Thoughts on Theology
“I sometimes think no group is more fashion-conscious than the current crop of hipster church planters—except perhaps teenage girls.”
Typical truth in love from Dr. MacArthur
Just laughed out loud with that quote. Good one.
So sad, yet so true…at least from what I’ve seen from friends planting churches.
Observations like this is one of the many reasons I respect J. MacArthur so much.
This scores rhetorical points, but is it wise, or loving, to ridicule the group you’re ostensibly trying to help? Are comments such as this going to open the YRR to anything he has to teach them? I hope the laugh was worth it.
You may be right, Mike, that this particular statement was unwise.
On the other hand, one could also argue that it appropriately and effectively uses sarcasm to make a valid point.
I think you’re right, Andy. Paul used sarcasm well. Just ask the Corinthians.
I had a mixed reaction. First, I suspect MacArthur’s chief concern is the “hipster” element rather than the “fashion” one. Being fashion-conscious (aware of popular dress and behavior) is not unique to hipsters. When I attended youth groups where culottes, side parts, and ties were de rigueur, I often heard teenagers cataloging and ridiculing fashion. Indeed, these groups were very fashion conscious. In reality, MacArthur is probably concerned about the signals that these “hipster church planters” are giving in their fashion choices as they differ from the fashion choices he and his peers have made.
Second, it was unnecessary to employ such sexism. There is no reason to assume that contemporary teenage girls are any more “fashion-conscious” than teenage boys. He could have just as easily said “teenagers.” Yet saying “teenage girls” allows the author to emasculate hipsters because this distinction between teenage girls and teenage boys is rooted in an inaccurate stereotype about the unique vanity and frivolousness of young women.
- Is fashion-consciousness a sin in-of-itself?
- Are hipsters any more fashion-conscious than TMS?
(I once received a dressie TMS-branded watch for a white-elephant gift; don’t TMS and SBTS have suit shops with their respective seminaries branded on accessories?)
- More importantly, is the YRR movement as fashion-sensitive as outsiders like to think?
- Or, perhaps, like TMS, do they wear what is normative in their own context?
- While I think it’s funny that maybe half of the A29 pastors I know look very similar and hipster-ish, I don’t perceive any of them as being “accomodating” to their context. They’re just wearing what they always have, which happens to be what the people they are ministering to wear. I’ve even seen some of them wear ties are special occasions, which, being out of the norm for them, is accomodating.
- I’ve been heavily influenced by JMac over the years, and I don’t consider myself a part of the YRR trend. But even I think MacArthur is wasting a great opportunity to speak into this very impressionable movement of young Christians, and encourage them to continue to grow in the grace of Christ. What’s so tragically ironic is that by “admonishing” YRR-types through potshots made at stereotypes, he mitigates his own, otherwise good, advice. Lord-willing, many in the YRR camp will respond like Darren Patrick did and honor JMac instead of dismissing him altogether.
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