An avid supporter of “Christian rock” and “Christian rap” recently presented to me a “thought experiment” as part of his refutation of an argument that I made against these genres based on the sinful origins of rock music. This post carefully examines whether this argument justifies these genres of music.
A “Thought Experiment”
Here is what this believer offered as a “thought experiment” in defense of his views about these genres:
Let’s do a hypothetical Stone Age. A violent people invent a tool that allows them to sharpen rocks into flint knives. This has never happened before, and soon they’re cranking out knives by the dozen. That’s all they’ve used that tool for, so in their minds, it is ONLY a tool for creating weapons. They use it to kill and maim people, and they talk about how great it is that they’ve discovered this awesome knife-making tool, a tool that, as far as they know, is only for making knives.
There’s also a pacifistic people. They hear about this new tool, and they abhor it as an instrument of violence. After all, that’s all they’ve ever known it as, and that’s all they hear about it. However, someone soon discovers that the tool, which had previously been known only as an instrument of violence, can also be used to sharpen hoes, shovels, and other farming implements.
The tool, which came out of a culture of violence, that had previously only known one use–an evil use of violence and death–was actually revealed to be a lot less specific. Instead of a tool for making knives, it was merely a tool for sharpening. It could be used for good or ill, to make weapons or plows.[i]
Based in part on what he believes this argument establishes, he argues that it is invalid to oppose “Christian rock” and “Christian rap” based on the sinful origins of rock music. A close examination of this “thought experiment” as a justification for these genres of music shows that it does not justify them.
(Read the rest of this article here.)
[i] In a comment made on December 18, 2013 at 3:40 pm; available at http://religiousaffections.org/articles/articles-on-culture/discussion-about-christian-rap-with-shai-linne-example-of-sinful-music-rebuttal/.