Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"Body Piercing Saved My Life"

I'm working on reading this book, about Christian rock, and these are some quotes including some of my thoughts about them...

"Christian bookstores, reasonably, decided to take the path of least resistance--to sell music and artwork that couldn't possibly offend any of their customers--and the Christian music industry was relieved to give the bookstores what they wanted....Their pleasant music had lyrics that rarely strayed from safe themes like gratitude toward Jesus and was an ideal soundtrack for evangelical Christianity's new place in the culture--a refuge from a morally ambivalent world where doubt and relativity ruled." (29) So THAT'S why it can make the claim "safe for the whole family"--because it won't offend. But yet Jesus did not come to bring peace....this goes back to the issue of being in our "comfort zone". How are we supposed to grow if we have our own little cushy area? I admit to listening to mostly "Christian" music, which I mostly decided based on their record label, who they toured with, and if they were at the major Christian festivals. Lately though, I've been expanding my horizons--still watching what I listen to though, reading the lyrics and seeing what they're actually saying....testing them.

"Christan bands were making money, but, artistically, they were often a joke." (32) Uh yeah. Like all the female vocalists that sound the same, and following the trends of the mainstream instead of doing their own thing first. Or just being plain annoying.... "Van Pelt issued an impassioned call to Christian bands to try to surpass general-market bands, not just aim to be as good." (46)

"There's this whole subtle idea behind Christian music that you always have to be telling people about Jesus. It's ludicrous because no one who isn't a Christian would ever want to listen to that music." (34)

"We're Christian by faith, not by genre." (42, Tim Foreman of Switchfoot)

"A weakness of Christian music is that it's a subculture, and it's a smaller goldfish bowl, so mediocrity can be perceived as excellence." (50- Doug van Pelt)

"It's not right for me to judge a band by its religious beliefs, just as it's not right for those bands to beg me to find God." (65)

"I mean, missionaries in Europe are drinking, smoking cigarettes, sharing the Gospel; you know, they still don't die young because they're walking around, exercising, riding a bicycle. Meanwhile, big fat Christian pastors in the South are keeling over at forty-five from heart attacks." (68-Ebel) The thing is moderation, of course.

American exceptionalism--the "idea that our country was called by God to be a shining 'city on a hill'." (87)

"In fact, Mars Hill...was named for a place in Athens where the Apostle Paul used the words of contemporary poets and musicians in an attempt to convert non-Christians." (108). This is talking about the Mars Hill church in Seattle, not the one pastored by Rob Bell in Michigan. Basically, I don't think you can have a one-size-fits-all approach to telling others about Jesus. You can try, but it probably won't always work. Whether it's handing out random Bibles, or whatever, it may not work for everyone. There may be better ways of sharing Jesus's love with individuals.

(Driscoll again) "You ladies live your lives, but...expect your life to be completely interrupted when your husband comes along....Different place, different family, different friends, different." (111) This is a new perspective I've heard. Usually it's to find someone close to you, and to "match" yourself with them kind of a thing.

"Each of these men (Sufjan Stevens and Daniel Smith) has built a bigger audience outside the Christian subculture than within it, even while singing explicitly about faith." (116) I missed something. I guess that goes to show I haven't been picking up on the lyrics too much. Oh well.

"There's no harm in Christians engaging popular culture--in fact, it's 'probably blasphemous' to think there's such a thing as a 'secular molecule in the universe,' since everything is shaped by God" (118, talking about David Dark's lecture)

"Has forming Christian pop culture solved the problem? You're less safe when you think you're safe." (119, Ken Heffner)

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