Austin Statesman Coverage
In retrospect, maybe I should have included Austin on this list of Christian hipsters' favorite cities.
The Austin Statesman -- the newspaper of the heavily hipster Texas city -- has now published TWO articles about Hipster Christianity.
I like the book for a couple of reasons: it raises good points about the extent to which the premise of Christianity is based on community and not individualism. If your goal is to be like Jesus, being cool is actually not a good way to go — you might be considered cool by going against mainstream culture, but selling the church as a hip experience actually defeats the purpose of moving the world in Jesus’ direction, McCracken writes. I can appreciate, too, that during his visits to some of the churches he identified as hipster churches in London, Kansas City and Seattle, among other places, he describes what he sees and adds quotes from the pulpit as well as quotes from the websites. This kind of on the ground observation is lacking in most writing about church life, and I think it’s as close to objective reporting about religion as readers can get without keeping a journal of their own church visits.
The second piece ("Book provides much-needed critical look at Christian hipster trend"), written by Eileen Flynn, includes this comment:
We've needed McCracken's book for a while now, not just as window into this trend but as a challenge to Christian hipsters who might need to be reminded that, although rejection of the old model of church might be justified, they shouldn't make the same mistakes by not looking at themselves critically.
Thank you to both writers, and thank you to Austin for the interest in the book. Maybe I'll come to Austin soon and say hello!