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Friday, October 10, 2003

Sarah McLachlan, Universalist?

Richard Hurst says "Building a Mystery" may be "the only pop song ever about process theology" — and that "Fallen" embraces a Universalist doctrine of salvation.

While I'm gone for the weekend, feel free to click the comments link below and discuss pop songs that express your liberal theology.

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 10 October 2003 at 2:56 PM

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Next: Apotheosis of George.





October 10, 2003 06:46 PM | Permalink for this comment

When I was in junior high, our local radio station ran a show in which pop songs were embedded in a bubble-gum scented pink goo of evangelical commentary. I resented the Jesus is my boyfriend approach (not having read St. Therese of Lisieux yet, I didn't recognize the long and honorable history of the trope). . .

A pop song which appeals to me theologically, although I am a Quaker (with a secret yen for liturgy):

Where Your Eyes Don't Go/They Might Be Giants

Where your eyes don't go
a filthy scarecrow waves its broomstick arms
And does a parody of each unconscious thing you do
When you turn around to look it's gone behind you
On its face it's wearing your confused expression

Where your eyes don't go
a part of you is hovering
It's a nightmare that
you'll never be discovering
You're free to come and go
or talk like Kurtis Blow
But there's a pair of eyes
in the back of your head

Every jumbled pile of person
has a thinking part that wonders
What the part that isn't thinking
isn't thinking of
should you worry when the skullhead is
in front of you
Or is it worse because it's always waiting
where your eyes don't go?

* * * * *

Ron C:

October 11, 2003 07:52 PM | Permalink for this comment

The first two to come to mind:

U2's "Beautiful Day" has some great redemption imagery, but this snippet speaks to me about how dark times can lead to spiritual flowering:

See the world in green and blue
See China, right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out

See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light
And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood, all the colors came out

And this part says to me that sometimes thinking (as opposed to feeling) too much isn't what you need:

What you don't have, you don't need it now
What you don't know, you can feel it somehow
What you don't have, you don't need it now
Don't need it now
It was a beautiful day

Prince of Darkness by the Indigo Girls is great too, but I won't hog any more of your comment space. Nice post. I'm going to see if I can dig up that Sarah Mac CD now.

Richard Hurst:

October 15, 2003 03:35 PM | Permalink for this comment

Interestingly, I searched to see that Sarah McLachlan herself says about "Building a Mystery," where she sings ... "You live in a church, where you sleep with voodoo dolls" and my favorite "and a cross from a faith that died before Jesus came." She doesn't cop to it being about processs theology, she says it's about the "masks" people put on to hide their true selves from the world. All I know is that sounds an awful lot like Paul Tillich's description of the God of theism, versus the God beyond God, the "real" God who is not merely a supreme being with whom we do battle.

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