Is there such a thing as Christian music? – Part 1

I used to think so. It was only after 4 years of going to a Christian liberal arts college that I could no longer justify, as a Christian, listening exclusively to Contemporary Christian Music or Worship music. This will be a multi-part blog post, where I’ll look at various aspects of this discussion.

1. What is music?
According to Wikipedia: Music is an art form consisting of sound and silence expressed through time. That is a rather uninspiring definition, isn’t it? Let’s begin with music though, most noteably instrumental. What makes instrumental music good or bad? Quality? Style? Creativity? Complexity? Number of instruments? The composer? The performer? The producer? The distributor? The audience?

2. What is Christian music?
That is the primary question. What is it that makes a song Christian? Are some instruments more holy? Are some styles more righteous than others? For instance, would Classical music be more Christian than Jazz music? What about quality? Does it matter? Should Christians not care about music quality? Does quality affect the listening experience? Are all people who desire to play music good at it? Is the heart of the person more important than their ability? Is it primarily evangelistic or primarily for the encouragement of Christians? If the former, how effective is it? If the latter, why is the lyrical content so limited? What lyrical content would make a song Christian? What if a non-Christian writes an honest song about Jesus? What if a Christian writes a song about a descriptive song of walking down the street that is purely descriptive with no mention or implication of anything relating to the Christian life? Is that Christian?

So, we begin with lots of questions…