Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Christian Hipster

Are you one?
Christian hipsters like music, movies, and books that are well-respected by their respective artistic communities—Christian or not. They love books like Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas and Will Willimon, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ron Sider, God’s Politics by Jim Wallis, and The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. They tend to be fans of any number of the following authors: Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Wendell Berry, Thomas Merton, John Howard Yoder, Walter Brueggemann, N.T. Wright, Brennan Manning, Eugene Peterson, Anne Lamott, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Henri Nouwen, Soren Kierkegaard, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Annie Dillard, Marilynne Robison, Chuck Klosterman, David Sedaris, or anything ancient and/or philosophically important.

Christian hipsters love thinking and acting Catholic, even if they are thoroughly Protestant. They love the Pope, liturgy, incense, lectio divina, Lent, and timeless phrases like “Thanks be to God” or “Peace of Christ be with you.” They enjoy Eastern Orthodox churches and mysterious iconography, and they love the elaborate cathedrals of Europe (even if they are too museum-like for hipster tastes). Christian hipsters also love taking communion with real Port, and they don’t mind common cups. They love poetry readings, worshipping with candles, and smoking pipes while talking about God. Some of them like smoking a lot of different things.

Don't forget the piercings. Or the tats. Or the T-shirts with skulls on them.


  1. I like music that I like, movies that I like and books that I like. But sometimes I check out things that are recommended by others. You know, it's only been a recent phenomenon to have Christian music, Christian books, Christian t-shirts, etc. ad nauseam. I don't think is really a good thing, either, as it isolates us instead of allowing us to be in the world as a light for the truth.

    Just for fun (and because I haven't commented on your blog in a while), I'll go through your list and comment on what I've experienced...


    The Imitation of Christ - I've had it for a while and keep meaning to read it.

    N.T. Wright - I'm getting up to speed on him since his writings are having such a huge impact on the church (i.e. the "emerging" church). I'm not a fan and think his ecclesiology is all wrong and doing harm to the church.

    Eugene Peterson - I love his work.

    C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton - classic!

    David Sedaris - pretty funny guy

    real Port in communion - haven't done it, but why not?

    worshipping with candles, and smoking pipes while talking about God. - I have nothing against candles, but I've never smoked anything in my life and that's something I'd like to keep up. However, I don't think there's anything wrong with puffing on a pipe once in a while. I have some Presbyterian friends who smoke pipes (and I'm not talking about mind altering plants)

    I'm not sure if that makes me "hip" or not.

    What about you?

  2. I don't know if any of these things make you "hip," or if the people who enjoy many/most of these things are "trying" to be "hip." I certainly amy not "trying" to be "hip," but I am seeking to understand the Word (both the Scriptures and Jeuss, the Incarnate Word) on a deeper level than where I am now.

    I have a copy of "Imitation of Christ." Love it.

    I read Sedaris' "Holidays on Ice." Didn't see what all the fuss was about, so I haven't read anything else by him.