Derek Webb’s new album ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ has been making its way around the blogosphere.  I have been a Derek Webb fan for a long time and have become increasingly impressed with his solo stuff since he left Caedmon’s Call.  His newest album’s promotion campaign included a spat with the record company for using potty language.  I have no idea how much of the public and twitter-laden conflict was promotion driven or completely legit.  I do know that I downloaded the album and am really diggin’ it.

Greg Horton of Wired Parish (RIP) fame and blogger at The Parish concluded his not-so-positive response to Derek by saying… Congratulations, Derek. Self-promoting, wild-eyed, faux righteousness just murdered one of your best pieces of work.

Horton emphasizes how not only the ‘christian music’ industry is opposed to profanity but much of the Christian community in general, so when Webb uses his well placed ‘sh*t’ he is alienating his audience.  I am sure he is alienating some people but I thought this may be a way an evangelical without a gay bashing agenda could get some attention.  This whole stir online makes me want to ask some questions\observations about transitions occurring in culture.

– I have heard much more coarse language come out of fundy Baptist ministers mouths but it was in a conversation with all men.  The ‘mixed company’ rules of speech are less and less important for more and more people.  I imagine there are more people who have no problem with Webb but will just avoid saying so to their grand parents.

– In the song Derek mentions the ‘language and tradition’ of Christianity and clearly makes a distinction between what is perceived as essential and important and what functions with that authority.  One of those things is a culture’s sexual norms.  How will evangelicals retell their ‘language and tradition’ in such a way it doesn’t induce automatic eye-rolls?  There are cultural barriers that must be eliminated so that the gospel can be heard such as….

– The song expresses what are a number of felt truths that many Christians are seeking explanations for.  People have a felt a desire to give a sh*t about poverty and not fight all the time about sexuality.  People have a felt desire to handle the sexuality debate in a completely different way, one that could pass as Christian in character.  People have a felt desire to see people of other faiths and traditions as more than targets or the problem…..there are more felt desires and Derek tends to discuss them in a fruitful way for many.  When I was a campus minister I found that to me true in many cases

With all that said, Derek can we get some old-school folk songs about your friends? Ants? Coffee drinking at a diner? Love? etc…..

Here’s the video of the song in question…What Matters