Roaring Lambs Resurrected
Christian rock's shout out to the mainstream
When a 63-year-old man named Bob Briner (pictured, left) died of cancer in June 1999, TheNew York Times ran an obituary focusing on his accomplishments, includingtaking televised tennis to Asia, agenting for Michael Jordan, and garneringan Emmy Award for a documentary on the life of tennis great Arthur Ashe.
But just as the establishment press misses many stories with afaith component, the Times barely gave one sentence to what willundoubtedly be Briner's most enduring accomplishment: his authorship, latein his life, of several books that have turned Christian America upsidedown.
In 1991, Briner decided to make use of the enormous amount of timehe spent on airplanes and, taking a pen to a yellow legal pad, put histhoughts to paper for what would later become the slim paperback "RoaringLambs."
Briner's message? Christians had no one else to blame for the decayof American culture but themselves. Because of their decision to abandon thearts, music, journalism, and academia, their ideas were no longer reflectedin the milieu of American life. Christians had been like timid lambs, Brinerargued, but now it was time for them to clear their throats and roar.
Briner had wanted to call the book "Saline Solution."
"Get it? Briner-Saline Solution," he joked in the introduction. This executive turned cultural thinker wrote about what it meant to followChrist's command that his people be the salt of the earth, notingrepeatedly that salt as a preservative agent could not be effective from adistance.
Briner was writing around the time of the controversy over the rap group 2 Live Crew's obscene lyrics, when Christian contributions to film consisted of gathering 5,000 of the faithful and marching in protest of "The Last Temptation of Christ."
At first, the book sold modestly, but over the next seven years itbecame the premiere cultural manifesto for a generation of young Americansfed up with the culture their Christian parents dropped out of and leftthem with. For many Gen X Christians, Briner was the only grown-up who hadthe courage to say that this had been a disaster, and his book became forthem what Mao Tse Tung's Little Red Book was to young Chinese Marxists:marching orders for a great cultural revolution that is now in quiet bloom.