procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Friday, September 15, 2006

eschatology and music (and angels!)

having read many a blog (drew et al) as well as articles suach as in the case magazine, and also seeing as drew's blog is inaccessible to simpletons such as myself (beta what?), i thought i'd make my response here!
Drew was commenting more specifically on U2, who claim to be Christian.
Nick Cave's claims, on the other hand, are not so straightforward. Having written the introduction to the book of Mark seems to have been more of a pop-culture-hook than embracing a fellow Christian with a common faith in a common God, the God of the Bible.
His eschatology is indeed quite sketchy, with a view few Christians would agree with.

But Drew's point about what i shall call 'osmosis' of spirituality, is something that quite intrigues me.
One of my favourite artists, Ben Harper, has some interesting thoughts in his music, yet is quite inconsistent with his thoughts when it comes to eschatology.

for example this section from waiting on an angel:
    So speak kind to a stranger
    cause you'll never know
    it just might be an angel come
    knockin' at your door
    knockin' at your door
    And I'm waiting on an angel
    and I know it won't be long
    to find myself a resting place
    in my angel's arms
    in my angel's arms
    Waiting on an angel
    one to carry me home
    hope you come to see me soon
    cause I don't want to go alone

this includes almost a direct quote from Hebrews 13:2,
    Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

but where does he get this idea of an angel being the one to take him home from?
The closest i can find is in 2 Kings 2, where Elisha is taken up, but by a whirlwind; in 1 Thessalonians 4 when Jesus arrives, with the voice of an archangel (not with an archangel), the dead in Christ will rise, then we who are left will be caught up together with them.
The whole idea of angel worship is something we in the west are very guilty of, Ben Harper not excluded.
Although there are many things angels do do, ascribing random things like this to them shows the lask of biblical theology involved by many a songwriter (robbie williams be warned - not least for other reasons!).

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Blogger drew said...

Thanks doug,

interesting point. I try not to indulge in speculation about U2 either - just try and read what's in the lyrics. I think it does hang together, but it's dangerous to try and use that to say anything meaningful about someone's 'life'. Nor are my posts meant to be 'sermons'.

Ben Harper is, as you point out, a great example of this kind of osmosis. Dave Matthews is another.

1:36 pm  
Blogger Mark said...

I would say that both Ben + ol' Nick are more than simply absorbing spirituality (= osmosis?). Both seem to be genuinely looking for a real Christianity (however misguided they may actually be).

So for example, Ben on the gospel ...

"It will make a weak man mighty.
It will make a mighty man fall.
It will fill your heart and hands or leave you with nothing at
It's the eyes for the blind and legs for the lame.
It is the love for hate and pride for shame.

That's the power of the gospel.
That's the power of the gospel.
That's the power of the mighty, mighty power. ..."

And Nick on Jesus ...

"... There's a man who spoke wonders though I've never met him
He said, "He who seeks finds and who knocks will be let in"
I think of you in motion and just how close you are getting
And how every little thing anticipates you
All down my veins my heart-strings call
Are you the one that I've been waiting for? ..."

9:41 pm  
Blogger psychodougie said...

Nice Mark.
I do think, however, it's safe to say their pursuit isn't continuing in any wise sense. It's a bit-of-this, bit-of-that theism, which in the end is as good as a-theism.
To declare that a few lines in a couple of songs reflects a great search for truth is reading far too much into it than we're able.
Of course, i'd like to see all these guys continue their search, but reality checks would show us that their is no deepening of understanding, no change in perceptions.
They seem happy with their lapsadaisic (?), haphazard osmosis (there it is again!) from western spirituality inj a post-Christian culture

12:32 pm  

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