Early last week, Steve Camp wrote a moving tribute to his friend Larry Norman. Then, later in the week, Camp went after Mark Driscoll for his comments on Song of Solomon.

My question is, what is more “graphic-smutty-over the top-foul language”, Larry Norman’s lyrics or Mark Driscoll’s comments? Here’s some of Norman’s lyrics:

Pardon Me (from “Only Visiting This Planet”)

Close your eyes, and pretend that you are me.
See how empty it can be
Making love if love’s not really there.

Watch me go, watch me walk away alone,
As your clothing comes undone,
And you pull the ribbon from your hair.

“Why Don’t You Look Into Jesus” (from “Only Visiting This Planet”)

Gonorrhea on Valentines day, and you’re still lookin’ for the perfect lay.
You think rock and roll will set you free, honey, you’ll be deaf before you’re 33
Shootin’ junk until you’re half insane, broken needle in your purple vein.

Steve Camp, your hypocrisy is showing.

*Note: This is not an attack on Larry Norman. I am using hyperbole to make a point.

  • Share/Bookmark
This entry was posted on Sunday, March 2nd, 2008 at 6:42 pm and is filed under Hypocrisy, Legalism, Misuse of Scripture, Music and Art, Steve Camp. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
+/- Collapse/Expand All

38 Comments(+Add)

1   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
March 2nd, 2008 at 6:49 pm

FWIW, Camp cites the latter as “one of [his] all time favorite Larry Norman songs”.

2   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 2nd, 2008 at 7:25 pm

I find Norman’s words as “edgy”.

I find Driscoll’s as inaccurate interpretations as well as massively inappropriate.

Norman was all about Jesus while Driscoll seems to be much about…well…Driscoll.

That is my subjective observation as exercised within the framework of a democracy. I have chills!

3   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 2nd, 2008 at 8:15 pm

Larry was a pentecostal and Arminian… (He even claimed to have started the Vineyard Church denomination) so that is the real issue… it seems again as with Keith Green, Steve is not living up to his own beliefs… according to those beliefs, Keith and Larry are not saved.

Now, I am not saying they are not. But Steve Camp likes to judge others by his standard, yet falls short in grasping Grace.

His doctrine is willy nilly at best! He attacks one person then honors another… at his own whim. Larry had so much in common with Vineyard, yet I am attacked by Campites (MacArthurites) for being part of that denominaiton.

iggy

4   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 2nd, 2008 at 8:23 pm

I find Driscoll’s as inaccurate interpretations as well as massively inappropriate.

Which inaccurate interpretation is that?

Song of Solomon is NOT an allegory for anything – it is a love poem included in the Hebrew Scriptures LONG before Jesus was born. Just because Origen had to allegorize it 200 years after Jesus’ birth doesn’t make it (the allegorical interpretation) true (and in fact, makes such interpretation rather suspect…)

5   Matt B    http://matbathome.blogspot.com/
March 2nd, 2008 at 8:28 pm

This is Steve Camp’s recent comment about Keith Green. The word hubris comes to mind:

“Keith was a friend; and I was with him one month before he went home to be with the Lord.

At that time, we were the only two artists in Christian music that had the gift of exhortation – more prophetic in nature.

It’s what knitted and bonded our hearts together in a unique way; though he was more Finneyesque and I from the Calvinistic belief.

Keith is most certainly a Calvinist now :-) . I miss my brother dearly. Favorite song bar none: “Asleep in the Light.”

6   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 2nd, 2008 at 8:50 pm

Chris L,

I see Song of Solomon as both… a love poem and an allegory… it is graphic and intimate and so should our faith be.

I have dealt with sexual things as well as many other things with Jesus.

I see that the growth of the beloved moves from “self focused”

Verse 1:7 “you whom I love”

then in 2:16 “My lover is mine and I am his”

Verse 6:13 “I am my lover’s and my lover is mine”

Verse 7: 10. “I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me.”

This is the progression we have as we grow in faith in Christ Jesus.

My first focus was that “I loved Jesus”

Then I moved to “He is mine and I am His”

Then I moved to “I am His and He is mine”

I now move between that last one and this one.

“I belong to Jesus, and his desire is for me.”

In this we also see how marriage should grow.

