Monday, June 20, 2005

Bad Preaching and Bad Art

Thanks to Beth at U2Sermons for this quote:
"Trying to change the way art itself works, for the sake of the so-called 'service of the Gospel,' just does a disservice to both. Art is a terrible preacher. If you want to preach, be a preacher. When you try to force art to preach, you get bad preaching and you get bad art." --Colin Harbinson at the Rencontre Europeene d'Artistes, Paris, June 2005

This speaks to much of the issue of CCM that I’ve referred to more than once on this blog. This is one reason why I prefer worship music to CCM lately – the artistry of worship music is in it’s appropriateness to worship where CCM is often made with an eye toward evangelism. I think that what happens is little evangelism but we get a lot of people who are already in the faith listening to the music because it makes them feel good.

There are, of course, some bright spots on the CCM scene but a couple of them have left – Phil Keaggy and Charlie Peacock to mention two of them. I also like the stuff that Jars of Clay and Watermark have done. But these aren’t the people who get on CCM radio. This also speaks to why I’m so moved lately by the music of U2, David Wilcox, Over the Rhine, Sandra McCracken, Ric Hordinski and others. There is a lot of good stuff out there that is worth pursuing.

There is also a lot of excellent worship music being written lately - and I'm not just referring to the plethora of Praise and Worship music that is being sold in Christian Book Stores. I'm thinking at least as much of the music that is being written in the Iona community by John Bell, by the music of New Yorker Jorge Lockward, the Reformed University Fellowship community in Nashville lead by Kevin Twit and by other modern hymn writers who are doing remarkable things in worship music.

By the way, I’m presently reading A More Profound Alleluia edited by Leanne Van Dyke and I’m really enjoying it – comments on that later.

Also look here or here to see a picture of my father's day cake

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