Keith Green: the Prophet Still Speaks


I will readily admit that I do not do a good enough job of promoting other Christian blogs. I have a few links at the right, but Cerulean Sanctum has pretty much just been my views.

Hoping to make this blog a better portal to excellent Christian material (while also—hopefully—keeping my own discourse here sharp), I want to direct people to one of the best blogs I know of, Paradoxology, run by Chris Monroe, better known as Desert Pastor. The topics he posts are routinely hot potatoes within the Christian world and in need of good analysis. The dialog that results is almost always thought-provoking and all over the map of belief. I always come away from Paradoxology better than I went in.

Today, the topic is the nature of prophetic ministries, specifically taking a look at Keith Green’s: Paradoxology: Prophetic Aftershocks, part 1 (will pop a new window.)

Keith Green has had a huge impact on my life even though I was unimpressed with him before his death. Only after that fateful plane crash twenty-two years ago did Green’s ministry start to hit me between the eyes. I know it’s odd, but his death completely changed my perspective on his life and music. I now wish I had had the opportunity to see him in concert before he was taken away from us.

Here’s my comments on Green over at Paradoxology:

…and still no one today is making the kind of music Keith Green was blessing us with 25 years ago.

Keith GreenI am the Christian I am today largely because of Keith Green and the band of people he ran with. He was Emergent before there was such a thing. He was an ordained Vineyard pastor back in the early days of that influential movement, but he kept one foot rooted in the great preachers of the faded past. Green introduced me to Leonard Ravenhill’s writings and preachings, and Ravenhill pointed me to A.W. Tozer and the history and wealth of the Welsh Revival.

Green has always been a “love him or leave him” figure in the Church. While his voice is definitely prophetic, if you read his biography you realize that much of Green’s prophetic ire was directed back at himself. He never lashed out at the complacency of the sleeping church without a keen sense that he was just as asleep as everyone else. Call him a prophet with feet of clay, but his stern call to something better than what we were/are experiencing in the life of the Church in America is unmitigated, nonetheless. We would do well to wake up, just as he said.

Green brought streams of Christianity together, too. He incorporated the holiness movement, the charismatic movement, the Jesus People movement, the missionary movement, the worship movement, and old-fashioned tent revivalism into one foundation. I can’t think of anyone in recent memory who was able to pull off this feat so well. That we lost him at so young an age, and eventually watched the ministry he founded go adrift, is a loss that has not been overcome yet.

Lastly, and this is almost a minor aside, but Green wrote music for adults. He and Rich Mullins, also tragically lost too young, wrote music for people who wrestled with life and faith, not for popsters and teenyboppers. I heard “Asleep in the Light” played on the local Christian radio station at 3AM a couple days ago, 3AM being the only time they could get away with playing it without offending anyone. What a sad comment on where Christianity is today. Oh that our music was more offensive and less pancreas-destroying!

Thanks for noticing how important Green still is. Hopefully this generation will look up his works and take them to heart.

Desert Pastor’s singling out of Green as the start of a series on modern-day prophets is a good beginning. I hope you will all surf over to Paradoxology and not only check out this new series of posts but the rest of the conversation, too.