Friday, August 04, 2006

Christian by faith, not by genre

That's a phrase attributed to Jon Foreman of Switchfoot in the book Body Piercing Saved My Life. I have never been a fan of using the word "christian" as an adjective, especially when applied to the arts. What is a "christian song" or "christian poem" or "christian story" anyway? I have never been satisfied with any of the supposed answers to questions of this sort -- like the principle that "christian radio" can play covers of U2 songs by "christian bands," but not the originals by U2. So Foreman says that they (Switchfoot) are a christian band by their faith, not by the genre of music they play. I like that, I like it a lot.

So am I a "christian professor?" Or a "christian novelist?" No, I don't think so.

I'm a Christian.


Cami said...

Here, here. My husband has always gotten a bit miffed over the same thing. Like a Christian business--how can a business be a Christian? Which is what you're saying, and we agree!

Larry said...

Absolutely right on! Christian is a noun, not an adjective. As you've said, Christian is what I am not what I do. I carry my faith and my beliefs into everything I do but that does not make those activities Christian by association. Good post.

I.I. said...

The rubber-meets-the-road definition is "If Jesus didn't die for ____, then ____ is not Christian."

He didn't die for my novels, my career, or my {anything else -- except soul!} That is what he died for.