Last week, the wsj ran a piece by Brett McCracken complaining about the rise of "cool Christianity", which is the effort by churches to stem the outward flood of young believers by making belief seem cool or edgy. A largely unhelpful criticism of the piece can be found here, but I actually think McCracken is exactly right when he says, "As a twentysomething, I can say with confidence that when it comes to church, we don't want cool as much as we want real."
One of the most interesting set of responses to the argument of the Authenticity Hoax has come from religious readers, many of whom have heartily endorsed the book's conclusions. At first I was confused by this (since the book more or less assumes secularism), but then I realised that many believers see my arguments as a vindication of what they have been saying all along. Insofar as the search for the "authentic" is an attempt at replacing the lost religious dimension of our lives, to the extent that my argument succeeds it can be read as endorsing the religious worldview. Of course the search for the "authentic" in all things eco-and organic is a hoax: the only place to get the real real deal is on your knees, in the pews.
It's funny, the churches seem to be getting on the "cool" bandwagon about a decade too late. Cool is dead, it's all about authenticity now, and churches are abandoning their key product line just as it is coming back into style.