I also see the things Driscoll states as I have heard some great teachers expound on this book. The point is that in marriage, erotic love is not a sin. To perform sexual acts with my wife or her with me is not a sin… the issue is when people with impure and dirty minds not yet washed by Jesus see what they see as dirty. It reminds me of Paul’s words to Titus 1:15. “To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.”

In fact that is what I see from Ken and Ingrid and Steve Camp and on and on… all they focus on is sin… it is as if that is their focus in faith as opposed to Jesus… they are so focused on the people they claim as unclean or impure.. that they miss that God stated to Peter, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” (Acts 10″15)

To me their view is most heretical and defiant against what God has done. It is an offense to the Cross itself and the Blood of Jesus.

iggy

7   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 2nd, 2008 at 8:55 pm

Which inaccurate interpretation is that?

Nothing in the Old Testament is isolated from the New, and in fact everything in the Old testament is interpreted by and through the New Testament. So no one can “find” something in the Old Testament that isn’t substantiated and reflected in the New.

To unpack the Song of Solomon as does Driscoll has no New Testament confirmation and it therefore renders his “revelations” and interpretations as subjective and private (Peter). The New Testament must be the foundation and starting point of all teachings to the church, and more specifically the teaching epistles are primary.

So if indeed the New Testament is the gold standard for Biblical interpretation, then what can we say about the Song of Solomon? Well, since no sexual manual is revealed in those 27 New Testament books then Solomon’s book cannot mean what Driscoll teaches. The Jesus’ birth timeline is irrelevant when it comes to Scripture. When Jesus said, “Before Abraham I am” the Pharisees also were chronologically confused. The Word operates outside time and in one eternal moment.

A second year Bible student can glean the spiritual nectar from that book as unfolding God’s love relationship with His people and the reverse through the prism of an intimate marital love. The book itself is somewhat adult in nature but still retains a great amount of tasteful nuance and far from the base and course assumptions of Driscoll’s carnal suggestions.

Nothing in the Song of Solomon remotely suggests what Driscoll teaches and nowhere do the teachings of the New Testament undergird any of his so very “relevant” and western appealing revelations. Jesus said that the OT Scriptures spoke of Him. There are many secular love poems that would mirror what Solomon wrote so its inclusion in the canon must be more than just a romantic poem, these words are spirit and have eternal implications unless you relegate the Song of Solomon as a literary break from inspired Scripture.

I am somewhat surprised as well to hear those with post modern leanings dismiss someone like Origen just because of his place in history. Many views today embraced by us all were later constructions so I do not see why someone who was led of the Spirit after Jesus’ birth would be negated just because he lived after Christ. We are all in that category.

Additionally, all of Scripture must apply to our life subservient to lifting up Christ and His glory. So to render a whole book of the Bible as man centered is humanistic at its core and aberrant in its Biblical exegesis.

8   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
March 2nd, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Additionally, all of Scripture must apply to our life subservient to lifting up Christ and His glory. So to render a whole book of the Bible as man centered is humanistic at its core and aberrant in its Biblical exegesis.

This says far more about your view of sex, than it does about scripture.

9   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 2nd, 2008 at 10:04 pm

This says far more about your view of sex, than it does about scripture.

As does it yours.

10   Evan Hurst    
March 2nd, 2008 at 10:51 pm

you didn’t put “gonorrhea” in bold-face, and gonorrhea comes from naughty things, so i’m looking to be offended by that now, please.

:)

what i don’t get (outsider speaking here…who used to be an insider…and then he was in the doorway…but he left something in the garage…ahem!) – what i don’t get is why some Christians seem to have such a shamed view of sex even within what literalists/fundamentalists/whomever else considers the Bible divinely inspired consider as God’s parameters…

and, like, where did this come from? (duh. the Church!)

11   nc    
March 2nd, 2008 at 10:52 pm

Rick,

Wow. NT absolutely governs interpretation of the OT?
Sometimes it’s the other way around…

Certain stories in the gospels, the book of Hebrews, etc. are only coherent when understood in the light of the OT and 2nd Temple Judaism.

I’ll agree that all things ultimately point to Christ, but I think the OT and NT need to be read together, side by side, not trumping each other…

I wonder if anyone here has read Origen’s commentary on the SOS and his sermons on the SOS?

I wonder if anyone here knows Origen’s cosmology of souls and christology?

I think some here would be deeply disturbed by it.
Personally, I dig Origen…

I don’t think allegorizing (which was only ONE way he read the texts) is necessarily mutually exclusive from a clear literal meaning too.

