Christian Hipster: a new category of belief between Believer and Skeptic

March 4, 2009 | By | 3 Replies More

Andrew Sullivan proposes a new category of belief between Believer and Skeptic.  Or at least I first heard the term “Christian Hipster” at the Daily Dish.   What kind of people does it describe?

A “Christian Hipster” as described in this article merely describes a person who both believes in Christ and explores the world for themselves, rather than taking their Pastor/Mother/Father/Dobson’s opinion as unquestionable.

Here’s a bit more from a prior post by Andrew Sullivan:

Christian hipsters like music, movies, and books that are well-respected by their respective artistic communities—Christian or not. … 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.

Sounds like a modest step in the right direction.   Sounds a lot like what Christians used to be before the political right wing (religious and political) redefined “Christians” as self-righteous people who refuse to consider compelling real-life evidence.


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Category: Religion, Science

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. anti-supernaturalist says:

    . . . there’s no such animal as a “hip xian”.

    ** “Has the old hermit in his forest not yet heard that God is dead?” **

    — Nietzsche. Zarathustra I prolog.

    The power of myth — myths embody ideals and cultural patterns — is emotive and non-rationally motivating. What “understanding” comes from mythological interpretations of nature, of human nature, or human action?

    Mythological explanations explain nothing. They may be psychologically satisfying, but such satisfaction has nothing to do with truth. Truth, contrary to the lying line of xian thinking, need be neither beautiful, nor good, nor emotively satisfying.

    Who is an anti-supernaturalist? One who opposes any doctrine of any otherworldly realm, whether of Platonic ideas, Aristotelian entelechies, gods, demons, spirits, minds, karma, reincarnation.

    Western thinkers began their long trek away from mythological pseudo-explanation to empirical-conceptual explanation — beginning with the skepticism of Xenophanes in 600 BCE. Other early Greek radicals — Democritus 500 BCE, the Sophists and Thucydides 400 BCE, Epicurus 300 BCE. They are our closest ancestors, ones untainted by xianity.

    As a dominant source of “ideals” in the West for 2,000 years, xianity has from its inception hated empirical knowledge, rationality, and skepticism. (See 1 Corinthians1:20-30) It has attacked, demeaned, and destroyed works of science since 300 CE.

    Xianity’s faith in the basic lie of all 4-big monotheisms — a supernatural, morally ordered hierarchy to be imitated — “on Earth as it is in Heaven.” That lie is dead, just as Nietzsche announced most provocatively in Zarathustra I. (See also Gay Science Bk III 108-127.)

    Xianity’s vast metaphysical and ethical hulk slowly recycles into nescience through exposure to healthy derision and rational methodology.

    Nevertheless, magical thinking and supernaturalism still thrive. The infantile xian context lives on, especially in Ameristan.

    The de-deification of culture (including all the sciences) is our task for the next 500 years.


  2. "xtianity has from its inception hated empirical knowledge, rationality, and skepticism (see 1 Cor 1:20-30)"—anti-supernaturalist

    What I take away from that text, is that the wisdom of man is only foolishness compared to the wisdom of God. Obviously if one cannot subscribe to the notion of an infinitely intelligent creator, man's wisdom is all there is. And I have to state without fear of musch contradiction, man's wisdom contains a good measure of folly.

    Xtianity is certainly not a fitting reflection of the God they worship. It never has been, never will be—UNTIL they are translated to perfection (whenever that might occur). It is clear to me that the infinitely flawed following of God has no more a lock on God's wisdom, than the godless' lock on man's.

    Your own admission that supernaturalism continues to thrive, only bears witness to the fact that man has a spiritual side that will not be denied. To deny that there exists a "supernatural" side to existence is the epitome of foolishness IMHO.

  3. Antinaturalist

    Then you misread everything.

    That supernaturalism continues to thrive has more to do with the general informational environment than anything to do with spiritualism.

    While I agree the wisdom of Man (whatever that is) contains much folly, that is hardly cause to dismiss the part that is genuinely wise and even less cause to attribute that wisdom to something outside our own efforts. Trial and error does, after all, mean there will be a lot of error.

    Finally, the texts will never be translated "perfectly" because we don't have them to translate. Or haven't you followed any of the research on the origins of biblical texts?

    It doesn't matter anyway—if you perfectly translate bullshit, it's still bullshit.

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