Churches Tune Out Ecumenical Duet

Churches Tune Out Ecumenical Duet

Christian musicians Michael Card and John Michael Talbot have met scattered resistance to their recent joint recording Brother to Brother and to an associated eight-city concert tour.

Card is an evangelical Protestant who has recorded 18 albums. Talbot is a Roman Catholic monk who has recorded 34 albums. Brother to Brother (Myrrh Records) features a dozen of their best-known songs.

A few evangelical entities that have welcomed Card or Talbot as solo musicians have resisted the joint project. Grace Community Church in Tempe, Arizona, canceled a Card-Talbot concert. Radio station KTLF-FM in Colorado Springs refused to promote a Card-Talbot concert in Denver. A Protestant church in Toronto canceled a solo concert by Talbot. Church leaders declined to specify their reasons.

Moody magazine turned down an ad for the recording, and Moody Bible Institute's bookstore would not sell it. Moody Executive Editor Bruce Anderson told Religion News Service that Moody "is distinctly and purposely Protestant in its roots and supports and traditions, and I think, having heard John Michael Talbot, there would be a degree of discomfort with the message."

As they released the album, both musicians said they expected some criticism. "What affected me most were letters I got from people who felt hurt and betrayed," Card told CT. Card says he has received 40 letters from people expressing hurt about the project—but he also has received a dozen letters describing reconciliation between Catholics and Protestants because of the album.

February 3, 1997 Vol. 41, No. 2, Page 74

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