Can’t resist: What’s your favorite Michael Card song? Your favorite lyric?
What I have liked most about Card over the years is his study of Scripture that leads to lyrics rooted in a biblical imagination. What I like about this book is that it deftly handles what the Bible says, what is known about slavery in the ancient world, and how the image of slavery to Christ is the most liberating message the early Christians used for new life in Christ.
Who could read this book? I recommend it for college students and Sunday School classes and for pastors who could do a 3-4 week series on the image of slavery as the paradoxical image of freedom.
There is here then a liberation theology, but it’s a liberation theology rooted in the notion of becoming a slave to Christ — and that is the heart of the early Christian theme of liberation. It’s not just liberation from, but liberation to — to God, to Christ, to a live of loving service to others. Freedom in the NT is seen in the image of a basin and a towel.
Now a bonus: Michael Card’s book is laced up with themes from African American slavery, a lens that anyone in America must (or should) wear — and Michael Card’s own experience in African American churches gives the whole book a concrete reality that few can have. I’ve read books by singers before; I’ve read books by Christian singers — and most of them were published because the person was known. This book deserves to be published, even if Michael Card is known as a Christian musician. It’s that good. He knows his sources, the facts, and he knows how to put it all together in a compelling book.