It is well known among American Evangelicals, that the “hip” thing is to be hip-ster and the Hipster’s theology of choice is of the “Reformed” variety. There are even “Reformed before it was cool” T-Shirts… The phenomenon is well known: hipster 20-somethings, eager to follow Christ, soon discover the history of the Reformers and their wonderful, “Five Solas.” These often proceed to ingest-wholesale, the rest of the Reformers doctrine… and sometimes even their fashion sense.
Many may not realize, there is another breed of Christian hipster. Some say they are only rumor, an echo of an extinct fad. But I assure you, while we may be rare, we do indeed exist. I speak, of course, of the elusive Dispensational Hipster.
Now, non-hipster dispensationalists are not rare at all. In Evangelical America, they are a large and thriving part of the Church. In fact, the Christian hipster movement is largely a twitter-using counter-culture to this establishment. The Dispensational hipster, on the other hand, is a counter-counter-subculture. If the first group is unaware of their own irony, it would be doubly true here.
To describe these people, let us compare and contrast them with the more well known species. Of course, the Reformed hipster espouses Covenant Theology, while the Dispensational hipster adheres to Classic Dispensationalism. It is possible, however, to distinguish the two species by other attributes, without diving into the finer points of Biblical hermeneutics.
The following figure describes a typical example of each breed of hipster Theologian:
When asked about soteriology, the reformed hipster will typically answer with a long-winded rant that ends with, “I just wish there were more than 5 letters in ‘TULIP’.” In contrast, the Dispensational hipster will typically answer, dismissively, that he is “probably a three and a half point Calvinist… or whatever,” and then quickly move the conversation towards eschatology. “All I know is, I’m ready for the rapture, are you?!”
The Reformed hipster has a rehearsed argument in case he runs into any Methodists. The Dispensational hipster has a rehearsed argument in case he runs into any post-tribulationists.
The Reformed hipster’s favorite chapters of the Bible will usually waffle between Romans 9 and John 6, while the Dispensational hipster will jump between Daniel 7 and Romans 11 (“Oooh! Or Ephesians 3! No wait! Revelation 20.”)
While commuting to work, the reformed hipster will typically listen to John Piper sermons, followed by “The Dividing Line” Podcast. The Dispensational hipster will typically listen to reruns of J. Vernon McGee’s “Thru the Bible” radio show.
They both have a “love-hate” thing for John MacArthur.
The Reformed hipster secretly wishes his church used a pipe organ and maybe a harpsichord for its worship music. The Dispensational hipster secretly wishes his church still used a 3M-projector and transparencies.
The Reformed hipster is eagerly waiting for his copy of that Bibliotheca Kickstarter thing. The Dispensational hipster is eagerly waiting for news of a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem.
And finally, while the Reformed hipster will try to distance himself from hardcore Theonomists (those who think America should adopt stoning as a form of execution), the Dispensational hipster will often be seen trying -desperately- to distance himself from the Left Behind series.
Both are also known by another term… “Nerd.”
Artwork is original.