Led Zeppelin? On Reformation 21?

Led Zeppelin in Shorts

File this under Things that make you go “Whaaaa…????”

Reformation 21, “The Online Magazine of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals,” has a blog post by Carl Trueman in which he shares his enthusiasm over the upcoming reunion of Led Zeppelin and chats about what made them so great.

No kidding.

There’s something about seeing that on a blog “encouraging biblical thinking, living, worship, ministry, and constructive cultural engagement” that is—bewildering, especially if you take the time to consider the lyrics of their songs. Yikes.

Now, I understand that the contributors to the blog occasionally joke about movies, sports, and other non-theological issues. It’s fun. I get that. In fact, I do that—probably too often. I’ve also benefited from much that Reformation 21 has published, and I’ve linked to their site several times in the last few months. But Led Zeppelin? What would Luther think? (Oops. That may be the wrong question to ask. Strike it.) What would Calvin think?

The disconnect people allow between theology and life decisions is troubling, and even more so when it comes from respected leaders.


(HT: Thanks to Scott Aniol for making the winged-angel guy a little bit more. . . er. . . discreet.)


27 Responses

  1. I’m with you. I don’t understand it either. Is it a blind spot? (We all have them, right?) Is it that guys like Trueman have never given thought to it before? (Doubt it.) Or do they actually have a well-reasoned defense of how the two are in prefect harmony? I’d be interested to find out. Why don’t you email Trueman and ask him?

  2. I’m trying to find an email address, Phil. Good idea.

    Part of what I don’t understand about it is this: when a guy like Rick Phillips expresses admiration for BJ and fundamentalism, Trueman responds with an immediate counterpoint post. Then when Trueman expresses admiration for LZ(!), nothing is said. Either the other men agree with him (which I think is unlikely) or they just roll their eyes and give him a free pass.

    I’m not wanting to make this a “camp” thing, and I’m very well versed in the blind spots of fundamentalists. However, at the risk of sounding absolutely pompous and Pharisaical, I do appreciate the fact that fundamentalists tend to see these issues more clearly than our evangelical brothers. Of course, that’s too broad a statement, but it’s essentially the point Phillips made awhile back:

    “The fundamentalists get the idea of antithesis. . . They understand that the church must stand out against the world, that holiness is our calling, and that Christians are to witness to the lost. Amen, amen, and amen. They get the Christian antithesis, that light has shined in the darkness and that we are to walk in the light and shine the light into the darkness.”

  3. So this is the type of “cultural engagement” they want to encourage? Amazing. It undercuts the very gospel they claim to defend. 1 Timothy 1:10-11.

  4. 1. Square.

    2. I’ve never gotten what’s so great about Carl Trueman.

  5. 1. Pentagon.

    2. I’ve heard the same thing said about Dan Phillips. :)

  6. The picture’s too small for me to tell–are those fig leaf boxers, Scott? (what did people do for fun before Photoshop, anyway?!)

  7. Oh come on. It’s ok to go on and on about OSU (whose graduate school I am a graduate of) and UofM football but not to mention that one likes Zeppelin?

    I’d a hundred times prefer my children listen to some Zep than that they take up the practice of watching football. For pete’s sake, football’s just an excuse to drink beer and watch cheerleaders and beer advertising swimsuit models.

    And now for the necessary politenesses . . . I don’t mean this post to be harsh, and I am offering it somewhat in fun/jest. However, I do actually mean what I’m saying — if that can be said without seeming angry like some heavy metal song.

  8. Sorry for the real quick double post . . . but gotta do it before work . . .

    I don’t think that it has been established as “fact” that fundamentalists see anything more clearly than anyone else.

    I’ve never gotten what’s so great about Dan Phillips

  9. […] September 14th, 2007 — Chris Last night I sent an email to Carl Trueman notifying him of my blog post addressing his post on Led Zeppelin at the Reformation 21 blog. This morning I received a very […]

  10. I’ve heard the same thing said about Dan Phillips

    And what do you tell them?

  11. Don’t be so harsh, man. So long as your hermeneutic is consistent–you can spiritualize Led’s songs the same way some do the OT text and come out with something beautiful for your own personal edification. I am too much of a literalist, fundamentalist, antithesisisist, whatever to handle it.
    Can we buy those trunks over at Scott’s website?

  12. This is cross-posted from the other LZ thread:

    Just so we’re all on the same page, here’s what we’re arguing about: (youtube video of LZ’s Whole Lotta Love).

    I feel like I need a shower after watching it. The fact that we’re even debating this is ridiculous. Really, it’s unconscionable that a Christian would defend this.

  13. Maybe.

    But now you’ve got that song going through my head. (Didn’t watch the video, I’m just that old.)

  14. Maybe? Give it a quick watch & see if you’re still unconvinced.

    On the bright side, you’ve given me an idea for a new post:

    “Maybe Christians shouldn’t collect porn. Maybe.”

  15. Hm. Somebody’s Sunday gave him a cranky Monday.

  16. Ha! Great Sunday. Great Monday, too.

    I forgot the obligatory smiley. My bad. :)

  17. Good. Then I don’t have to say, “Dude, I didn’t see the video. Away put your weapons. I mean you no harm. Besides, if it’s that bad, why are you linking to it?”

    Oh, and…


  18. Ouch! That little barb from Dan Phillips was a little insightful ~ “if it is that bad, why are you linking to it?” ~ It exposes my friend’s Chris equation of the song to porn as a bit hyperbolic, doesn’t it? Because surely one would’nt link to porn in order to illustrate the badness of it.

    Point taken, Dan.

    But. . .

  19. These days, I’m happy to be thought “a little insightful.”

  20. I admire you. I can do barbs. If only I could do barbs that were a little insightful!

  21. Sean Michael Lucas of Covenant Theological Seminary makes a post similar to Carl Trueman’s, this time admiring Bruce Springstein and explaining why the release of his new album stirred tears of joy.

    In my opinion…

    Oh, forget it.

  22. So, if I want to be part of the hip, new “emerging middle” then I should skip listening to The FISH and really just stick with the classic rockers. I feel so much better now about this new trend…

  23. I went out to eat with Chris a couple of times at the National Church Planters Conference, and he is definitely become part of the “emerging middle” group:)

  24. […] You can see the discussion that ensued on the letter-writer’s blog here. […]

  25. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  26. […] with the guys at Reformation 21 for their general approval of Led Zeppelin.  You can read his post here if you feel like it.  What is amazing about this is that I thought everyone knew that Zeppelin was […]

  27. […] with his admiring LZ in a post at Reformation 21 (here). After whacking him for it at MTC (here), I notified him of the post. That note and his response ended up getting posted at Reformation 21 […]

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