Friday, August 03, 2007


Where did Christian rock come from? From the Jesus freaks, of course:
The Christian embrace of hip youth scenes can be traced, like so much, to the cultural ferment of the 1960s. Given that we are all weathering a Summer of Love flashback, it might spice up the tired images of the Haight Ashbury rebels to realize that a few of them were Christians. These mystic hippies sparked the mass Jesus People movement, which injected a distinctly Christian feeling for love and apocalypse into a counterculture already up to its mala beads in love and apocalypse. By the early 1970s, a new Jesus had hit the American mind—communal, earthy, spontaneous, anti-establishment. And this Jesus continued to transform American worship long after the patchouli wore off, inspiring a more informal and contemporary style of communion and celebration that, while holding true to core principles, unbuckled the Bible Belt from American Christian life.
There are some ways in which that influence can be good. I'm sure one could trace attitudes from that period that helped break down many of the old denominational allegiances and loyalties that had a negative affect on religious thinking. That itself is a two-edged sword, of course. It often leads to a sort of antinomianism that makes every man a law to himself. And this, regrettably, is where our religious culture has traveled to in many ways.

(Thanks to Theosebes reader Mitch for the link.)

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