Thursday, March 19, 2009


I love seminary! i get to hang out and talk God-talk all day long and get a TON of views backed up with personal experience and denominational doctrine. it's pretty cool! i'd say darn near heaven for someone who loves talking. God is truly bigger than what i think and i'm considering a lot of things i never had to before. from my political views to my philosophical and theological views. it can be scary for some, but i just absolutely love it.

Chris Eden sent me a great article and we had a discussion about it. The article was called "Are You A Christian Hipster?" and at first glance i was all about it!

then Chris pointed out that we pretty much love to label and categorize things, but that is largely on what we NOTICE and THAT is an entirely subjective exercise. The article proves a framework and it's flawed. heavily in some places. but i think it responds to our human need to label & categorize in the hopes of finding identity. our basic need is to belong and be affirmed.

Like i loooove most of the authors listed, i definately don't like anything labeled "Christian" before my music and movies, and i'm idealistic. I LOVE thinking and acting Catholic but have no respect for the institution of the church (patriarchy on crack). i don't have any tattoos and i don't smoke. but i WANT TO belong.. i just don't fit the mold.

and here's the secret... none of us do perfectly. we're individuals who want to be a community. we are finding that we can only establish our identity only if we're comparing ourselves to something else... i don't think you can define yourself without using a relationship. and here's what it's all about:

IDENTITY! I am apart from all these other slobs! just look at how i fashionably blend goodwill with Lucky and Gap clothes and put that with some Adidas sneaks and my iPod with a collection of bands NO ONE ELSE HAS!

i am me. and the sooner you recognize this the better off we'll be.... never mind the fact that a whole bunch of other people are doing the exact same thing and listening to the same bands just not in the order i have... just never mind that!

it's our American INDIVIDUALITY! and reliance on self that keeps butting up against our need to be in relation with one another. and the only way to get individuals into a group is through good marketing. at least.. that's the answer the church is going for (whether be fundie or liberal settings). and this too will fail. but it's how we're trying to frame the situation now.

so what's the answer?


Tit for Tat said...

Hey, maybe you can start by realizing that we already are doing community. It may not be exactly the one you are invisioning. :)

Nana said...

"I want to be different, just like everyone else!" The battle cry of the American(and other?) adolecent. The farther I go into this transformational experience called seminary the more I come to understand that I don't need to know nearly as much about the culture and current events as I once thought I did. I still keep current but my focus and concern seem to be turning away from labels, politics and culture and toward inividuals and families. Of course I am concerned about world events and global issues and will do what I can to affect change in those areas but my world is lasering in on problems and situations I CAN fix or at least help. I agree with you about the marketing may get people in the door but they won't stay unless they can get their needs met, and primarily the need to be in relationship with others and God.

Yael said...

You're one of the good guys.

Luke said...

John T.,

yeah, we have community, just gotta shape and mold it. try to get at the edges and the blindspots.


i feel ya. labels fail. must enact change where we are and we must meet people where they are.


thanks... i needed that more than you know ;-)

to y'all,