Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Book #6: Hipster Christianity

Hipster Christianity by Brett McCracken

This was fascinating - McCracken explores the "cool" movement that is sweeping through churches in North America (and sometimes out of it). He spent a good amount of time in research traveling to all kinds of hip churches (Mars Hill, various Greek and Latin-named structures) and interviewing emergent-ish pastors (Rob Bell, Mark Driscoll, etc.) and writers and asking them all about what place "cool" has in modern Christianity.

I have to say - part of this book made me want to be a hipster. Living in Alabama, I think it's safe to say my community and church suffer from a bit of a dearth when it comes to cool thinking. You would be hard pressed to find any skinny jeans or neat beards in our congregation. I don't want a neat beard myself, but I sometimes get an eensy bit tired of seeing only blue haired old ladies and men in suspenders who aren't wearing them in ironic appreciation. I think it would be refreshing to hear a Sufjan Stevens song in sanctuary worship.

But the last part of the book deals with the notion that we as a culture have become obsessed with cool, and Christianity doesn't cater to culture's obsessions. Christ points us towards truth and grace in a straightforward and bold way, and He isn't concerned with whether or not I'm wearing the right skinny scarf or have an appropriately indie song playing in my car when I speak to Him.

Definite food for thought.


Amanda said...

Does he classify Mark Driscoll as emergent? I don't think he's going that direction. He's pretty sound. Now as for Rob Bell, his latest book seems to be going more and more toward the heresy line. Driscoll and Bell are really two opposite ends of the spectrum.

Amanda said...

He didn't actually classify Driscoll and Bell as being the same theologically - just similar in the fact that they're both somewhat controversial when it comes to presentation, i.e. Driscoll's frank discussions about sex and comfort in the use of profanity to get a point across (the whole Donald Miller referring to him as The Cussing Pastor) and Bell being...well, Rob Bell and all that entails. He gave Driscoll a lot of points for sound theology, too.