I find it interesting, Rick, that you would be such an advocate for “the plain meaning of the text” in other places, but completely at peace with totally allegorizing elsewhere.

I’d genuinely want to know how you read the Levitical and Deuteronomistic law codes.

At the same time, if you really hold to this approach of allegorizing then on the face of things you’re in good company with the Patristics…but even they would say it’s not wise to absolutize only one way of reading the OT, but to read the OT literally, spiritually, etc. at once.

I’d encourage everyone to get their hands on Origen’s SOS commentary…you’ll see what I mean.

Peace….

12   nc    
March 2nd, 2008 at 11:00 pm

to the point of the post:

I still don’t get why Steve Camp is ascribed any kind of spiritual authority?

Why does anybody care what he thinks?

And why does he have such an axe to grind with Mark Driscoll?
I mean, seriously, it’s like the guy is cyber-stalking that dude.

In some ways they’re both alot alike, at least when it comes to their public personas…Maybe that’s it.

Whatever, who cares?

Let it go.
Go write a song.

That’s what he’s actually trained to do, right?

13   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 3rd, 2008 at 12:41 am

nc – Some texts are literal allegory. The New Testament explains and fulfills the Old Testament. Without the New Testament the OT is a bloody story of war and sin and many promises that remain unfulfilled. The OT nows points to and showcases the New Covenant and its Lord and Savior.

Of course many gospel stories, Pauline references, Hebrews, and other New Testament Scriptures would be without much meaning were it not for the Old Testament, but upon comparison it becomes clear that the New Testament is the greater covenant built upon better promises and in their light the OT makes sense and bows to the New/Better.

My point is that if there is no NT guide whose to say anyone’s interpretation is right or wrong? Where would the standard of enlightenment come from? The entire interpretive process, already vunerable to subjectivism, would now be rendered a toss up. All the metaphors and allegories must either be literal or can be understood in everyone’s “private” interpretation.

I believe I have made my view known about men in general. They are unremarkable in my interpretation of Scripture, and Origen, of whom I’ve never heard, falls into that category. I do not believe the Word of God is captive to any cultural, generational, ethnic, colloquial, or any other human parameters of interpretations about which the average believer worldwide is ignorant.

Some are helpful and enhance a level of understanding, but they do not hinder the Spirit’s ability to illuminate the “eyes of understanding” in the most uneducated of Christ followers, and they are not indespensible for a believer to walk a Spirit filled life of faith and obedience before the Savior.

14   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 3rd, 2008 at 1:00 am

Rick,

I will have to disagree on your view of scripture, and I suspect Paul would, as well, in light of his own advice to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16. When he wrote this, the only “scripture” was that which we would refer to as the “Old Testament”. Certainly, what we have is complete, but to suggest that the Hebrew Scriptures are inferior to the Christian ones is at the heart Replacement Theology, which is just plain wrong…

15   Henry (Rick) Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 3rd, 2008 at 1:25 am

The guidance and revelation of the Holy Spirit as it pertains to Scripture (Old Testament) through Paul and others is what authenticates the OT Scriptures as relevant to more than just Israel. In reality, the New Testament IS the Old Testament in interpretive and expanded form.

I am no replacement proponent, but I do believe the 27 books are now the pillars upon which the 39 books stand.

16   Timothy Bell    
March 3rd, 2008 at 7:15 am

Hijacking the thread slightly….it was in high school study hall in the library when I noticed the March 1977 (or was it 1976?) issue of Campus Life had some long-haired guy on the cover and the words “Christian Rock’s reluctant star.” First, I didn’t know anything about Christian Rock being brought up in an Independent Baptist (”Old-Fashioned, Bible-Pounding”) church. Second, I didn’t know that a publication that was Christian could be …well, “slick” as Campus Life magazine is/was.

Well, it’s been thirty-one years this month since then. Larry died too young, even at 60 years old. No doubt that true Christians do not always have to be perfect in theology to still be part of God’s elect, but we should always strive to.

17   RayJr    
March 3rd, 2008 at 7:23 am

Camp is a worse name dropper than Ken “Walter Martin was my homeboy” Silva.

Larry Norman was “emergent” before emergent was cool.

18   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
March 3rd, 2008 at 8:05 am

Camp is a worse name dropper than Ken “Walter Martin was my homeboy” Silva.

