Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution, is a big deal in New Monasticism, a movement which was itself a big deal during the aughts. As with many radical Christian movements, much was good and much was dumb. I come not to cast aspersions, but to laugh. New Monasticism will be familiar to people who read up on their theology back when people used the word "emergent" all the time. It is a movement that uses phrases like "the abandoned places of empire". They value social relevance, but also look to the old ways.
Now that we are primed, let us enjoy this image I came across on the internet. Here is an ad featuring Shane Claiborne promoting some new thing he's doing. It's about tradition, because it's about practices. But it's also hip and cool, as the do-rag denotes. So that fine, that's pretty norms for this sort of thing.
But dig what I dig about this photo. Look at his right hand. Is he simply caught in mid-gesture as he expounds on the central practices of the Christian faith? Or is he mimicking the Christ Pantocrator of iconography, re-co-opting the gesture medieval Christians co-opted to indicate that Jesus was teaching?
Or does it instead look like so many other contemporary Christian movements, awkwardly caught between tradition and dynamism, craving both but having neither? Does it just look contrived?
I guess I did come to cast aspersions.