Once More Into the Breach

Finding Nonsense and Beating it Sensible

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I used to watch TV news and yell at the box. Now I jump up from the couch, sit at the computer and begin to type laughing maniacally saying "Wait until they read this." It's more fun than squashing tadpoles

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Larry Norman Dies

Larry Norman was the pioneer of Christian Rock. In 1978 he suffered serious injury in a plane crash that contributed to his early death.

The emergence of Christian Rock caused a stir in religious circles that persists to some extent today. Larry's music was directed toward people who were not Christians in an effort to spread the good news of God's redemption. The religious establishment wanted him to write for them. His reply that he did not wish to bring the gospel to the converted summed up the essence of the controversy.

Somehow the style of music rises above the message. Such inverted priorities are a hallmark of religion as opposed to a relationship with God. There are plenty of traditional gospel songs with words that fall short of the gospel message or the worship of God. There is no reason they should hold a superior rank over a different style that has a more worthy message.

I like many forms of music. I prefer the rock style but the words have to exalt God above all things for me to enjoy it. I must confess that I cannot listen to Christian Rap/Hip Hop. I'm sure the message in much of that is good, I just can't stand listening to it long enough to hear it but that is just me. To dismiss it as Devil's music would commit the same error as those who condemn rock. Larry Norman led the way in combating such attitudes but paid a personal price for having done so. A price I think he gladly accepted.

His final message to all who knew and appreciated him was this.

"I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God's hand reaching down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds are getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home. I won't be here much longer. I can't do anything about it. My heart is too weak. I want to say goodbye to everyone. In the past you have generously supported me with prayer and finance and we will probably still need financial help. My plan is to be buried in a simple pine box with some flowers inside. I'd like to push back the darkness with my bravest effort. There will be funeral information posted on my website, in case some of you want to attend. We are not sure of the date when I will die. Goodbye, farewell, we will meet again."

"Goodbye, farewell, we'll meet again
Somewhere beyond the sky.
I pray that you will stay with God
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye."

My favorite line from his songs is this:

Jesus is the Rock
And He rolled my blues away


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