Alex Robertson - Playing With Fire

Tuesday 1st June 1999
Alex Robertson - Playing With Fire

RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Barratt Ministries
FORMAT: Book General book

Reviewed by Tom Lennie

With the subtitle The Use And Abuse Of Music, this book takes an in-depth look at the roots of musical styles, asking pertinent questions which the reader is often left to answer for himself. Alex Robertson is a committed Christian and a classical violinist who has studied at Cambridge University and the Royal Northern College Of Music. He deals with many and varied musical issues. He destroys the "classic delusion" that classical music is essentially rooted in godliness (based on the myth of the nobility of man) and questions the spirituality of numerous "Christian" composers. As a worship leader himself, Alex also has some revealing thoughts about praise and worship. He emphasises the difference between the presence of God and "setting up an atmosphere" which he knows from experience "is not difficult at all." Worship, he insists, is essentially about "submission, consecration and sacrifice." He explores New Age music and also gives a lengthy chapter on image and myth and their relation to music. This requires careful reading, examining as it does the very foundations of modern Western culture. Often the book reads like a Confessions Of A Professional Musician, as in true humility Alex gives repeated instances of his own wrong motives and goals, both before and after becoming a Christian. Alex had to be broken by God, broken from serving music as a god, to being totally given over to the one and only true Lord. This is the essential message - the independent spirit in which one pursues self and success simply must be broken and laid at the foot of the cross, never to be taken up again. A fascinating book, which profoundly challenged me. I thoroughly recommend it.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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