically farfrom their own.

We can hereby remind ourselves of the obvious: the Conference on Faith and

History is not achurch, but a strictly voluntary organization--without any

ecclesiastical authority--for believing historians who desire asetting in which

to explore the ways in which faith relates to thework of scholarship and

teaching. Univocality isn't essential or even desirable! As we enter this

association, while celebratingour common commitments to Christ and the

Scriptures, we likewise come clothed in our confessional garb, bearingthe

weight of our ecclesiastical traditions. We hope that our October meetingwill

provide a more self-conscious exploration of these realities,but, in order to

work out many of their implications,your presence and participation is

essential. Please consider traveling to sunny Indiana this fall andadding your

voice to the mix. Yourcomments and suggestions are welcome. Send them

to me at <jdgreen@covenant.edu>.