Dustin Kensrue & Musical Theology

Posted by: cghearn | 08/11/2014 | 11:10 am

Dustin Kensrue via MarsHill.com

Most people I know, are aware that I have a general distaste for “Christian” music. The vast majority of it is unbiblical, lacking in creativity and generally embarrassing the Christian community when presented to the world; let alone the way it portrays Christ. One of the few examples of true and pure creativity and quality (even to worldly standards) of music is Thrice; or more specifically Dustin Kensrue. Dustin’s music is rich with biblical references and theology and is genuinely honest to our experience as believers.

To give an example I have presented the song below both in musical format and the written lyrics with the scriptural references following the corresponding lines.

All you great men of power, you who boast of your feats –
Politicians and entrepreneurs.
Can you safeguard your breath in the night while you sleep? (Job 34:14-15)
Keep your heart beating steady and sure?
As you lie in your bed, does the thought haunt your head
That you’re really, rather small? (Psalm 8:4)
If there’s one thing I know in this life: we are beggars all. (Martin Luther)

All you champions of science and rulers of men,
Can you summon the sun from its sleep? (Job 9:7)
Does the earth seek your counsel on how fast to spin?
Can you shut up the gates of the deep? (Revelation 20:3)
Don’t you know that all things hang, as if by a string,
O’er the darkness – poised to fall? (Job 26:7)
If there’s one thing I know in this life: we are beggars all.

All you big shots that swagger and stride with conceit,
Did you devise how your frame would be formed? (Isaiah 7:14)
If you’d be raised in a palace, or live out in the streets,
Did you choose the place or the hour you’d be born? (Micah 5:2)
Tell me what can you claim? Not a thing – not your name! (Matthew 1:21, 25)
Tell me if you can recall just one thing,
That’s not a gift in this life?

Can you hear what’s been said? (Mark 4:9)
Can you see now that everything’s grace after all? (Ephesians 2:8)
If there’s one thing I know in this life: we are beggars all. (Martin Luther)

I hope that this will put forth a good example of what music dedicated to the Lord should be like. Of course I understand that music styles vary and different artists have different ministries, but Dustin mostly aims his music at the world, so there really isn’t an excuse for presenting a sub-par artform.

Know that no one can have indulged in the Holy Writers sufficiently, unless he has governed churches for a hundred years with the prophets, such as Elijah and Elisha, John the Baptist, Christ and the apostles… We are beggars: this is true.” – Martin Luther

Coram Deo,