The beauty of humor is that it contains truth. Now that’s funny Ray. Really, really, funny.

19   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
March 3rd, 2008 at 8:06 am

Nothing in the Old Testament is isolated from the New, and in fact everything in the Old testament is interpreted by and through the New Testament.

Rick,

Have you not “whacked” Rob Bell for Rabbinical hermeneutics in the past. It seems to me that your statement supports Rob Bell. No?

20   Matt    http://matbathome.blogspot.com/
March 3rd, 2008 at 8:23 am

I suppose the difference between Camp and Silva is that Camp actually knows most of the guys he talks about. Silva has not touched the robe of no one. Unless you count Walter Martin, who has apparently “taught” to Ken posthumously.

21   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 3rd, 2008 at 8:31 am

Rick,
It seems a bit odd to me. What did Christians do in the period before the New Testament was written and compiled? Many Christians actually were still part of synagogues until after 70 A.D., and to them the Old Testament was all they knew as Scripture. If anything I would say that you have it backwards – the N.T. is supported by the O.T. Without the O.T., the N.T. would lose much of it’s meaning. Actually, it has actually led to much misunderstanding already.

As far as the Song of Solomon goes, I would say there are concepts that may be loosely extrapolated to apply to Christ and the Church, such as “I am my beloved’s, and He is mine”, but it would be based on the fact that the Church is described as the Bride of Christ in the N.T. So it’s kind of like an extension of a metaphor. I don’t think it would be anything what the original author of SOS had in mind, though.

Personally, I fail to see what the big deal about the Driscoll thing. He says again and again that it’s in the context of marriage. The only thing I can think is that some people are still operating out of some Victorian attitudes toward sex, i.e., we know everyone is doing it, but no one is allowed to talk about it.

22   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
March 3rd, 2008 at 8:33 am

we know everyone is doing it, but no one is allowed to talk about it.

Say it ain’t so Phil?

23   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
March 3rd, 2008 at 8:41 am

Say it ain’t so Phil?

Yep, even your parents…

24   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
March 3rd, 2008 at 9:48 am

Yep, even your parents…

Thanks for the visual…Now I won’t be able to get excited about having sex with my wife.

Go and ruin the moment. Jeeesh!

25   nc    
March 3rd, 2008 at 9:55 am

I agree that the Word is not captive to any cultural, ethnic, etc. because “The Word” is Christ, the second person of the Trinity, therefore God is not captive to any cultural, etc. etc. stuff.

But to say that the book called “bible” is some kind of supra-categorical thing doesn’t take seriously the clear witness of history, archaeology, etc.

We can talk about interpretive frameworks, etc. but, as I see it, reality just doesn’t bear out your assertions, Rick. Just look at the proliferation of denominations, the differing emphases of the so-called liberal vs. conservative streams of theology…

I think you’ve offered what you have found works for you, in your particular faith stream…

I’m not saying the Bible is a book alongside others…to me it occupies a middle ground between God to whom the Bible points and other books that do not have the unique, authoritative voice of the Bible.

The so-called “absolute” Truth is God revealed in Christ…the Truth is a Jew nailed on a cross…

They didn’t crucify a book.

I only say all this because I just had a conversation about the function of the Bible with someone the other day where they tried to “set me straight” by quoting John 1 and telling me that “the word WAS God”….

oy.

don’t get me wrong, I love the Bible. I care about it deeply. It is the only reliable place I can go to point me to God. But it’s not a book of aphorisms wherein I get to go to “chapter and verse” to prove theologies, etc. etc.

26   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
March 3rd, 2008 at 10:21 am

The word hubris comes to mind

A totally different word came to my mind, but I shouldn’t repeat it here.

27   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
March 3rd, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Yep, even your parents…

Great! Now I’ve gotta gouge out my mind’s eye.

28   Neil    
March 3rd, 2008 at 5:34 pm

Rick,

While I think we should interpret the Old Testament in light of the New (with apologies to my Dispensational past), I think you severely overstate the case by insisting the Song cannot be sexual since it has no New Testament parallel.

Allegorizing the Song takes on too great a hermeneitucal gymnastics.

Neil

29   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 3rd, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Rick,
I am anxiously awaiting your answer to the question posed by Chris Paytas.

