Yes, We Can Make the Case for Christianity with Music

At the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, we often talk about the importance of worldview. Each of us, as Christians, ought to allow our Christian beliefs to shape the way we think about every aspect of life, including the way we consider notions of beauty and artistic expression. That’s why I was delighted to hear about a new concept album from Aryn Michelle, a Christian pop and alternative rock artist. Aryn just released a series of songs (in a collection called The Realist Thing) inspired by William Lane Craig’s book, Reasonable Faith. That’s right, an apologetics album of sorts, walking through “several philosophical arguments for the existence of God and the primary evidences for Jesus Christ as his son.” Sounds interesting, right? Aryn agreed to let me interview her about this groundbreaking effort:

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Post-Christian Pop-Culture?

I have more questions than answers. My mission for the past few years has been to bring Christians across a bridge between church and culture, to recognize the holy in unexpected places. Lately, however, I feel all our efforts to rescue people over the bridge weren’t fast enough.

I recently called a publicist for a popular band coming out with a new album in September. Two of the band’s members used to be in a group under a Christian label. However, their current band is signed to a mainstream company with a mainstream following though many of their songs weave deep biblical themes throughout them. When asking for an interview on behalf of a Christian publication the publicist answered, “Look, I like you guys, but the boys in the band have decided not to take any press from Christian media outlets. Once Christians are under the impression that you’re a Christian band, they sink themselves into it, they start having these certain expectations for you, and it’s literally impossible to get out.”
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What is Christian Art anyway?

One of the ideas I’ve grappled with over the years is, What is Christian art?  I mean, what makes an artistic expression like music or drama or dance uniquely Christian?  What does that term mean anyway?  And I’ve come to the conclusion that it isn’t necessarily anything that has Christian symbolism or religious themes or doves and crosses.  More than anything, Christian art must begin to reflect the overarching story of God, the Meta-Narrative, that our Triune God is in the process of redeeming that which has fallen, that which He had created, that which He loves.

The story of all that is, is the story of God.  He takes His pen in hand to write this story: Creation, Fall, Redemption.  All of history, all of the Bible, all of what was and is and will be, reflects this three act play of Creation, Fall, and Redemption, that God is writing in the universe.

But that’s not all.  He writes this story in our souls as well.  For all of us have our own stories, our own vignettes of how God’s grace has saved us, changes us.  And our stories enter into His larger story of the redemption of the universe.

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MIA Wins Her First Dove Award: Non-Christian Hip Hop category.

In a stunning turn of events, the Hip Hop star MIA recently won a Dove Award in the new category: non-Christian Hip Hop. Her song, 20 Dollar, was played in her honor, but incited the audience to run out of the auditorium screaming in fear. Miss MIA, who did not attend the award ceremony, was very surprised to have won, as she had never heard of the Dove awards. Deep breath. Then I woke up. 

I’ve been listening to MIA a lot lately. You heard some of her music in Slum Dog Millionaire. She is a young refugee from Sri Lanka, where her father was part of the Tamil Tiger movement. She and her family fled to London and she eventually ended up in Brooklyn. Her music has coarse edges, while artistically blending cultures, styles, and beats. Her lyrics usually touch topics that are far removed from most of our lives, such as poverty, African war, and the life of refugees. As I sat on the swaying subway with MIA rapping in my ears, I started to wonder. Why don’t churches and Christian radio stations play MIA? Isn’t God all about the outcast? The poor? “The least of these?” Could He be sick of me singing songs in church  . . . about me? Wouldn’t He love for us to be thinking about what He thinks about?

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The Best Christian Album Art...Ever

Believe it or not, I do get paid to do my job here at Conversant. And I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't share the following with you. If you're a follower of Christ, it's your duty to know you too have the right to get down and funky with the Lord, as long as it's "Christian Music" like some of these real albums that follow: 

 

I want this suit. 

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