First off, just give me honest feedback if I’ve been picking on Christian music too much lately.
If you frequent certain blogs these days you’ll often discover Christian remixes of pop songs – meaning the music and the melody are the same of that top 40 radio hit but new clever religious lyrics are substituted. Suddenly the lyricist’s “baby” is actually Jesus and the song sounds more like an explanation of the Romans Road than a tale of love and loss.
(I’m not saying what they’re doing is wrong. Their parodies merely got me thinking about a larger trend).
Not just with “Christian remixes” but in Christian music as a whole – subtly is seldom used. Rather it’s blatant and obvious – there is no ambiguity or mystery and there is little art of poetry save basic rhyming.
I’ve found the Christian books I enjoy the most are the ones not written as simply extended sermons or as quasi-dissertations – but the ones that read more like a collection of stories, the ones that read more like poetry than a typed debate. I just finished a book last night that took me 4 months to get through because it was so dry – however give me a book by by Anne Lamott or Sara Miles and I’ll stay up late every night digesting them.
I think poetry is a lost art in Christianity right now – it’s been overruled by blatancy. I’ll admit I perpetuate this. I’ve been wanting to find a different way to communicate on this blog – a more creative way than just writing essays. I obviously didn’t start today, in spite of this post.
I’m sure some could take issue with me judging art – though sometimes Christian music doesn’t feel like art – it feels like theology and religious agenda transposed over an art medium. And somehow in that transposing the soul seems to have been left out.
Naturally these are generalizations and are not all inclusive. There are some notable exceptions of Christians who make music that is much more covert and poetic. And guess what – those are the often the ones that get chosen to break into the mainstream market (and then once they get there Christians complain they aren’t taking a stand, that they’re wimping out and not proclaiming the gospel boldly.)
Grace is best described in a poetic way, not through systematic descriptions. How do you write about a beautiful thing? Certainly not with bullet points.
As always please don’t read what I’m not saying. In this case, I’m not saying we should stop being blatant altogether and only speak in subtlety. Rather I’m merely suggesting that we may benefit from being a little more artful in our delivery. This is why Jesus chose parables rather than explaining doctrine – as doctrine often doesn’t have the capacity to break the shell around the heart.