When the music group Sixpence None the Richer appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman to perform the hit pop song "Kiss Me," lead singer Leigh Nash talked with Letterman, remarkably, about God's love.

Prompted by Letterman's question about the band's name, Nash explained that it referred to an illustration from C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity. Nash retold the tale of an English boy who asks his father for sixpence, which he uses to purchase a gift for his dad. The father gladly accepts the gift but realizes he's not any richer because he gave his son the money in the first place.

"C. S. Lewis was comparing that to his belief that God gave him and us the gifts that we possess to serve him," Nash told Letterman on the July 7, 1999, broadcast. "We should do it humbly, with humble hearts, realizing how we got the gifts in the first place."
"That's beautiful," Letterman responded. "It makes perfect sense. If we could just keep that little sliver of enlightenment with us, things would be so much better."

Not your typical late-night TV banter.

Sixpence capitalized on the popularity of its wildly successful and catchy pop tune—a song, by the way, with no spiritual content to speak of—to steer the conversation to higher ground.

Sharing that "little sliver of enlightenment" with a national audience is the sort of breakthrough that entertainment executive Bob Briner had in mind when he wrote Roaring Lambs (Zondervan, 1993). Briner urged Christians to engage the culture instead of merely complaining that society does not share their worldview.

Beyond the subculture

Steve Taylor, president of Sixpence's Nashville–based label, Squint Entertainment, cites the exchange on the Letterman show as a prime example of bringing salt and light to ...

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October 2000

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