Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Culture and religion...impossible to tease apart, as they should be. We express our faith through the cultural means available to us, whether that be a medieval lute, paint on plaster, Aristotelean logic, monarchical concepts of society, chords on a bass, or symbols on a toe ring. It's what we do.

But what is problematic about the CBA market (and probably about some aspects of the more liturgical church markets as well, but not so much) is the cravenness and obviousness of so much of it. Sure, if people are into music of a certain style, it makes perfect sense for Christians to set their own words to that style of music. What else are we supposed to do? But there is something else at work in all of this and it is the profit motive, pure and simple. Publishers are businesses, so they want to profit, they want to make what is going to they will follow the secular trends, baptize them, repackage them and put them in stores to be played on your stereo or worn on your toe. So? Well, so nothing, because sure, if you want to wear a toe ring with a icthus on it, fabulous. I might even do it. But there is something about the relationship between supposed evangelism, a reflexive adaptation of secular pop culture and social trends, and commerce that adds up to something less than organic, something less than an innocent and solidly-grounded fulfillment of the Great Commission.