Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music: Pop, Rock, and Worship

Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music: Pop, Rock, and Worship

Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music: Pop, Rock, and Worship

Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music: Pop, Rock, and Worship


The first comprehensive overview of contemporary inspirational music, covering its historical roots and dramatic growth into one of America's most vital music genres.


“Contemporary Christian music is part of the music business, but not really.”
“There’s no such thing as Christian music; there are only Christian songs.”

Those two statements show the enigma that is Christian and gospel music. First, contemporary Christian music (CCM) is part of the music industry because it uses the tools of that industry; artists record in some of the same studios that secular artists use; their recordings have been pressed on records, tapes, and CDs and are now downloaded to electronic listening devices; the publishing and record companies operate under the same copyright laws as secular companies; and these recordings are sold in stores, just like secular artists. The difference is that the secular industry sees itself as part of the entertainment industry; the Christian industry, for the most part, sees itself as a ministry.

This ministry is dedicated to supporting, encouraging, and upholding the beliefs of Christians as well as seeking to convert non-Christians to embrace Christianity. As to the idea of there being no such thing as Christian music, that statement simply means that Christian artists use all types of music—rock, pop, country, hip hop, and whatever else—to convey the Christian message. The difference in Christian music is found in the lyrics of the song, which convey a Christian belief or are written by a Christian who acknowledges his or her faith in a straightforward manner so that everything they write reflects or embodies their Christian belief.

The secular, or non-Christian, world has, to a large extent, ignored contemporary Christian music and, as a result, very little has been written about contemporary Christian music outside the realm of Christian publications. This book is written for those in the secular world who want information about Christian artists and Christian music presented in an objective, straightforward way. It is especially intended for academics and general music critics who seek a reference work on contemporary Christian music. We hope this work will also reach the friends, fans, and participants in Christian music who need a reference book for key people, trends, and background for Christian music.

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