04 – Love Lifted Even Me: Review of “Hard Love” by needtobreathe and “Alive” by Big Daddy Weave

This is the Hard Love episode. We’re not fans, but we bring it up to show the difference between Christian music and Christian-sounding music. Send your Love/Hate mail to thereis at balmcast.com

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The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery’s entry on how “Darkness” is used throughout the Bible is insightful. Most germane to our discussion here is this part of the entry:

Deliverance From Darkness. The greatest of God’s acts in regard to darkness, though, is his spiritual rescue of people from darkness through the work of Christ. God himself “is light and in him there is no darkness at all” (1 Jn 1:5). Christ is a light that “shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (Jn 1:5). Whoever follows Jesus “will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (Jn 8:12). Jesus came “as light into the world,” so that everyone who believes in him “should not remain in the darkness” (Jn 12:46). In a similar vein Paul writes that believers in Christ once “were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light” (Eph 5:8 NRSV).
Whether as a symbol or as a spiritual principle, darkness is the thing from which God in Christ delivers people. It thus figures in some of the great images of redemption that we find in the Bible. With the coming of Jesus “the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned” (Mt 4:16 NRSV; cf. Lk 1:70). To escape the lost state requires nothing less than a divine rescue mission: Christ “has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Col 1:13 NRSV). Those who believe in Christ as savior are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, … called out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9 NRSV). For people who are God’s children, “the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining” (1 Jn 2:8 NRSV).

Ryken, L., Wilhoit, J., Longman, T., Duriez, C., Penney, D., & Reid, D. G. (2000). In Dictionary of biblical imagery (electronic ed., p. 193). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

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