Yes, it's a reboot of an older post of mine, but it has a few new things to say. For the main meat of the post, you're going to want to check out the link above: Then come back here to read my follow-up.
I've heard a lot of the critiques of Christian music--from my good friend and archnemesis Alishia Lawman asking if the music had accepted Jesus into its heart, to the more serious accusation from many people at Biola of generally crappy quality compared to secular music. Bad Catholic's "Five Reasons to Kill Christian Music" is possibly the only post of his that I can absolutely disagree with on all counts.
Because at bottom, most critiques of "Christian Music" are actually critiques of bad Christian Music. They critique the faulty theology of particular songs, or the inferior musical or lyrical quality of certain songs. They critique the act of calling it "Christian Music," or they say that by labeling it as such, it makes certain implications about music that doesn't qualify itself as "Christian."
These critiques are all fairly easy to counter. Many songs espouse completely orthodox theology, and many songs actually go deeper into that theology than you might hear on a Sunday morning. Many songs are objectively good musical compositions. And the fact of the matter is, labels are nothing more than shorthand, for better and for worse, so the last accusation falls flat on its face (except for the somewhat silly Christians who object to music not on the grounds of lewdness or coarseness, but merely on the grounds of it not being Christian... I'll give you guys that one).
So what kind of Christian Music am I talking about in the above post? What is the label short for? Here it is: "Music containing lyrics that attempt to explicitly express specifically Christian theology without compromising the musical quality of the song as a whole."
I gave just one example in the above post at EO (here it is again). I'll give you one more:
Anna and I read a book, called The Fault in our Stars, by John Green (one of Anna's Youtubers that she watches regularly). Green's novels are notorious (to me) for taking place in a twisted, hopeless world, where the protagonists eventually arrive at a Christian hope without first passing through Christianity, an impressive feat indeed. The Fault in our Stars follows two teenagers, both diagnosed with terminal cancer, as they fall in love, and it ends (spoiler alert) with one of them dying. The theme, throughout the whole book, is that of an explicitly uncaring universe, rivaling that of Farewell to Arms. The universe catches people up in its gears, grinds them up, and spits them out, all without caring one little bit.
And then, just a couple days after we read the book, we were driving somewhere listening (as we always do in my car) to my Christian Music. Today, it was Supertones day, and as were listening to Like No One Else, Anna suddenly leaned forward and said, "This answers it... this is the answer to The Fault in our Stars." It was the bridge, which says,
"Every time I shed a tear, it matters, it matters,
Every time I'm cold with fear, it matters, it matters,
When I got a broken heart, it matters, it matters,
Every time I fall apart, it matters, it matters,
When I think I'm all alone, on the road or when at home,
Every time I have to sneeze, every single breath I breathe,
When I'm in a dentist's chair, it matters, it matters,
Anywhere and everywhere, it matters, it matters."
Anna was right. This is the answer to The Fault in our Stars. This is the faith that defies the nihilism of the honestly atheist world. This is the faith that defies and comforts those who insist that nobody cares, that nobody understands. This is Christian theology, put to song, and if you think it shouldn't have been, then I want to fight you.