Friday, September 19, 2008
9/19/2008 10:46:00 PM

Heroism-a very subtle way of linking my blogging habits to those of another blogger I admire.

You know, I heard how a certain seminary president, whom I admire, generally gets between 4 and 6 hours of sleep a night. Yet while he is wake, he reads voraciously (by most men's standards), writes regularly, hosts a nationally syndicated radio show, and still does all of the duties related to being a seminary president, and this does not even take into account his personal life. I say all of that not to draw attention to the man (who is in my blog roll in case you don't already know who he is), but just to link it to my personal desire, by God's grace, to aspire to some of these habits and accomplishments he has had in his life. Well, I think the sleeping part of it is at least present in my life.

Tonight I had the blessing of going to a concernt unexpectedly. There are very few concerts I would pay money to go to, much less plan extensively to attend; yet free concerts, provided I enjoy the musicians and the music, are events I'll gladly attend. Not only were the tickets free, but they were pretty good seats as the viewing standard goes. The artists headlining the show were Switchfoot and Third Day.

What struck me about the show (and what is to be the subject matter of this post) was how vague and general were Switchfoot's comments about and references to the Gospel. In fact, there weren't really any clear links to Christ, mentionings of His cross, resurrection, or the gift of Himself. While I enjoyed the hit songs I always liked (which are the only ones I've ever liked by them for that matter), something felt sorely missing.

Fortunately, this feeling did not last long. One of the first songs Third Day played was "Creed," which sings of many of the critical elements and facets of the Gospel as well as the teaching of Scripture. They also sang "God of Wonders," and to top it all off, they made several direct statements about Christ and who He is. While I've never been crazy about Third Day's music, I was thoroughly refreshed by the centrality of Christ in their set, particularly the song aforementioned.

Now a surface reading of my post here could make it sound like I'm merely praising Third Day while condemning Switchfoot. That is not in any way my intention, although I suppose I can't completely escape these actions altogether. My purpose here is to simply reflect on how much Christ is really being exalted, and how central and clear is the Gospel within the music of bands that are supposedly and purportedly Christian.

Years ago I would looked at such critical reflection, even what may only appear to be like it, to be wrongly judgmental. The difference between being purely judgmental, emptily pointing fingers, and what I'm doing is simply stated. The former seeks to criticize purely out of tradition and matters of practice. What I am doing is noting my hope to see that which is most valuable, namely Christ, and all of the Gospel which He embodies and brings, be central among those who are purportedly His people. Are there many more artists I ought to consider before making any kind of overarching conclusion? Of course. But if tonight's concert was any indication of what's going on in the world of Christian music, I hope more bands and singers will be like Third Day. Amen.


Kirsi said...

i completely agree. i was at that concert as well and i made some comments to my friends about how i felt that switchfoot's comments weren't even enough to lead people to the gospel. if they stayed for third day then yes, but my friends kept saying "well they dont want to turn anyone off because of what they say". but it seems to me that it is necessary to do so, otherwise they are not being faithful witnesses. how can people know if we don't tell them?

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