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Over at Mere Orthodoxy, Jake Meador and Alastair Roberts hold a wide ranging conversation on Lent and Evangelical individualism that includes this insightful critique:

[I]n this enthusiasm for recovering elements of the tradition, there has often been a noticeable absence of any enthusiasm for the functioning of tradition more broadly. As I have noted in the past, for many evangelicals the tradition can function in a similar way as the thrift store functions for the stereotypical hipster—as a source for an affected ‘vintage’ identity, rather than as a living set of practices to whose moulding power we submit. We don’t want to be subject to the tradition and its formation, but want to cannibalize it for our own formation. Along these lines, perhaps we should ask to what extent the observance of Lent is accompanied by an observance of other fasts and feasts of the Church calendar. 

Roberts goes on to make the point that, while it was a sign of conformity for his great-grandfather to wear a hat, if he wears one today, it will be seen as a form of self-expression. In similar fashion, he writes, “‘Liturgy’ is often less about common worship than it is about personal aesthetics.”

There is much in the rest of the piece that is worth your time.

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