Self-avowed twentysomething Christian hipster insider Brett McCracken has grown up in the evangelical Christian subculture and observed the recent shift away from the "stained glass and steeples" old guard of traditional Christianity to a more unorthodox, stylized 21st-century church. This...
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Self-avowed twentysomething Christian hipster insider Brett McCracken has grown up in the evangelical Christian subculture and observed the recent shift away from the "stained glass and steeples" old guard of traditional Christianity to a more unorthodox, stylized 21st-century church. This change raises a big issue for the church in our postmodern world: the question of "cool". The question is whether or not Christianity can be, should be, or is, in fact, cool. This probing book is about an emerging category of Christians McCracken calls "Christian hipsters"--the unlikely fusion of the American obsessions with worldly "cool" and otherworldly religion--an analysis of what they're about, why they exist, and what it all means for Christianity and the church's relevancy and hipness in today's youth-oriented culture.
"Are you tired of seeing Christianity marketed as a product? Brett McCracken offers a smart and timely peek inside our desperate quest to be cool. Hipster Christianity is an urgent but loving call to chase far more than the fashionable, to pursue enduring virtues rather than mere relevance."--Craig Detweiler, Center for Entertainment, Media and Culture, Pepperdine University "Brett McCracken courageously and accurately sketches the perennial temptation to sacrifice faithfulness on the altar of ''cool.'' Every pastor, youth pastor, college chaplain, and Christian college professor needs to sit down with Hipster Christianity, read it carefully, and take a good hard look at whether we are being faithful or being cool. The best example of generous orthodoxy I''ve seen yet."--Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University; author of The Blue Parakeet; blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed/"Brett''s book is a like a PhD course in Christian hipness. Part textbook, part cry for what matters more than being cool, Brett has accomplished something long needed in Christianity."--Jonathan Acuff, author of Stuff Christians Like"Whether you''re a Christian hipster (like Brett McCracken) or a hopeless nonhipster (like me), you''re in for some surprises with this book. It''s simultaneously more serious, more enjoyable, and more critical than you might think at first glance. Brett is able to put his finger on the pulse of hipster Christianity and yet point all of us back to the gloriously eternal and unchanging truth of the gospel. The result is an outstanding example of truth-in-love theological journalism."--Justin Taylor, blogger at Between Two Worlds; managing editor of the ESV Study Bible"What hath Kerouac to do with Christ? Hipster Christianity answers the question by taking a trip through the culture of cool, stopping along the way to explore its troubled marriage with the Christian faith. McCracken, the tour guide, provides the kind of loving critique only a reluctant insider could offer. You don''t have to rock a faux hawk to appreciate this book, or have a PhD to realize that it signals the emergence of an important young Christian thinker."--Drew Dyck, editorial manager, Leader Training Team, Christianity Today International; author of Generation Ex-Christian"Brett McCracken writes like a classical composer, weaving together smooth, intelligent riffs with furious, soulful runs. His critique of contemporary Christianity slices deep, but his love for the church heals the wound. As a new generation of Christians grow tired of manufactured relevance and long for a deeper understanding of what it means to be a ''new creation,'' Hipster Christianity arrives at just the right time."--Jonathan Merritt, author of Green Like God: Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet"Hipster Christianity is a thorough, accessible, and engaging ethnography of the often baffling landscape of ''cool'' Christianity--from the wannabes to the effortlessly hip. Brett''s nuanced and affectionate diagnosis of how we got here and where we''re going is an excellent framework for thinking through the role of the church today. The truth is that the contemporary church could use a dose of hipster authenticity--and hipsters need the church to consistently point the way between love of their culture and wholehearted love of God."--Alissa Wilkinson, associate editor, Comment magazine"Can Christianity be cool? Brett McCracken''s answer to the question is both sensitive and subversive. McCracken writes with the cheekiness that only an insider to cool Christianity can have, providing a sympathetic account of Christian hipsters while challenging faux hipsters to simply quit trying, all while moving beyond the consumerism and individualism that undergird hipsterism to reestablish cool Christianity on its appropriate foundation: the life of Jesus and our faithfulness to the gospel. This is an invaluable contribution to the ongoing conversation about the shape Chri
Brett McCracken is a graduate of Wheaton College and UCLA. His day job is managing editor for Biola University's Biola magazine. He regularly writes movie reviews and features for Christianity Today, as well as contributing frequently to Relevant magazine. He comments on movies, media, and popular culture issues at his blog, The Search, http://stillsearching.wordpress.com/. He lives in Los Angeles.