Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Very Model of a Modern Minor Generalist

So, I was just listening to my iTunes, which includes a couple of uploaded albums from my flirting-with-fundamentalism period - and by "couple" I might actually just mean "one," Steven Curtis Chapman's Heaven in the Real World album.* I'm not sure there are any others in there. Anyway, "Dancing with the Dinosaur" came up, and it occurred to me that the lyrics to that particular song read somewhat like a modernist Christian anthem. It starts out:
Once upon a time not so long ago in a land not so far away
Right and wrong were not quite so hard to know
And black and white were not so gray


Then there's the bridge:
Right is right and wrong is wrong just like it has been along
We cannot sit by and see conscience become history
So come on, get up and dance
Dance this dance with me
(Gonna keep on dancing, gonna keep on dancing with the dinosaur
Gonna keep on dancing, gonna keep on dancing with the dinosaur)


I've been reading about postmodernism, theology, and Scripture the last couple of weeks, and continuing to discover how many of my long-standing (read: since before memory) habits and tendencies fall under that umbrella. Suddenly, I'm a little clearer on why parts of that song never quite sat well with me. (Yeah, I never really made a very good fundamentalist. I dropped it about as soon as I figured out that "serious Christian" didn't have to equate to "fundamentalist." Which, really, didn't take that long.) It might be interesting to spend a little more time thinking about the ways this particular song, artist, and/or genre are or are not thoroughly intertwined with/dependent on modernism. (For instance, he seems to assume that before the "tolerance movement" everyone (at least in the Church) saw things as black and white all the time, whereas I think Augustine's work on grace and free will pretty well shoots that down all by itself.) I wouldn't be surprised, really, to learn that someone's already doing/done this with the genre, but this song seems particularly useful for that kind of investigation.

1 comment:

jeffrey said...

For those of us who flirted a little more seriously with fundamentalism, and by flirted more seriously I mean made it to second or third base, it is embarrassing how long it took to figure out that "serious christian" and "fundamentalist" were not univocal. Now that the embarrassment is out in the open, I feel we can move forward and do the two-step with the brontosaurus.