Hipster Christianity

My friend Kester wrote a very insightful post here about the new emphasis on cool that most young Christians tend to have.

As Kester notes, in earlier generations Christianity was conflated with power and moral authority.  In reacting to that, younger people have imagined Christianity as a reservoir of hip, where a seeker can find a handful of truths and creeds, which, out of their context, seem dreamily archaic.

These two positions (power and cool) have established an unnerving spectrum in churches.  You already know what the positions are, and you already know the debates.  You could play through them in your head if you wanted.  And because power and cool are the factors that matter, it guarantees that discussions will always miss the point, because the terms we use are not Christ.  In seeking to be hip, the cool generation missed the opportunity to critique the preceding generation’s lust for power in a way that would actually have saved that generation.

Now, opposition to hip Christianity often looks like a return to power Christianity.  Which is why people leave churches because some vote for Obama, the child-killing Muslim, and why others leave because they can’t stand that fellow congregants believe that Obama is a Muslim and feel awkward condemning abortion.  This is disturbing enough as it is, without thinking about all the lost time spent on a bad debate.  And without thinking that we still don’t have (even though we always have) a solution.

3 comments
  1. Rachel O. said:

    So, this is totally not related to your post (which was very interesting, but I don’t have anything to add to it). I’ve been wondering how that ambitious summer reading list turned out. Did you manage to read some Dostoevsky?

  2. popery said:

    I didn’t do so well at getting at the list – my desire to take notes on everything I read thwarted me getting at it. But I am reading The Brothers Karamazov right now and I’m loving it.

    • Rachel O. said:

      Yay for brothers K! It’s definitely my favorite Dostoevsky book. I understand about the notes thing. I spent about 2 months reading a biography of Joseph Smith over the summer mostly due to taking detailed notes (and a mediocre work ethic, if I’m being honest). Hope the teaching is going well!

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