Christian hipster. As the '90s gave way to the 2000s, young evangelicals reared in the ostentatious Jesus subculture began to rebel. They sought a more intellectual faith, one that didn't reject outright the culture, ideas, and art of the secular world.
They looked up to young Christian authors and pastors like Shane Claiborne, Rob Bell, and Donald Miller, read Relevant magazine, adored indie-folk musician Sufjan Stevens, and were fascinated by ancient church liturgies and prayers. They began to dress and act like secular hipsters: drinking beer, getting tattoos, riding fixed-gear bikes, and eating raw and organic foods. They took interest in a broader range of issues (the environment, HIV/AIDS, globalization) than their parents' generation, and voted for Barack Obama.What makes a church a "hipster church"? Does it have a one-word name that is either a Greek word or something evocative of creation? Does the pastor frequently use words like kingdom, authenticity, and justice, and drop names like N. T. Wright in sermons? Does the church advertise a gluten-free option for Communion? If the answer is yes to all of those questions, chances are that it's a hipster church.
One thing we can fairly say of hipster Christianity is that it frequently strives for shock value. During his sermon, Driscoll-looking like a metrosexual jock in an Ed Hardy-esque tight T-shirt, cross necklace, and faux-hawk-talked about how wives should be "visually generous" with their husbands (e.g., they should keep the lights on when undressing and during sex). I never thought I'd hear a preacher talk about these things from the pulpit. And that's exactly the point.
Hipster Christianity's attention to shock value manifests in others ways. Some churches hold their services in bars and nightclubs-Mosaic in L.A. meets in the Mayan nightclub, and North Brooklyn Vineyard in New York meets at a place called the Trash Bar. Other churches focus more on the shock value of sermons, delving into touchy subjects such as homosexuality, child abuse, sex trafficking, HIV/AIDS, and so on, sometimes with an f-bomb or two thrown in for good measure.