. of view

Earl Marshall

Hip 2B Holy

I watched Kevin Newman's "Hip 2b Holy" on Global TV last night.  After watching the 60 minute documentary I wondered, "what was the point?"  For me there didn't seem to be a compelling reason for the presentation, certainly not one that lived up to the hype of the title. 

For the most part Newman and his team interact with two main characters, Nathan Gerber (shout out to uncle Ted) and Carey Nieuwhof who become the "faces" for the scores of diverse examples of young Canadian evangelical expression. Both Nathan and Carey represented themselves very well.  I appreciated their candor and I was intrigued to see Nathan "bust some moves" (not so young Canadian evangelical said that).  But I got the sense that in both cases it was more about "the personality" than the representation of young Canadian evangelicals per se. 

I was left wondering

  • How stoked is Connexus from all the free marketing it received last night?  How many website hits today?  Life 100.3 must be their new "best friend" this morning!

  • What was the real story?  Where was the journalism?  I appreciated that Global did not create a story but I am still trying to piece together from the presentation what the story is.  I suppose it is that there are young people rediscovering faith and expressing it in unique ways.  But is that it?  What about the other story, of young Canadian evangelicals walking away from their faith in their early twenties?

  • Why when making a point about a desire among Canadian evangelicals to work together in representing their points of view was there no reference to the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada?

Today I also celebrate . . . the gospel of Jesus Christ and its presentation in various expressions. 


  1. Trevor Brisbin

    May 26, 2009 at 10:10 am

    thanks for your thoughts. I just got the tail end of it and some really ‘stereotypical’ stuff in a skate park? I haven’t had much time to reflect on it, but you’ve provided a good launch pad… then i got caught up on 24… Jack Bauer is way cooler than any pastor i know!

  2. I’m with you, Earl. It seems like there was no clearly defined point. I know Carey well and was eager to see the show, but it left me shrugging my shoulders at the end…so what?
    I am certainly glad it wasn’t another one of those typical Canadian (read, “CBC”) journalistic pieces that makes being an evangelical equal to being American (and they mean that, of course, as a pejorative). Newman didn’t do that…I believe he was genuinely trying to carve out a place for evangelicals in Canada…but by creating a new brand: “Canadian evangelicalism” whatever that is. I thought we were after biblical.
    Maybe that was Newman’s
    purpose after all. I do have to say it was a pretty narrow swath of evangelicalism that he chose to have as his focus. So much more could have been said.
    And one final thought…I guess I was more than a little uncomfortable with the focus on the young dating couple from Connexus…Heather and Aaron. She’s a believer and he’s a confessed atheist on a journey. Seems they’ve missed something about unequal yoking and the very biblical question, “what fellowship does light have with darkness”? But I guess that’s a whole different conversation. And it is one I’ll probably take up with Carey directly.

  3. Has anyone heard the term “disciple generation” before? It was used at some point to discuss this generation of young evangelicals who are looking for significance in their spiritual journey.

  4. Earl Marshall

    May 26, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Never heard of “disciple generation”. The Christian Science Monitor http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0926/p16s01-bogn.html has an article on the term and you can see more at http://usreligion.blogspot.com/2007/09/disciple-generation.html

  5. Earl,
    Thanks for this. I watched it with my wife Imbi and our eldest, Liam. I think we were all left with a “and so?” response.
    As well, I think we’d all echo Todd’s response regarding Heather and Aaron. Imbi and I would (and have in the past on a number of occasions with friends and relatives) council Heather to not be romantically involved with Aaron. Perhaps the Connexus pastor has done that, but you wouldn’t know it from the “documentary.”
    It was remarkably positive in its approach to Evangelicalism. Almost a puff piece in some ways. The two primary “experts” Andrew Grenville and Sam Reimer are both part of EFC’s Advisory Council.
    I find the IPSO Reid stats quoted of evangelicals as 10 – 15% of the population interesting to say the least.
    Again, thanks for the well written review.

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