How did today's Christian hipster come to be? Here are some key dates in the formation of hipster Christianity.
In the year 2000, I wrote a list of goals for myself. Life goals. They included such things as traveling across the world, writing music, working at Disney World for a time, and opening a “small, elegant eatery.” Number 6 on the list was “write a book.”
Shane Claiborne is someone I’ve been following for quite some time—someone who I greatly admire and who I believe is an important, prophetic voice for the church today. If you've read his books or heard him speak, you know how provocative and compelling and fascinating he is. In my book on Christian hipster culture, Shane gets more than a few paragraphs mention.
“Only connect.” That is the epigraph to E.M. Forster’s Howards End—a book I have not actually read, but which I have on my list. “Only connect” is a sort of life mantra for a friend I had dinner with in Brooklyn last night, and in thinking about what I could say about my NYC experiences over the past few days, the phrase kept coming up. “Only connect.”
I have an article in the May/June issue of Relevant magazine entitled "The Rise of the Ironic Class," which takes a look at why my generation is such an ironic one, what it means for our relationships, for communication, etc...
It has become clear as I have blogged about the phenomenon of Christian hipsters that this topic is polarizing. Whether through the conversations I’ve had at the various churches I’ve visited throughout the country, on the blog boards that deal with my book topic, or just with my friends who I’ve talked through these issues alongside, I have become more and more aware that the things I’m looking at are extremely complicated and deserve a fair, thoughtful, thorough treatment.
As you know, I'm writing a book about Christian hipsters and "cool Christianity." It's coming along, but many people have asked me: what exactly is a Christian hipster? Am I one? Are you one?
This is the title of chapter one of the book I am writing, and it’s the underlying question of the whole thing. I don’t expect to answer it definitively in the book, but it’s a question that begs to be explored, because it’s a question that is at least latently present in all the major movements and expressions of contemporary Christianity.