Thursday, January 31, 2008

Derek Webb on Christians and Art

The video below is currently on Derek Webb's myspace site. Webb was formerly a member of the CCM band Caedmon's Call and has enjoyed a solo career in recent years. This clip shows him on a program that appears to be called "TN Mornings." He mentions Nashville and it appears to be a local Fox morning show.

Anyway, based upon this interview, it appears that Webb has a similar view on "Christian Art" as I do. I don't think the subject is black and white at all and I know there are all kinds of view on this, but again, my views seem to line up closely here. I would perhaps word things a little differently, but the part of the interview that caught my attention is when Derek says this:

"Every artist has a way they look at the world... and the art that people make... reflects the way they look at the world. Most of what's called "Christian art" or whatever is typically about the most, like, spiritual 2% of stuff. I think we need art about all hundred percent though. I mean, not just transcendent moments, you know, like, worshipful moments and the afterlife. I mean, you know, that's part of it but it's only like 2%. We need Christians writing songs about the government and relationships and family and sexuality and everything... like the other 98% of the stuff..."

(If you watch the video, this part of the interview begins at around the 2:30 mark).

I totally agree with the essence of what is being said here. The way in which I would word things differently would be in a way such as this: "ALL of life is 100% spiritual (including government, relationships, family, sexuality, etc), so we need Christians writing about all 100% of life."

I totally get what he is saying, though, and again I fully agree with the gist of what he's getting at. We worship God. We praise Him. We love Him. We honor Him. It's great to sings songs about Him. But every single detail of our lives is lived in HIM, and if it's on an artist's heart to sing, write, draw, imagine, think, paint, perform, dramatize, film, etc, etc, etc, then that artist should just DO IT! It doesn't have to have a "Christian" theme to be "Christian." It doesn't have to be a presentation of the gospel in order to be part of the 100% of our lives in Christ.

Agree? Disagree? Anything to add?


  1. I completely agree. Honestly, I dislike most Christian music. It all seems the same..especially the contemporary stuff. It's all basically the same words rearranged. It's very boring and icky. I dislike most of it.

    I mostly listen to the few Christian artists who sound sincere and secular music. I like adding mystery to the song without all the churchy words, if that makes sense lol.

  2. Daelon,

    I'm pretty much the same. There are quite a few songs on Christian radio that I like, but they're definitely outnumbered by songs I don't like. Like you, I want genuine music, not syrupy or sappy, not refurbished. I hate to be too much of a critic, but I can tell when a song is put together well and I can tell when it's put together in a way that's meant to get it on the radio.

    Anyway, my tastes are constantly changing, and I guess that's a good thing!