Thursday, January 18, 2007

MUSIC: part 1(A brief personal history)

One of my favorite things in life is music. I have liked it ever since I got my first Petra tape (which Mom later threw away because she thought it was of the devil.) Since then, my views on music have definitely morphed. During junior high, Jesus found me and I got rid of all of my AC/DC and NWA tapes and all of my secular music. I got heavy into Petra, MWS, and the oldies radio. During high school I dated a girl whose dad played in a bar band and she introduced me to people like James Taylor and John Denver. They seemed tame enough. That is pretty much how it was until college. At Taylor I met people like Mike Wooten, Mike McGowan, Ben Arendt and others who were listening to music like Johnny Cash, Harrod and Funck, Smashing Pumpkins, and Counting Crows. All these friends of mine seemed to love Jesus. It was a quandary.

When I started to work at Calvin College all of these questions seemed to be answered or at least the struggle was given new language. One of their favorite theologians, Abraham Kuyper, put it this way. “In the total expanse of human life there is not a single square inch of which the Christ, who alone is sovereign,does not declare,'That is mine!'” This would include art and culture and at Calvin College it definitely did. They have one of the best concert series of any college in the country--"Christian" music and everything else.

Today my musical tastes have broadened and yet maintained. The thread I would draw through all of the music I listen to, from Springsteen to Blackalicious, is a relatability. I have to be able to relate to the expression of the artist. That is often a story of redemption, a feeling of mourning or lament, worship, joy, love. Its like getting a new toy for Christmas when I find one of these things in the artists to whom I listen.

Stay tuned for the next installment of MUSIC, where I'll explore Michael Card, one of my favorite artists.


Gregg said...

Petra, along with Stryper, truly walk a fine line between heaven and hell.

Also, I haven't heard "Harrod and Funck" since my early Taylor years. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Mom stooped even lower than I had previously thought...I have a vivide memory of mom popping my Bon Jovi tape out of the car cassette player, rolling down the window, and tossing it to the wind. I haven't been the same since.

Michael Krahn said...


I recognize all those CCM artists. Good old Petra and MWS.

Found you through google blog search because you mentioned Counting Crows so I assume you are a fan. I did some writing about the band recently which I’m putting up on my blog in 5 parts.

Check it out if you want to: