Saturday, September 08, 2007

II Guys From Petra: Sept. 7 & 8/07

I can't be the first person to sing "Jesus Christ Superstar" along with the "Dance Dance Dance" part of Petra's "Dance".

The last time we met: 1989 in Duluth.

The next morning was a workshop at Central Free: Q & A on worship leading, songwriting, joining Petra, kicking Louie out of the band and what's wrong with Stryper.

Lunch at the Hoito.
(I just tagged along.)

I should be clear that overall I liked what John and Bob are doing now as II Guys From Petra and found them friendly and fun to hang out with. That said, I don't really get the (albeit brief) rant that John made about Stryper, not that I feel any need to defend the latter (or Petra either). Those things used to be so important to me, but not any more.

I don't think John was criticizing Stryper's music, but something to do with the whole Metal look and secular touring and label perhaps back in those days. I don't really know. I know I was disturbed when -- at the Hoito -- I told him about Taize worship music and he got this disapproving look on his face, saying "That sounds...." and asked Bob ("the quiet one") "What's that term?" Answer "New Age." "Yeah, sounds 'new age' to me." with a dismissing gesture.

Well, I allowed my awe of my heroes of the 80's to intimidate me -- or perhaps just the prudence of not jumping into a debate pitting my minute knowledge of Taize against his total absence of knowledge about it.

But later they were telling me about their critics who picket their concerts: "You can't use logic or Scripture with them. You can show them the backstage counselling sessions and they still don't get it. It's just prejudice." The penny didn't drop in my mind until I got home though as to the parallels.

Admittedly, he wasn't picketing Taize services or "praying against" them, but still I gather that his view was that you can't use "New Age practices" (assuming that the "New Age Movement" invented repetition) in service of God. Haven't we heard that somewhere before?

Cover of one of John Schlitt's pre-Petra albums:


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