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I just finished Greg Thornbury’s outstanding biography of Larry Norman, Why Should The Devil Have All the Good Music? which I highly recommend.
If you have any interest in the history of Christian music, are puzzled as to how the Newsboys are still in existence 52 years after their inception, or wonder why most Christian music sounds pretty much the same, read the book.
Movements - Church - Awhile
As I read it, I couldn’t help but reflect on how so-called “revolutionary” movements come and go within the church, but always seem to burn out after awhile.
Larry was on the front edge of both the Jesus Movement and Christian rock.
Something - Culture - Revolutionary - Christian - Landscape
He wanted to create something big. Culture shaking. Revolutionary. Something that would rattle the Christian landscape and achieve massive and unique things for God.
Larry felt like the church was full of hypocrites and a total failure, and so he wanted to spearhead something unique and new and big for God. A sort of “Jesus without all the trappings of the church” movement. Something “real” and “radical” that would achieve things for God that the church couldn’t. He thought of himself as a true Christian revolutionary, somewhat in the vein of Martin Luther (although he didn’t use that particular reference).
Jesus - Movement - Work - God - Larry
And while the Jesus Movement was certainly an amazing work of God (not Larry) that transformed thousands of lives (including my dad’s), ultimately it just kind of faded away.
I’ve seen a few movements come and go in my life as well. Both the Emergent Church and the Neo-Calvinism movements appeared around the same time, occupying most of my college years and a few years after.
Rob - Bell - Breed - Pastor - Converse
Rob Bell was supposedly this new breed of pastor who didn’t preach so much as converse with his audience in artistic, story-driven ways. He wore cool glasses and wrote books that featured an odd amount of...
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