Friday, June 02, 2006

Christian Music

I just had a thought while at work (slow day in the admissions office...and I didn't bring my sermon with me to work on, nor any of my reading because I thought I'd be swamped...grrr....). The radio was on in the office and I started thinking about how the vast majority of Christians I know here at Drew don't listen to Christian music -- they listen to secular music. I wondered why exactly that is, and I had a thought that I think might explain at least part of it.

Most Christian music spouts a very particular brand of theology, i.e., not mainline Protestant. Most Christian music lies firmly in the evangelical sphere, and there are very few bands that address God with a more mainline Protestant framework in mind. Jars of Clay is one of the few bands that come to mind. But most groups are content to use contrite, cliche lyrics when speaking about God rather than talk about human experience. And when the human experience is addressed, it, too, comes off as lyrically boring and musically uninteresting.

Secular music, on the other hand, deals pretty exclusively with the human experience, and tends to do so in a way that has more musical integrity. There have been times when I've been home when I switched off WMSJ because of the music in search of something more interesting.

So I wonder what would happen if there were more Christian artists grounded in human reality? Or...more Christian artists geared specifically toward Mainline Protestant theology? One that isn't so "oh, you saved me God from the fiery pits of hell, and now I'm so happy, I could dance and sing and laugh forever and ever"? There's a place for that type of expression in Christian music, certainly. I simply don't want a steady diet of it.

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