Thank you to Christianity Today for shedding light on what's driving so much of today's faith-fueled music ["Songs of Justice, Missions of Mercy," November]. Having worked in music my entire adult life, I have never seen the social-justice drive as prevalent among the creatives as I do now.
I do think CT left out one important story. In the early 1970s, a group of newly converted Christian hippies called Jesus People usa created a community centered on discipleship, evangelism, and social justice. Out of their commune came Cornerstone Magazine, an evangelical voice that spoke out against apartheid, spiritual abuse, war, and much more. They fed the hungry, clothed the naked, and—with their hard-edged Resurrection Band—rocked.
Cornerstone, Rez Band, and Cornerstone Festival have a nearly 40-year legacy of this faith-in-action work, and many of the artists mentioned in CT's article have a deep connection to this gathering. I encourage any Christian artist to make the pilgrimage to Cornerstone and get infected by the same bug that bit me 25 years ago.
John J. Thompson
I have a tendency to skeptically think that social justice is just the latest trend in Christian music. But I'm struck by how many artists are taking justice seriously and changing their lifestyles as a result. I recently heard two artists quote Amos 5:23-24—the unlikeliest of verses for a musician to quote: "Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream." Seeking justice will take different forms for different artists, but it's wonderful to see hands and feet moving once hearts have been moved.