Authenticity is the buzzword of the age.
Yet the aim of being authentic involves either conforming to certain social norms or displaying what are presented as faults, but only faults that bring no harm or are not immortal. More like the ways we indulge ourselves.
Church websites will have attractive photos and paragraphs, none of which will really feature a group of people who won’t talk to each other or rosters of various types that struggle to be filled.
Who puts a photo of their uncleaned toilets up as a display of authentic community?
The question to be asked and answered is ‘How is God’s grace manifesting itself in the ugliest of situations here?’
… the kind of authenticity evinced by influencers and self-help gurus is not authenticity at all. We may post a picture of our messy hallway with a caption about getting real, but no one is streaming videos of themselves snapping at their children. The approach is more accurately described as calculated authenticity or curated vulnerability. It is simply the smartest way to sell yourself – namely by appearing not to.
Since a low anthropology allows for hypocrisy and contradiction and frailty, it allows for love.
David Zahl, Low Anthropology, Brazos Press, 2022, pg 157.