a “wait…what?” moment.

“Well, Christian popular music is generally bad. And rap is generally bad. So that would make Christian rap doubly bad.”

When I first read this sentence, I literally laughed out loud. I took “LOL” to a whole ‘notha level. [This sentence was posted on a Yahoo! Answers page.]

“Christian popular music is generally bad.”

The word “bad” means “of poor quality”. So, I’m not sure if this person is saying that Christian popular music isn’t produced very well, the music isn’t entertaining, or the lyrics aren’t good. Also, it’s “generally” bad? Generally. Meaning mostly bad. For the most part, popular Christian music is bad.

Let’s do a little experiment, shall we? iTunes, away! Did you know that the Christian & Gospel genre has its own iTunes page? If it was generally bad and people generally didn’t listen to it, I don’t think iTunes would go through the trouble of making it its own page.

TobyMac currently holds both of the top 2 spots on the genre’s top albums chart. (This is because his latest album also has a deluxe edition.) How many years has TobyMac been on the Christian music scene? Like a billion? Just kidding. But seriously…a long time. If his music was generally bad, I don’t think he’d have been successful.

I know…I’m being Cynical Caitlyn again. I just hate that Christian music has such a bad rep! Christian music has made a huge impact on my life and I know a lot of people who would agree with that.

I know that a lot of people hear “Christian music” and they think of Steven Curtis Chapman or Michael W. Smith. Both of these men are incredibly talented and are cornerstones in the Christian music universe, but they sound very similar to each other and they’ve sounded the same for the last 25 years. Christian music is now as diverse as a popular, secular radio station.

Tenth Avenue North sounds nothing like Bethany Dillon. Lecrae sounds nothing like Hillsong. Chris August sounds nothing like Group 1 Crew. But unlike secular artists, these Christian artists all have one thing in common: Their music isn’t about them!

They’re not wanting to make more money, they want to further His kingdom!

So while you may not be a Michael W. Smith fan, you have hundreds of other options and no two of them sound the same. There’s nothing general about the Christian music world. These artists don’t even “generally” love God. They adore Him and it shows in their music.

“And rap is generally bad. So that would make Christian rap doubly bad.”

Secular rap is bad. I think it’s safe to utilize that “general” word in reference to secular rap music. Secular rap is generally irreverent, racist, sexist…need I say more? Christian rap music, however…is powerful. There are exceptions to this, after all. Karmin, for example, is one of my favorite groups.

It’s encouraging, uplifting, and heck…it makes you want to get up and do something with your life. I love Christian rap. I’ve written about the 116 Crew before. They’re actually going to be on my campus on October 27th of this year. [TobyMac will also be here on October 4th.]

Lecrae recently dropped a new album called “Gravity” and man…I literally can’t think of any words to describe it that would do it justice.

You’ll just have to listen to it for yourself! What do you think about this quote? Do you agree/disagree?

[notable] “The Atonement Child” by Francine Rivers

I know…I know…YES, I’m going to talk about another Francine Rivers novel. I’ve been on a Rivers kick for the last couple of months. I also recently bought “The Last Sin Eater” and “The Scarlet Thread” which are both by her, as well. So brace yourself for reviews over those two.

I read “The Atonement Child” almost a month ago and quickly loaned it out to one of my best friends who wants to be a midwife. I knew she would love it and she ended up reading it in only a few hours. I swear she has a reading super power.

Despite having read it so long ago, I just now realized I never wrote about it! Le gasp! What was I thinking?

Much like in “A Voice in the Wind”, Rivers tackles some tough issues. I now cyber applaud her for this. It’s interesting that I chose to write about this while the presidential campaigns are in full swing. Hmm.

Amazon.com says about this book:

“Dynah Carey knew where her life was headed. Engaged to a wonderful man, the daughter of doting parents, a faithful child of God, she has it all. Then the unthinkable happens: Dynah’s perfect life is irrevocably changed by a rape that results in an unwanted pregnancy.

(Eeerrrrrrr. [That was me slamming on the breaks.] Yes, you read that ^^ correctly. The main character in this novel gets raped and then gets pregnant. Whoa….okay, now you can continue.)

Her family is torn apart and her seemingly rock-solid faith is pushed to the limits as she faces the most momentous choice of her life: to embrace or to end the life within her. This is ultimately a tale of three women, as Dynah’s plight forces both her mother and her grandmother to face the choices they made. Written with balance and compassion, The Atonement Child brings a new perspective to the most controversial topic of our times.”

Her faith is pushed to the limitsUHHH yeah! Dynah Carey is probably my literary hero. One of the biggest things I learned from this book is the importance of talking. Dynah learns so much about herself and her situation just from talking it out! This is one of those books where if you try and put yourself in the main character’s shoes….you’ll be ready to take them off pretty quickly.

I can’t even begin to describe how Rivers delicately and yet forcefully handles the issue of abortion. Obviously if a young girl gets pregnant from a rape, the issue of abortion is going to be prevalent. This book is about taking a stand for what you believe in, no matter who that puts you up against. Sometimes that forces you to make your family unhappy or lose someone you care about. But man…what treasures in Heaven await you when you follow God!

As usual, I’m going to rate a Rivers novel far and above the average 5/5 scale and go with 10/5. Now, I know that a couple of Rivers’ novels have been rated in the 800’s/5 range…but those books changed my life. “The Atonement Child” changed my thought process, yes. It made me cry, but again…that isn’t hard to do. I finished it in a few hours because I was so emotionally connected to Dynah and didn’t want to leave her side like so many of her friends had done.

Now I’m reading “Divergent” by Veronica Roth. I plan on picking up the 3rd book in the Mark of the Lion series when I finish this book. Surprisingly, that’s another Francine Rivers novel.