Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump know exactly how to capitalize on voter restlessness in this year of populist fever (see Robert Westbrook’s article "Populist fever"). Sanders, with his modest lifestyle and self-described “unexciting tax returns,” appears to many young, middle-class people as one of their own. Trump, the billionaire who flies around in his own fleet of jets, hardly resembles the working-class constituents he courts.

Eccentric is among the kinder names Trump’s detractors have assigned to him. He’s a populist who deviates from established norms by violating conventional boundaries, regularly commanding attention through threat and insult adorned with shock value. People who are eccentric, we say, tend to act in strange or unusual ways when it comes to behavioral norms.

Our theological identity can be eccentric too, but in a different way. Borrowing from David Kelsey’s magisterial work Eccentric Existence: A Theological Anthropology, we can imagine what a theological character to our lives looks like by understanding eccentric as something other than behavior.