The Browser 2/20: Iron and Wine

The Browser 2/20: Iron and Wine February 20, 2008

John Wilson, editor of Books and Culture, attended an Iron and Wine concert. And in this short testimony about the experience, he captures perfectly exactly what disturbs me about Sam Beam’s writing… and what disturbs me about the fact that many young Christians hastily embrace Iron and Wine because of the “spirituality” in the lyrics.

Granted, Beam is a talented poet and an excellent, inspired musician. But he’s singing about the Bible from the point of view of a “conscientious objector” to what he reads there. That makes for fascinating art, and a journey worth following. I’ll keep listening to Iron and Wine albums for the musical beauty and the intriguing perspective. But if you embrace Iron and Wine’s poetry without perceiving the writer’s dangerous flirtations with darkness or what often sounds like sympathy for the devil, you should know what you’re embracing.

Credit to Steve Beard at Thunderstruck for alerting me to the link.

UPDATE: For different perspectives on Iron and Wine, read this review of The Shepherd’s Dog in Christianity Today and this rebuttal to the review in Patrol.


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3 responses to “The Browser 2/20: Iron and Wine”

  1. so i was listening to the album john wilson mentioned in his article‚Äîwoman king‚Äîand it reminded me that i also wanted to say that the album also features what might be the best marian anthem (“freedom hangs like heaven”) written by an agnostic.

  2. i’d never thought much about sam beam’s faith or lack thereof. he sort of always reminded me of some of the professors i had at spu for whom it was more a matter of perspective, but whose intellectual landscape at least was littered with christian artifacts. i wasn’t surprised to find out via those articles that beam is himself agnostic, but i agree with the last article insofar as that i don’t think his lyrics are. christians may not like the portrait beam’s lyrics paints‚Äîor similarly that of cormac mccarthy’s prose‚Äîbut god is decidedly real in these works.