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.