The Common Good
March-April 1999

Scapegoating Christian Musicians

by Lance Bledsoe | March-April 1999

WHILE SUSAN Hogan/Albach's article on the shortcomings of contemporary Christian music
("High Fidelity Faith," January-February 1999) contained some valid points, I
confess that I ...

WHILE SUSAN Hogan/Albach's article on the shortcomings of contemporary Christian music ("High Fidelity Faith," January-February 1999) contained some valid points, I confess that I find the whole entertainer-as-deficient-role-model theme to be rather tiresome. Entertainers make such easy scapegoats for our concerns about our children's spiritual development. Our children, like us, have many role models, only some of whom are entertainers. Luckily we don't have to depend on any one person to be the only model of the faithful Christian life for our children.

Regarding the relative superficiality of some Christian lyrics, the fact that the average Christian pop song is only three to five minutes long, rhymes, and is set to music means it may not achieve the same theological depth as the average seminary text, or even the average Sojourners article. But it seems unnecessarily demanding to expect that it would. After all, you can't hum along with Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship, but that doesn't lessen its impact; it was written for a different purpose.

Let's not forget what Christian musicians do so well: provide contemporary youth with examples of Christians who are young, cool, and not ashamed to call themselves "Jesus Freaks." I have a hard time finding many faults with that.

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