Provocative Platforms

On Mark Driscoll, Derek Webb, Tullian Tchividjian, and my quest for missing pieces.

I was sixteen years old when a new album came on the scene, quickly labeled “edgy,” if not offensive, in the world of 2003 Contemporary Christian Music. The lyrics were provocative, at least for the time, and my teenage heart was enthralled by them.

I am a whore
I do confess
I put you on just like a wedding dress
And I run down the aisle
—Derek Webb

I listened to the album over and over again, enticed by the call to what felt like a deeper faith, a rawness and authenticity that seemed to be missing in so much of the evangelical culture around me. The music was artistically good, but not overly polished. The lyrics were reverent (enough), but not stripped of human honesty.

I knew my salvation was secure, but I wondered if perhaps the hollowness I’d sometimes felt in the conservative evangelicalism of my childhood could be filled by the fresh air this singing provocateur was breathing. Maybe this was the missing piece.

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Author: Abby Perry

Abby has written for The Gospel Coalition, Christ and Pop Culture, Upwrite Magazine, and The Influence Network. She is the communications coordinator for a nonprofit organization and co-facilitates two community efforts—one promoting bridge-building racial reconciliation conversations and one supporting area foster and adoptive families. Abby graduated from Texas A&M University and currently attends Dallas Theological Seminary. She and her family live in College Station, Texas.

1 thought on “Provocative Platforms”

  1. Wow! I honestly had not heard about Webb’s affair and divorce but I cannot say I’m surprised as I’d heard about some of his behavior from a mutual friend way back in 2000 or so before he was married. It kind of horrified me and made me realize at the time that you cannot hold up or even automatically trust many of these people in the Christian music industry.

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