Ted Kluck, author or The Reason for Sports: A Christian Fanifesto and coauthor of Why We’re Not Emergent & Why We Love the Church, is working on a new book!
This time, Kluck is delving into the seedy underbelly of Christian music with To Hell With the Devil: 365 Days of Christian Music, from Al Denson to Alice Cooper.
“The idea is that I’ll listen to nothing but Christian music (concerts, CD’s, videos) for a whole year. This will be especially challenging for me since I haven’t listened to Christian music since 1991, when I was 15,” he wrote back in June when announcing the project.
Three months into the project, he succumbed to the siren’s call of rock and/or roll:
It’s October 21 and I just fell off the wagon. Hard. If this were a movie I would be Tony Montana falling face-first into a giant pile of blow in Scarface. It’s taken me almost three months into my fast, but I’ve discovered a very troubling, simple truth: Christian artists can’t write love songs. There are a few who get close (like Anberlin, “A Day Late,” and Paramore, “crushcrushcrush” and even Stryper, “Honestly”) but for the most part, Christian bands either suck at ballad writing or don’t even try (more likely). And perhaps the fact that it’s more exciting to hear Sebastian Bach (Skid Row, not the other one) sing about lost love in “I Remember You” than my church’s praise band singing about “Amazing Love,” (about Jesus) says something incriminating about me. Check that, I know it does.
But here’s the thing: When I hear “I Remember You,” I think about things, places and people that I actually remember. I do remember yesterday, walking hand in hand, love letters in the sand, and all of the stuff that Bach sings about. It’s cheesy, yes, but it’s also the kind of thing that evokes – that makes a person feel. Ditto for Warrant’s ballad, Heaven, which they probably intended to be less about the real heaven, and more about sleeping with some chick. (Keep in mind, this is the band that brought us such lyrical poetry as “Cherry Pie.”) But still, I love it. It reminds me of driving my tan GMC pickup truck around Hartford City in 1993, wishing I had the courage to talk to girls. Is there much that’s more romantic than having a “picture of your house, and you’re standing by the door, it’s black and white and faded, and it’s looking pretty worn”…and later, “I’ve got nowhere left to go, and no-one really cares…I don’t know what to do (cue guitar riff), but I’m never giving up on you.”
So I spent the majority of the day in my office with huge, cushy headphones on, belting out the lyrics to ballads that I should have waited until next year to dust off. And it’s as good as I’ve felt in a long time.
You can click through to read a detailed account of Ted’s rock bender.
Nothing but Christian music for a year? That’s more than I suspect most could endure.
Pray that he survives.