Christian Music Redux

Thanks to Lois for sharing this essay with me, since I recently blogged about Christian music.

I was surprised to learn of the huge growth in the Christian music marketshare, but I certainly can appreciate the author’s interpretation of why – it gives hope and encouragement.  I worry that marginal Christians will be led to think they understand their faith and are engaged in it even if they don’t go to church because they listen to Christian music.  From the perspective of providing hope and encouragement that music may indeed be very helpful, but understanding the context of that hope and encouragement is even more important.  The Christian faith isn’t simply about making me feel good no matter what – it is very specific Good News that centers on the person and work of Jesus the Christ as the Son of God.  Feeling good is not the same as salvation.  Feeling encouraged is not the same thing as justification.

I like the author’s openness to hearing a broader cross-section of theological music. Because if the world is full of judgment, then we need to know how to deal with it other than just tuning it out.  Christianity is all about judgment, but certainly not on the terms or by the rules the world works with.

As with most things, peppy Christian music has a place and a function.  So long as we don’t pretend that it is representative of Christian theology in a full sense, I’m glad that people are enjoying it, and pray that some people are drawn to learn more about this Jesus guy that so many people are singing about and to.  That’s really encouraging, really hopeful, truly Good News.

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