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By Jay R. Howard

Apostles of Rock is the 1st aim, finished exam of the modern Christian tune phenomenon. a few see CCM performers as ministers or musical missionaries, whereas others outline them as entertainers or artists. This renowned musical circulate essentially inspires quite a few responses about the dating among Christ and tradition. The ensuing tensions have splintered the style and given upward thrust to false impression, clash, and an obsessive concentrate on self-examination. As Christian stars Amy furnish, Michael W. Smith, DC speak, and Sixpence None the Richer climb the mainstream charts, Jay Howard and John Streck speak about CCM as a big circulate and convey how this musical style pertains to a bigger pop culture. They map the realm of CCM via bringing jointly the views of the folk who practice, research, marketplace, and hear this song. by way of analyzing CCM lyrics, interviews, performances, sites, and chat rooms, Howard and Streck discover the spiritual and aesthetic tensions in the CCM neighborhood. finally, the clash founded round Christian tune displays the fashionable non secular community's realizing of evangelicalism and the community's complicated dating with American pop culture.

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Extra resources for Apostles of Rock: The Splintered World of Contemporary Christian Music

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Indeed, Swaggart himself commented, "There seemed to be more rhythm in" his music "than the four walls of the church could stand. " 22 While artists like Elvis Presley combined rhythm and blues, country music, and southern gospel to make rock and roll, Swaggart combined these same elements with Pentecostalism, pushing gospel music out of its hymnoriented style toward more contemporary forms. 23 Throughout the sixties and seventies, vocal groups such as the Bill Gaither Trio and The Imperials, choral composers such as Ralph Carmichael, and black gospel artists including Andre Crouch and the Disciples gradually began to incorporate more pop- and rock -oriented styles into their music.

Perhaps not surprisingly, as these divergent rationales came to be articulated and refined, the various artists, producers, distributors, critics, and audiences that subscribed to a particular school of thought frequently dismissed or criticized those operating in accordance with the assumptions of another rationale. Each group began to argue that they themselves were producing true contemporary Christian music and that the others were falling short of the goal. At times the debate has been civil and reasoned; at others, hostile and shrill.

St. James leads the crowd in prayer and then moves into her next number. As the performance continues, the pattern remains much the same. Songs, monologues, and prayers to God are presented in almost equal proportions. St. James's breathy vocals work through an equal number of ballads (either stripped down and syrupy sweet or lush and melodramatic) and up-tempo modern rock numbers characterized by wordy, melancholy verses that give way to impassioned choruses. Whatever the character of the music, however, the message remains unambiguous.

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