This New Fad Is Holy

It’s an aesthetic we’ve all witnessed. The social media posts of Bibles next to coffee cups and the long passages underneath them about faith and love. Bible verse tattoos. Hillsong worship music.

With our generation has come a new wave of Christianity, one that is modern, pleasing to the eye and just all around trendy.

National Public Radio’s article “What Exactly is Hipster Christianity?” said this trendy Christianity is the “conscious separation from the connotations of traditional fundamentalism and evangelical Christianity.”

There’s an emphasis on art, beauty, and culture.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the look too. But the question still sits in my mind of when a genuine love for Jesus turns into a love for the look of Jesus. Can someone still be genuine if all they seem to talk about is how genuine they are?

“For me, it’s summarized in the word ‘truth,’” said Scott Maxwell-Doherty, the university pastor. “What do I know to be true for me? And then, what voice do I give to that? Does that voice show up as genuine?”

Perhaps this new outlook of trendy Christianity should really just be described as our generation’s way of finding a unique way to express our love for Christ and the truth we find through Him.

“Every time I sit down with students I’m always struck by how real students are willing to get,” Maxwell-Doherty said.

According to an article from The Washington Post “Can Hipster Christianity Save Churches from Decline?” by Brett McCracken it doesn’t seem like young adults want trendy, they want genuine.

“Further time will tell whether the legacy of the hipster Christianity’ phenomenon will be one of decline or revival for churches,” McCracken said.

Maxwell-Doherty is encouraged by the passion and curiosity of young adults.

“What they show up and say at worship, how they talk at their peers, or the voice on the tattoos, all of those things are giving voice to something they think is alive in them,” Maxwell-Doherty said.

So, by all means, post your pictures of Bibles and passages of your thoughts. Ink your body with verses that mean something to you. Sing along to the music.

However, at the end of the day, reflect: if you took away all of this, if you removed the aesthetic, would your love for Jesus remain?

Emily Graybill
Staff Writer