30   Chuck    
March 4th, 2008 at 12:08 am

Before I say anything , I am new to your Blogg and apolagize if I break the rules.With that said, I’d like to address a couple of comments made. I list them below.I don’t want to address the issues that these comments are in responce to.I just want to add some information to my brothers Chris and Phil for their consideration, that I believe they are not aware of in the scriptures.Read 2Peter 3:15-16,By referring to the letters of Paul in comparison to the other scriptues,Peter is saying that Pauls letters are also scripture with the same authority as the Jewish scriptures (O.T.). This would lead one to believe that the church at the time of Peter and Paul recognized the apostles teaching authority to be equal “as the Word of the Lord” to the “other”scriptures, So when 2Tim 3:16 referrs to the scriptures it is referring to the Hebrew scriptures and the Christian “Apostles letters”Scriptures.And 2 Tim 3:16 says that all scripture is (Grk God Breathed) putting the Christian Scriptures on the the same level as the Hebrew scriptures for the Church at the same time as the Apostles ministry.There are also other scriptures that bare this out but since there are no scriptures that would seem to contradict this these will suffice. Hope this is some help.Your brother Chuck

Comment from Chris L
Time: March 3, 2008, 1:00 am

Rick,

I will have to disagree on your view of scripture, and I suspect Paul would, as well, in light of his own advice to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16. When he wrote this, the only “scripture” was that which we would refer to as the “Old Testament”. Certainly, what we have is complete, but to suggest that the Hebrew Scriptures are inferior to the Christian ones is at the heart Replacement Theology, which is just plain wrong…

Comment from Phil Miller
Time: March 3, 2008, 8:31 am

Rick,
It seems a bit odd to me. What did Christians do in the period before the New Testament was written and compiled? Many Christians actually were still part of synagogues until after 70 A.D., and to them the Old Testament was all they knew as Scripture. If anything I would say that you have it backwards – the N.T. is supported by the O.T. Without the O.T., the N.T. would lose much of it’s meaning. Actually, it has actually led to much misunderstanding already.

As far as the Song of Solomon goes, I would say there are concepts that may be loosely extrapolated to apply to Christ and the Church, such as “I am my beloved’s, and He is mine”, but it would be based on the fact that the Church is described as the Bride of Christ in the N.T. So it’s kind of like an extension of a metaphor. I don’t think it would be anything what the original author of SOS had in mind, though.

Personally, I fail to see what the big deal about the Driscoll thing. He says again and again that it’s in the context of marriage. The only thing I can think is that some people are still operating out of some Victorian attitudes toward sex, i.e., we know everyone is doing it, but no one is allowed to talk about it

31   David Muller    http://blog.thewebsiteguy.com.au
March 4th, 2008 at 6:54 am

It’s what knitted and bonded our hearts together in a unique way; though he was more Finneyesque and I from the Calvinistic belief.

Keith is most certainly a Calvinist now . I miss my brother dearly. Favorite song bar none: “Asleep in the Light.”

I don’t want to assume anything here, so can someone explain what they thing is meant by this? Am I right that this means only Calvinists go to heaven?

32   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
March 4th, 2008 at 7:29 am

Almost David. God makes exceptions if you’re friends with one of us Calvinists, though. So buy me a donut some time and you can go to heaven.

33   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 4th, 2008 at 8:00 am

David,

You know SPurgeon stated that Calvinism is the Gospel.

Now, I personally think Jesus might have a say in all this somehow… at least it seems to some degree as I read the bible…

Yet, Spurgeon stated once…

iggy

34   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
March 4th, 2008 at 2:59 pm

Easy for you to say, iggy. You’ve already got your ticket punched, since you’re my friend.

35   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 4th, 2008 at 6:58 pm

Henry,
Would you consider yourself a “primitive Baptist”?

36   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 4th, 2008 at 7:22 pm

Hmmm in proxy like a Morman… LOL!

Love ya man…

Joe I am having vision like this with your “primitive baptist”…

iggy

37   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
March 4th, 2008 at 7:50 pm

No no no, Iggy, I’m not being funny. When I lived in Md. there was a guy that was a friend of my brother’s who was a primitive Baptist who believed very similar to what Henry is espousing in this thread.

38   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 4th, 2008 at 11:06 pm

Joe,

I understand there are primitive baptists… but as with many other strange cartoon characters, this is what basically went through my head. Maybe from watch the recent baby mammoth special on Discovery…

LOL!
iggy