• Christianity,  Culture

    Open Letter to Derek Webb

    Frank Turk has given two thorough critiques of Derek Webb’s recent interview with The Huffington Post: “Open Letter” and “Notes”. Turk’s engagement with Webb is not for the faint of heart. He’s pretty tough, though I think also very fair. His critiques and questions are along the lines of the ones I asked earlier this year (see here and here). To give you a sample of Turk’s take on this, I’ll highlight two items. First, Turk criticizes the ironic legalism of moral permisiveness. He writes, “The legalism of permissiveness” is merely license raised to a moral imperative.” This is an insight that you don’t want to miss. Make no mistake,…

  • Christianity

    An Interview with Derek Webb

    I guess I’ve written so much on this blog about Derek Webb that folks feel the need to alert me whenever they hear about him in the news. I’m grateful that they do. A reader recently alerted me to an interview that Derek gave to a Canadian radio host named Drew Marshall. You can download it here or listen to it below. [audio:http://drewmarshall.ca/audio/100626derekwebb.mp3] As you might expect, this interview includes material about Derek’s controversial song “What Matters More” and his recent tour with Jennifer Knapp. Up until this point, Derek has been (at best) unclear about his views on the moral status of homosexuality. This interview isn’t much better, but…

  • Christianity,  Music

    Derek Webb: Clean or Explicit?

    Derek Webb has a new album out, and it comes with a bit of controversy. BeliefNet.com reports the following: ‘Derek Webb’s new album, Stockholm Syndrome, will be released in September in two versions: a clean and explicit version. ‘The controversy surrounds the lyrics to one of the songs, “What Matters More,” in which Webb says apparently the word “sh*t”. In typical Derek Webb fashion, he’s used a bit of shock value to make a point and in the process made his label a little nervous. (And used it all to promote the album.)‘

  • Music

    Derek Webb Reunites with Caedmon’s Call

    I think Caedmon’s Call lost big time when Derek Webb left the band in 2003. Even though the band went on without him, for many fans, it was as if the band had broken up. Caedmon’s Call 1.0 gave way to Caedmon’s call 2.0, and it marked the end of an era of great music. So I’ll bet I’m not the only one who’s happy to hear that Derek is reuniting with the band. Here’s what Cliff Young said in a recent press-release:

  • Culture,  Music,  Theology/Bible

    Derek Webb & CT on “Christian” Music

    Readers of this blog know that Derek Webb and I are not on the same page politically and sometimes theologically (previous posts). Nevertheless, in an interview with Relevant magazine Webb has some salient reflections on the so-called “Christian” music industry. Here are the money lines: The whole secular/Christian thing is a total fiction. Don’t let your local Christian bookstore do your thinking for you and believe that everything they have there for sale is good and spiritually beneficial to you. If anything, we have proven that the Church unfortunately is identified with really poor art. The Church certainly does not have the market cornered on beauty. A lot of what…

  • Culture,  Music,  Politics,  Theology/Bible

    Who’s afraid of Derek Webb? (part 3)

    (Click here for Part 1) (Part 2) As I said in part 2, there is much to commend on Derek’s new album, “Mockingbird.” But as I also indicated there, I will now address some items that I think are not so good. First, pacifism plays a big part on this album. That Derek embraces pacifism as the only Christian alternative comes through loud and clear in the song “My Enemies Are Men Like Me.” I don’t know how else to understand the following lines except as condemnation of anyone who might argue for the possibility of a just war:     peace by way of war is like purity by…

  • Culture,  Music,  Politics,  Theology/Bible

    Who’s afraid of Derek Webb? (part 2)

    (Click here for Part 1) When I got home from the Derek Webb concert on Tuesday night, I shot off a blog that was in protest of what I thought was an overtly left-wing political message on Webb’s new album “Mockingbird.” But I later deleted what I wrote because I came to the conclusion that Derek’s message actually deserved a little more serious consideration than I had given it. So that is why this has turned into a three part series. My initial response, however, was provoked in part by how the concert-goers received Derek’s lefty-friendly message. Consider, for example, the response from the crowd when Derek sang these lines:…

  • Culture,  Music,  Politics,  Theology/Bible

    Who’s afraid of Derek Webb? (part 1)

    I just returned home from a Derek Webb concert. Derek’s venue was the Gypsy Tea Room near downtown Dallas in the area known by locals as Deep Ellum. Deep Ellum used to be the hip part of town, the place where all the young urban twenty-somethings would descend every weekend for dining, music, and club hopping. This once very popular center has declined over the past several years as most of the nightlife has moved to the new and trendy “uptown” area. If you have ever been to a Christian concert, you might have been surprised by this one. When I saw and heard the Marilyn Manson style death-metal band…