Every so often, I listen to or read something that speaks for itself, needs little commentary, and I recommend adding to your reading list or iPod for your next long wait, run, or drive. Queue this up:
Art can accomplish many types of good. It can magnify greatness, reveal evil, and persuade people. Rembrandt’s Prodigal Son shows what words cannot describe. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces draws us into truths about divine sovereignty we would otherwise overlook or reject. Art can also clarify understand and even evoke better emotions on subjects we’re already familiar with. On his 2012 album The Good Life, Trip Lee accomplishes these last two purposes particularly well with his tracks “Robot” and “War.”
The first, “Robot,” is a helpful reflection on the idea that Paul expresses in Romans 6 when he calls us “you who were once slaves,” but declares that in Christ, “sin will have no dominion over you.” Though the essence of the truth is fully expressed in the word of God, Lee effectively amplifies its tone. In his holy defiance and desperation, he attempts to draw a generation back to this doctrine, which they have not made space for, but desperately need.
The second track, “War,” reveals the spiritual battle we live in the midst of, with a rare and proper tone of significance and victory. What are we to make of the one called Faithful and True who, “in righteousness judges and makes war”? What does it mean, for our daily lives, that “death is swallowed up in victory”? Amidst the chorus, “When death and life go to battle, ain’t no tellin’ what’ll happen,” Lee calls us back to these questions, which should arouse neglected celebration.
Good music cuts us like a scalpel. The artist’s character and worldview determine whether they will leave life- or death-giving implants in the spaces they’ve carved. Hopefully you can find some time to listen to these two songs today. More importantly, I pray you can value and recognize the kind of music that cuts clean and implants the mind of Christ.