It was the summer of 2003, and I was midway through one of the most enthralling albums I'd heard in a long time. One I couldn't wait to share with readers, filled with beautiful melodies, varied musical styles, some of the most expressive singing around, and artful lyricism that often touched on the spiritual. It seemed like a shoe-in for our Best Albums of the Year list.
And that's when the f-bomb dropped.
Turn this world around
Lay my burden down
Bring the whole thing down
It's an apocalyptic petition worthy of Jeremiah, lamenting a fallen world that can only be redeemed and reclaimed by our sovereign Lord. But then lead singer Karin Bergquist expresses her concern about having a baby in a world that's "too [messed] up for any firstborn son"—only, of course, she didn't sing "messed." Of all the word choices, I thought, why did it have to be that word?
Christian Music Today decided to cover Ohio as part of our Glimpses of God series, which features spiritually themed albums that don't necessarily fit traditional parameters of "Christian music." Some readers expressed their frustration, saying that one word should not override the thoughtful content of the album's 21 songs, or the personal beliefs of the artist. (Bergquist and her husband, Linford Detweiler, who make up Over the Rhine, are Christians, but they're not on a Christian ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more