Posted by: Billy Marsh | September 19, 2007

Soul Anchor: A Musical Journey Through Hebrews

Soul Anchor/Michael Card

Michael Card is what I call “the theologian who can sing”. Well, that’s definitely an understatement. He does much more than sing; Card is a very proficient guitarist, not to mention that he can play most anything that has strings on it including the banjo, harp, and even the piano. Yet, even more than these, after becoming familiar with Card and his music, immediately you recognize that here is a man who intimately walks with God, loves His Word, and loves the Church.  

Without a doubt, Card is a theologian. In fact, I believe he not long ago completed his Ph.d at an evangelical seminary. I tried to find this information on his website, but he seem’s to have humbly left it out. Still, it only takes listening to a few of his songs before you realize just how theologicaly indepth his lyrics are.

I first encountered Card in high school when I bought the cassette tape version of his album written based off of his study of Revelation titled, Unveiled Hope. However, let’s just say in all honesty that my faith at that time was not mature enough to realize how powerful and important Card’s music was. Now that I’m further along in my theology and relationship with the Lord, I’ve learned to cherish and appreciate much more Bible-centered music. This does not mean that his music isn’t God-centered for you Piper hawkeyes out there. I say Bible-centered for the very reason that I am spotlighting Card’s album, Soul Anchor.

Soul Anchor is a record based entirely off of the letter to the Hebrews. This addition to Card’s discography comes in a long line of other Bible-centered albums such as his work on the Gospels, the OT, and the life of Peter. I was talking to a friend the other day about the relationship between art and Christianity and mentioned that as creative beings made in the image of God, we naturally bring our interpretations of the Scriptures into the artistic community. I referenced, for example, that listening to a few Michael Card songs could at times be equivalent to hearing a good sermon. In a creative fashion through a lyrical context and muscial setting, Card expounds and proclaims the Scriptures to his hearers in a format where the style of music, beat of the song, choice of lyrics, and so forth function in the same way as a preacher would raise his voice, use mannerisms, and connect the text to contemporary applications in order to impart the meaning of the Word to his audience.

Card’s music is a mix between folk, celtic, bluegrass, and hints of black gospel. His music has a sacred feel to it that of course merits him little modern day radio airplay. Although, this CD is a little bit more folk rock than some of his other albums, it is a good mixture of genres. Some of the outstanding talent his has share guest vocals and musical contributions are Christine Dente (Out of the Grey), Dan Haseltine (Jars of Clay), Darwin Hobbs, and Kirk Whalum (Saxophonist/Jazz).

In accordance with my emphasis on Hebrews 11 and the letter as a whole, I thought it beneficial to provide you with another resource that may help to shed more light on what is my favorite book of the NT. With reference to the Sojourner theme, Card has two main songs that contribute to my intensive study on this subject, namely “By Faith” and “Pilgrims to the City of God”. If there were more musicians out there like Card, Christians wouldn’t have to listen to sermons going from point A to point B in order to be spiritually and theologically fed while they travel. Please take advantage of his magnificent musical work on Hebrews.

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