Christianity,  Music

Derek Webb’s Ode to Deconstruction

I recently saw that Derek Webb has released a new album titled “The Jesus Hypothesis.” Webb famously walked away from the Christian faith several years ago. Nevertheless, he claims on his website that “The Jesus Hypothesis” is his first “Christian & Gospel” album in ten years.

You don’t have to listen very far into the playlist to discover that it is not “Christian & Gospel” at all. Yes, the subject matter is Christianity and the gospel, but it’s all about how Webb has rejected both.

In his song “God in Drag,” Webb hijacks Jesus’ language from the Sermon on the Mount, “You have heard that it was said… but I say unto you” and puts into the service of his own deconstruction narrative. He sings, “You’ve heard it said…” that man is fallen and that Jesus is the only way to be saved, “but I say unto you you’re beautiful and free.” And he goes on like this using Jesus’ words to deny the essential truths of the faith.

In another song titled “Boys Will Be Girls,” Derek sings a duet with a drag queen who goes by the name Flamy Grant. It’s a celebration of transgender identities, including drag queens, and a rebuke of Christians who will not affirm them:

I’ve heard Jesus loved and spent his life with those who were abandoned by proud and fearful men.

So if a church won’t celebrate and love you, they’re believing lies that can’t save even them.

And he goes on and on like this. The songs are essentially an ode to deconstruction and renouncing the faith once for all delivered to the saints. It is grievous beyond description.

Perhaps the worst thing about the whole project is that he is marketing this darkness to Christians by claiming that it is his first “Christian & Gospel” album in a decade. But it is nothing at all like the Christian music he used to sing. Not by a longshot.

It is most grievous to leave Christ and deconstruct. But it is pathetic to remain dependent upon the people of God to buy and consume your heretical products. But that appears to be what is going on here, and I don’t think it takes much discernment to see this for what it is.

Long time readers of this site will remember that I was once a huge fan of Derek Webb’s music. That music is lost to me now. And I’m not just talking about his most recent fare. I’m talking about all of the old stuff that I grew to love so much. It has become very difficult to listen to any of it now because of what has happened. The lyrics and the music come across as though from someone either deeply cynical or deeply lost. Maybe both.

I don’t pretend to know what is going on his heart either now or 30 years ago when I first became a fan. How could I know? We aren’t personal friends and never have been. I just know that I grieve not merely losing some music but losing him (1 John 2:19).