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Knee Jerk Reactions

I enjoy Ingrid Schlueter’s blog, Slice of Laodicea, and not just because I designed it and it is still near the top of my list of favorite designs I’ve made. Ingrid keeps on top of the trends in Christianity. Her blog is an ongoing source for what is happening in the church. By keeping up with her blog you’ll keep up with some of the worst of what is being introduced to the church under the guise of “Christian.” Often times this is absolutely revolting. You’ll also be informed by the wisdom of great Christians of days past.

Just a few minutes ago Ingrid posted a link to a new product called “The Original Love Song.” Here is an excerpt from a press release dealing with the product:

“Yes, it is sexy,” exclaims Guy Bickel, V.P. of Book 22, Inc., a new independent record label in Tampa, Florida. “It’s also romantic, compelling, sensuous, spiritual, and most importantly, it’s word-for-word from six different translations of the Bible. In addition, the music is so cutting-edge, that it’s tuned to natural Earth harmonics and not the 17th century instituted A-440Hz standard. We think ‘The Original Love Song’ is the most innovative achievement in scripture-based entertainment and enlightenment that’s come down the pike since ‘Jesus Christ Superstar.’”

Released in November of 2005, “The Original Love Song” is the first-ever dramatic and literal interpretation of The Song of Solomon. It features a top-notch, movie-style soundtrack, vivid aural imagery, and is already being hailed by some notable Christian scholars as a must-hear for every Christian couple. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular book of the Bible, it deals entirely with love, romance, virtue, and sex.

Dr. [Norman] Geisler sums it up best with his quote, “ ‘The Original Love Song’ is passion at its purest level. It is literally God’s guide to a Godly, sexual relationship.”

“Isn’t this what we’re all looking for?” concluded Bickel.

Ingrid says, “no, Mr. Bickel, that’s not what we’re “all” looking for. Why do we need Christian porno to titillate? I really believe that we’re going to see a day when there will be an evangelical version of temple prostitutes in our churches, acting out the Song of Songs. People are justifying absolutely everything these days by misusing the Bible and worse, for financial gain. That Dr. Geisler would be so excited about this is really disturbing.”

You can read about the product here. You can also listen to audio samples (you may wish to turn down your speakers a little bit if you are at work at the moment).

My first reaction - my knee jerk reaction - to this product was, like Ingrid, one of disgust. But then I began to wonder why that is. There is nothing wrong with “Song of Solomon.” There can’t be - it is part of the sacred Scripture, it is inspired by God and is meant for our edification (and perhaps even titillation). There is nothing wrong with hearing the Scripture read aloud. There can’t be - God intended for the Scriptures to be read aloud. There is nothing wrong with hearing the Scripture read with expression and emotion. There can’t be - God doesn’t intend for His Scripture to be read in a way that is deliberately boring. So now the question is, is there anything wrong with dramatizing the reading of Scripture? And further, is there anything wrong with adding a musical soundtrack behind the reading of Scripture?

For example, listen to this clip which is a minute or so long. If you want to hear a clip that is a little more suggestive or sensual, listen to this one. Having listened to them I have to respectfully disagree with Ingrid that there is anything pornographic about this. But I will admit that this is not to say that such a recording is wise or good. Still, I do not feel this is pornographic or dirty.

I have learned to exercise caution with my snap judgments. A few months ago I heard of The Light Speed Bible, a Bible that teaches speed reading and allows a person to read the entire Bible in twenty four hours (which is to say twenty four hours of reading). I laughed. But then I got one in the mail and tried it out. I have to admit that I very much enjoy the Bible (even if it is in a translation which is not my favorite). I have found it very valuable being able to read an entire book, such as Genesis, in a single sitting. It provides a high level view of the Bible (or a book of the Bible) that has allowed me to see patterns and nuances I have missed in reading the Bible more slowly. Of course one cannot meditate at Light Speed, but the creators of this version of the Bible have taken that into account and suggest that, after reading a book quickly, the reader go back and read at a devotional speed of just a few lines or verses at a time. It is quite a good product and one I have enjoyed a lot. If you are interested, you can read more about it here.

The point is that I’ve been wrong before. I have allowed my judgmental nature to form an opinion on a product before I gave it a fair evaluation. I wonder if I didn’t do the same with The Original Love Song. So I am going to go out on a limb and say that I do not see that this product is necessarily wrong.

Feel free to voice your agreement or disagreement in the comments area. I am willing to be corrected if I am wrong.

(Please do not take this as a knock against Ingrid or her site. I am merely respectfully disagreeing with her and asking for others to help me understand whether or not I am wrong).