A Bit More on Contemporary Christian Music

In my last post, I made the case that Contemporary Christian Music (in general) has grown shallow and must tap into the richness of the history of music in the Christian church in order for it to be a force for the gospel in the future.

In the comments, Grant made a succinct and insightful point that is worthy enough to post here:

Classical music, much of it anyway, was church music when it was written. The church used to be a bastion and financier of fine art. What happened!? I see a couple of reasons: a need to be “relevant” and the rise of top 40 CCM radio.

They kind of go hand in hand. Years ago now, Christians had the idea to make church more comfortable for non church-goers. Great idea, but it led to the need to somehow make Christ relevant to the culture (thereby saying Christ isn’t relevant to the human condition?) and we had to have the Christian version of everything. In my opinion, CCM songwriters were strongly tempted to dumb down lyrics to appeal to a wider audience. Then, it became even cooler to be a Christian band who wasn’t a Christian band (i.e. signed to a secular label). This just turned up the pressure on CCM bands and radio stations to really water down a Christ-centered message to make it easier for bands to get into a secular label.

The cycle continues today. The result is music that is neither interesting nor earth-moving. Jesus becomes analogous to our boyfriend and the concept of the true, broken human condition is moved into the shadows.

Life Theology

Jay Cutler, Colin Cowherd, and the Anonymous Commentator

Every now and then I tune into Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio. Most of the time, Cowherd annoys me. Some days, like today, he hits it right on the nose.

Today Cowherd was talking about Jay Culter. If you didn’t know, Jay Cutler, the Bear’s quarterback, did not finish this Sunday’s NFC Championship against the Packers because of a knee injury. People attacked Cutler immediately and questioned his determination and toughness — including many current and former players who Tweeted their opinion.

Current and former football players are one thing (though it is quite hypocritical because they hate when the media assumes things before they can be confirmed). People posting anonymously on message boards are another thing. Cowherd spoke about this and I couldn’t agree with him more.

I’m paraphrasing here, but he basically said, “It’s so easy to hide anonymously on a message board. It’s easy to be tough when you call into a radio show. How many of you would be posting on message boards or calling into my show if you had to tell us your phone number and address? The answer is zero.”

Technology is wonderful for so many reasons. But it also creates cyber soldiers who battle in the shadows, and would never dare step into the light of day for a fair fight.


Piper on How to Break Free From the Addiction to Entertainment

I think that there are more Christians addicted to entertainment than we think (and more than would admit).  I think to some extent, obviously, we are all addicted to entertainment.  Piper offers some thoughts on how to break free from this very common addiction.