In his new book, Hipster Christianity: When Church and Cool Collide (Baker, 2010), Brett McCracken continues the generations-old conversation about the relationship between Christ and culture. In particular, McCracken, managing editor of Biola magazine, explores the preoccupation of some churches with being relevant, trendy, and, well, hip. Can churches be cool without becoming lukewarm? Brandon O'Brien asked McCracken how what he discovered impacts the local church.
Is being "in the world but not of it" still a useful way for the church to think about its relationship to culture?
Maybe. But we need to be clearer about what we mean by "in the world" and "of it." I've grown up hearing that phrase quoted anytime discussions about the relationship of Christianity to culture come up, as if citing it answers the question. But what exactly does being "of" the world mean? Are we "of" the world if we drink a beer occasionally? Are we "of" the world if we spend all weekend watching sports on TV?