Rowan Williams has a great new lecture available online, which, to my mind is remarkably germane to some of our recent discussions about the nature of Christian identity:
. . . the identity of the baptized is not first and foremost a matter of some exclusive relationship to God that keeps us safe, as opposed to the rest of the vulnerable and unlucky world. It is at one and the same time living both in the neighbourhood of the Father and in the neighbourhood of darkness. That is why we speak of being baptized into the death and resurrection of Christ, not simply baptized as a mark of our affinity or alignment with Jesus in a general way, not baptized as an external sign that we more or less agree with what Jesus says. Our baptism is a stepping-into Jesus’ place with all that that entails. And it means that Christian baptismal identity is—again at one and the same time—both a depth of human experience that brings us into at least the potential of intense, transfiguring love, the Trinitarian love in which Jesus himself lives, and a continuing experience of expectation, humility, penitence and hope. The experience of the baptized is not the experience of endings, but of repeated new beginnings. We don’t simply acquire a relationship with God the Father which then requires us to do nothing more. On the contrary, to be baptized is to be constantly re-awakening our expectation, our penitence, our protest, our awareness that the chaos and darkness of the world is not what God wills; our awareness that we are colluding with that state of chaos which God does not will. So as baptized persons we look constantly into ourselves, rediscovering over and over again the hope that comes out of true repentance.