Brett McCracken in the WSJ

Brett McCracken, author of Hipster Christianity, has written a thoughtful piece on the WSJ website. McCracken offers a scathing critique of evangelical churches that use stunts like sex billboards and online services to attract the young folks. Here’s a choice line:

Are these gimmicks really going to bring young people back to church? Is this what people really come to church for? Maybe sex sermons and indie- rock worship music do help in getting people in the door, and maybe even in winning new converts. But what sort of Christianity are they being converted to?

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this article. Does a spoonfull of sugar really make the "medicine" more palatable, or does it just make the kid hyper when he should be sleeping because he’s sick?

(HT: Blakester)

About Benj

I’m a native North Jerseyan, transplanted to Pennsylvania...lived and taught in Eastern Europe for six years…Old Testament professor, ordained minister, occasional liturgist…husband to Corrie…father to Daniel and Elizabeth.
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5 Responses to Brett McCracken in the WSJ

  1. Thomas says:

    I reviewed Brett’s book and interviewed him on Everyday Liturgy.

    I think he has a lot of good things to say about the church as a worshiping community and enjoyed getting a chance to talk to him.

  2. I agree with much of what I read in McCracken’s article. There really are a bunch of quite ridiculous things being done in the name of drawing the younger generation in to a Christianity whose heart is so far from the heart of Christ. From my interaction with our generation, it seems as though young adult evangelicals are really seeking something much more real and authentic than hyped (as he concludes in his article).

    There are two elements that I would like to call him out on, though. He stated that “the impulse behind [the emerging church]” was “to rehabilitate Christianity’s image and make it ‘cool’.” From my understanding and interaction with the emerging church, it was much more an attempt to return to the core truths of Christianity and re-imagine them in this day and age (much like the return to real, authentic Christianity he espouses). There seemed to be more of a move away from what is “cool” and a move towards what is spiritual.

    I would also mention that there is potentially more going on in the rise of sex discussion in evangelicalism than merely the shock factor. As stated, we are in a sex drenched society and for too long the church has ignored this topic that is integral and vital to our spirituality. I thoroughly appreciated Rob Bell’s thoughts in “Sex God” and didn’t find them to be shocking or controversial. Mark Driscoll (known for being a bit of a shocking pastor) also has some very good things to say, in a straight forward, no holds barred way that resonates with men struggling with issues of a sexual nature.

    Despite those two generalized oversights, I fully agree with the heart and message behind the article. I think the generation of evangelicals that are rising up right now are hopefully going to be pushing Christianity out of the performance trap that it’s been caught in and strive for a Christian experience that “works” in the midst of pain, brokenness, sorrow and joy. If it’s merely entertainment, much better entertainment can be found outside the church. If it isn’t real, then what’s the point of believing in it.

  3. If I could say it better than Gordon, I would. But I can’t!

  4. That’s because everything I learned about this, I learned from you, Joe.

  5. Benj says:

    Crap. I just spent 20 minutes writing a long response to you guys, and the stupid browser ate it. Poo. Well, you’ll hear from me later when I’m not so vexed off at IE6.

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