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As promised, here is my final (for now) installment of the Defining Christian Music series, a list of links to relevant blog posts, articles, movies, sermons, and books on the topic.

If you know of any more, please add a link in the comments.  Some day, I will read all of these in one sitting, and my head will literally explode with all there is to know about “Christian Music.”  I’ll be sure to take a video and put it up on YouTube for everyone.

Without any further ado (What the heck is an ado?), here is the list you’ve all been waiting for:

Movies
Danielson: a Family Movie

Blog Posts
What Qualifies as Christian Music?
Paul Tillich’s Theology of Indie Rock
Worship Wars
Christian (Fill in the Blank)
Defining Christian Music (wow, a shameless plug for my blog on my blog)

Blog Posts by Brent at Colossians Three Sixteen
Who Says What’s Christian Music?
Who Says What’s Christian Music? (Part Two)
Misplaced Boundaries
“Engage” by Being
“Christian” Rock, Sincerity, and “Engage” by Being, Part Two
How to Think Biblically About Christian Music (posted at Said at Southern)

Articles
What is Christian Music? by Terry B. Ewell of West Virginia University
Defining? Or Discerning? by Russ Breimeier
Glimpses of God in Seven Swans by Andree Farias
God Music or Good Music? by Drew Dixon

Books
Body Piercing Saved My Life by Andrew Beaujon
Simplicity by Mark Solomon
Walking on Water by Madeline L’Engle
Faith, God and Rock & Roll by Mark Joseph
Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music by Jeremy Begbie

Sermons
Cultural Evangelism: Acts 17 by Mike Feather (5-27-2007)

So, like I said, add your own links to books, articles, blogs, sermons, movies, whatever, as long as it’s related to defining “Christian” music.

Thanks for reading my posts, and I hope I provoked you to think of things in a new way, even if I left you as confused as myself on the subject.

I’m ready to close (for now) my series on Defining Christian Music, with a few last posts to summarize where I’m at.  I definitely haven’t come to any real lasting conclusions, but I’ve realized a few things (I think).  I haven’t had the chance to research things like I really wanted to do, so I’ll probably revisit the topic at a later date, after I can read and think some more.

But, at this point, here’s a few things I do know:

1. Whatever the term “Christian Music” means or should mean, Marilyn Manson does not qualify.
2. The “Christian Music Scene” is a lot of times neither Christian nor musical.
3. Defining “Christian Music” opens up a whole lot of problems, and even more questions.
4. Phillips, Craig, and Dean are heretics, whether they make “Christian Music” or not. (I really enjoy picking on these guys, probably more than I should.)
5. Christianity encompasses all of life, not just the “hyper-spiritual” God moments, and music by Christians should reflect this.
6. “Rawk Fist” by Thousand Foot Krutch is no more Christian than “We Will Rock You” by Queen.
7. The “Christian Music Scene” is largely ineffective in reaching beyond the Christian culture.
8. Though I want to (and probably will) delete the terms “Christian Music” and “Christian Musician” from my vocabulary, I haven’t found satisfactory terms to replace them yet.
9. It was dumb to start the first Christian Music Superbowl at a time when I’ve decided to delete the term “Christian Music” from my vocabulary.
10. Every list needs at least 10 points to sound official.  See?  Adding this last point really made me sound important, didn’t it?

Next Thursday I’ll put up the final post on “Defining Christian Music” with a list of books, articles, sermons, videos, and blogs to check out, in case you’re interested in researching the topic a little more.

Continuing on with my series on Defining Christian Music, today, I want to look at what’s wrong with the term “Christian musician.”  This will be a short post, mostly questions, so be prepared to make up for its shortness by lots of comments.

This is something that really annoys me.  I get it that the term “Christian Music” is problematic, but why do so many artists have a problem with being called “Christian musicians?”

And I’m not just ranting either.  I really want to know why people have a problem with it.

I doubt a Buddhist who plays music for a living would be offended if I called them a Buddhist musician, yet many Christians who do the same react strongly against being called Christian musicians.  Why?  I honestly don’t get it.  If you’re a Christian and you’re making music, aren’t you a Christian musician?

Why are people so freaked out to be called “Christian musicians” or “Christian artists?”  I worked at a hotel in college and I wouldn’t have been offended to be labelled a Christian housekeeper.  However, I would have been pretty ticked if you called me a Christian maid.  Totally different territory there.

Please share your thoughts.  Does the term “Christian musician” need to be revised as well?  Are there good, logical reasons that people don’t like that label?

Back again with another post on Defining Christian Music!

Check out my previous posts to get up-to-date, but basically I’ve decided that I don’t like the term “Christian Music.”  There are a lot of things that bother me about it, but my main reason for not liking it is that it implies the music is not only by Christians (which I’m fine with) but also exclusively for Christians (which I’m not fine with).  So, I don’t like the term as it is, and this post is about what to do about it.

I know it’s sort of dumb to be deciding I don’t want to use the term “Christian Music” anymore right in the midst of Christian Music Superbowl I, but, like I said, I don’t like it but I need to figure out what to do about that.

Read the rest of this entry »

I’m back with another post on Defining Christian Music.  I’m starting to get overloaded / bored with the whole idea, but I still have a few articles I want to put up for discussion, including this one.

Whether you like the term or hate it, you’ve gotta admit that “Christian Music” is a loaded term.  It carries a lot of baggage.  It’s sort of like, back in the day, when you’d say “jazz music” and it meant loose morals, drinking, smoking, and sex before marriage.  The term “Christian Music” has it’s own set of stereotypes that go along with it that are, honestly, damaging to the musicians.

Read the rest of this entry »

I hate the internet.  I just spent over an hour typing out my post and then it just disappeared.  I just want to slap Al Gore for even inventing it.

Well, here it goes again…

Last week, I discussed the idea of Christian music and proposed that perhaps the whole thing didn’t even matter.  Maybe the faith of the artists is irrelevent.  I came to the conclusion that, for myself, I want to know what the musicians believe, partly out of curiosity and partly so I know how to interpret the songs.  I’ll still listen to you if you’re not a Christian, but I like to know that.

Since I’ve decided it’s important to me to know the beliefs of people who create music, now I want to discuss the term “Christian music” itself.  There was a time when I understood what those two little words meant when put next to each other, but now that I’ve entered the world of indie music and Sufjan Stevens has shocked everybody with his overtly Christian songs, I don’t know a thing.  Indie fans are inherently skeptical of Christianity and many Christian indie artists don’t want their beliefs critiqued by the world, so they shy away from identification with the Christian music scene.  Read a little about it here in an interview with Sufjan Stevens.  [Note: I just realized I gave you the wrong link.  This link is to a review of Seven Swans.  I can’t find the original interview I had in mind to post here, but this review has some good information about the topic at hand anyway.]

Read the rest of this entry »

For the past six months or so, I’ve been strugging with the concept of defining what “Christian Music” is.  Is Christian Music everything that CCM tells me is Christian Music?  Is it anything I’d hear on a Christian radio station?  Is it any music that mentions Jesus, God, or the devil?  Is it music that proclaims a Christian worldview, however subtle?  What is it?

This issue of defining Christian Music didn’t really become important until I started The Blah Blah.  When you’ve got a blog with a tagline – “A Christian Music MP3 Blog,” it’s kind of important to know what is meant by the term “Christian Music.”

For the next few Thursdays, I’ll be posting various opposing views on Christian Music, with the goal of bringing something of an idea of what is meant by the whole thing.  Since I don’t know what I believe yet, most of the opposing views will come from myself, but I hope to have some guest posters give their input as well.

Read the rest of this entry »

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