Pray for Rain is not among the featured bands.

Cornerstone, one of a half-dozen Christian rock music festivals in the country, is celebrating its tenth annual gathering on Independence Day weekend during the deluge of ‘93. Rain falls in torrents during the four-day event in western Illinois, 30 miles from the raging Mississippi River, turning a 575-acre campground into a giant mudhole.

For the music-minded, the $65 entry fee is a bargain. Big names are part of the 60 acts playing on different stages: Phil Keaggy, Rich Mullins, DeGarmo and Key, REZ, Newsboys. Certainly some of the more creatively named bands are there: Cauzin’ efekt, Vigilantes of Love, Fear Not, Lost Tribe.

The music is loud. Very loud.

The Cornerstone festival is an outgrowth of the Chicago-based Cornerstone magazine, affiliated with Jesus People USA. Many of the 10,000 attending—more than half pitching tents on the grounds—are reminiscent of the early Jesus People movement. This on-fire-for-Jesus subculture includes nonconformists sporting mohawk hairdos and rings in pierced nipples and eyelids.

Yet what makes Cornerstone unusual is not the music playing during the night but the evangelical thinkers lecturing during the day. In seven tents, seminar speakers tell truth and expose error. Rutherford Institute founder John Whitehead talks about religious liberties; author/professor Ruth Tucker discusses the New Age movement; ethicist Alvin Bowles, Sr., lectures on euthanasia and abortion; Operation Mobilization international director George Verwer shares thoughts on discipleship training and church planting. For the average believer, it is an opportunity to ask questions face-to-face with some Christian movers and shakers.

Bowles says talking to teens with pink ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.