The Myth of Authenticity

April 22, 2022

“One of the struggles of our secular age as people experience it is the myth of authenticity. What I mean by this is…

…this overwhelming burden to be singular and unique and express your authenticity as a one of a kind.

So on the one hand, there’s all this burden and expectation in our late modern culture that you express your authentic self. What we don’t tell people is how utterly exhausting that is.

This explains the rampant mental health challenges of 20 somethings.

I teach at Calvin university. Across the board in higher education the challenges of depression and anxiety amongst 22 year olds is just heartbreaking. And I’m convinced it’s tied to this burden that everybody is supposed to be putting on their own show for the world.

That’s this myth of authenticity.

I think the desire to belong is built into us as God’s image barriers. And I think the burden of this solitary expressive version of authenticity is starting to be felt culturally. The very burdens and failures of this kind of authentic individualistic solitary way of imagining ourselves is going to be a brokenness that opens people up to a kind of belonging that they might be surprised to find themselves in.” James K.A. Smith.

Watch the entire Church Now Conversation HERE.

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