2 Approaches to Christian Music

If you’ve never heard the name T-Bone Burnett, it’s possible that you really have been living under a rock. He’s a musician, producer, and songwriter (among other things). He’s toured with Bob Dylan – back in the day, not recently – and produced music for artists like these:

Bruce Cockburn
Counting Crows
Elvis Costello
Los Lobos
Roy Orbison
Spinal Tap (yes, THE Spinal Tap)
The Wallflowers
…and his wife, Sam Phillips (the artist formerly known as Leslie Phillips).

In addition to working well with other musicians, he’s also been involved with the music for a few movies, like these:

All the King’s Men
Cold Mountain
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Happy Feet
The LadyKillers
The Thing Called Love
…not to mention producing the soundtrack and writing the score for a little movie called O Brother, Where Art Thou?. In other words, he’s something of a big wheel in the music world.

I’m a fan of good music, and especially appreciate good Christian music. There’s always been a divide between those who believe that Christian music must always mention Jesus and those who believe that Christian music is simply music made by Christians. Here’s what T-Bone has to say about the distinction:

If Jesus is the light of the world, there are two kinds of songs you can write. You can write songs about the light, or you can write songs about what you can see from the light.