Jump directly to the Content

Women

Opinion | Church

Keeping It Real: The Truth about Authenticity

Do we Christians even understand what the buzzword means?

I was standing in the kitchen, talking to my husband, when he began to yawn. As most wives would, I teased him for his insensitivity. He replied, "I'm just being authentic."

In case you haven't noticed, the "authentic" label is not just for antiquities or ethnic restaurants anymore.

One Thousand Gifts author Ann Voskamp recently posted on her blog: "I have felt it—how no one wants anything of anyone but to be honest and real and to trust enough to take off the mask."

I have felt it, too.

I am neither 20-something nor the least bit trendy. Still, authenticity has worked its way into my conservative evangelical life, making a regular appearance in my conversations with fellow Christians.

Chances are you know someone who's blogging or talking about being authentic: authentic life, authentic relationships, authentic community, authentic worship.

Christianity Today's website designates "Authenticity" as one topic to classify its articles. Amazon.com sells more than 100 books under the search term "authentic Christian."

Authentic is one of those slippery, know-it-when-you-see-it buzzwords. When I queried Andy Crouch, CT editor at large and author of Culture Making, about the word's origins, he pointed me author Keith Miller. "His 1984 book The Taste of New Wine was a best-selling Christian distillation of both 1970s encounter groups and AA-style spirituality. I'm pretty sure his work was the ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Already a CT subscriber? for full digital access.
Tags:No tags

Read These Next

close
hide this
Access The Archives

Member-Only Access

Subscribe to Christianity Today to continue reading this article from CT's digital archives.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? to continue reading.