Christendom has its share of struggles and scourges. There’s truly a lot to criticize (although not as much as the news media appears to believe).
But I find in contemporary Christian culture that there have been some consistent voices … voices that have spoken for more than a decade and have not succumbed to scandal. Voices whose messages have been sound and inspirational. No person should be idolized, and I’m no groupie, but I have retained a certain admiration for some of these folks and thought it would be worthwhile to mention them. Honor to whom honor is due. . . .
- Twila Paris, worship songwriter (and, to a lesser extent, a singer) whose contemporary anthems and God-oriented songs have moved many for more than two decades
- Michael Card, songwriter (and, again, to a lesser extent, a singer) who has a particular gift with reducing large-scope biblical messages into coherent, poignant song lyrics
- Michael W. Smith, the now-legendary Christian songwriter who has an absolutely horrible voice but whom I find to have both a creative gift and a humble heart
- Fernando Ortega, singer-songwriter whose earthy lyrics are as beautiful as they are Godly
- Bob Kauflin, known primarily a songwriter for Glad and other groups, but who also does steady, local church work in Maryland (his “I Stand In Awe,” by the way, has been corruptly dumbed-down by many a cappella churches)
- Rich Mullins, who perished while driving in the Heartland some 10-or-so years ago, whose songs and mission with Native Americans were equally well-conceived
- Graham Kendrick, a British songwriter who’s been “around,” having been part of the British worship renewal that began more than 20 years ago
- Max Lucado, whose writings have probably touched millions … I haven’t kept up with the last 5 or 6 books but have been inspired many times in the past
- and I should surely name Billy Graham, despite my disagreements with his soteriology … the man had/has character
I claim no personal knowledge of these people’s lives but have never heard them ill spoken of, and have a fair amount of experience with many of their works through the years. They seem sincerely enagaged in Kingdom work to me.
Would anyone care to add to the list?