Archives For rock

Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll, right? That’s the theology of most bands, isn’t it? Live fast, party hard, have fun, and damn the consequences. Insofar as I know, Metallica has never been quite that band; lyrically, at least. This isn’t the glam rock of Motley Crüe, or RATT, but the thrash of angst, anger, and injustice.
I’m not here saying I’m a fan, or that one should listen to Metallica. What I am saying is that, at least in their most recently released single, Hardwired, there’s a theology present. What do I mean?

C.S. Lewis famously wrote of theology of dirty jokes, his thesis being that off-color (especially sexual or scatological) humor makes us uncomfortable precisely because, on some instinctual level, we recognize that we are more than these flesh suits we wear. That we were in fact made for more, for glory. So that our own creatureliness offends us. Granted, one can’t make an entire theology of dirty jokes, but there is one there.

Likewise, with Hardwired, Metallica while delivering a fast-paced, frenetic tune, have hit upon a certain theological truth. Let me put in this way:

If the central tenet of Shakespeare’s Macbeth is “the wages of sin is death,” then Hardwired is a song (whether through composer intent or not) about the most basic fact of human nature:

We’re lost, born in sin.

Please understand that the theology contained herein, as in dirty jokes, is crudely expressed. With that in mind, consider the lyrics below:

In the name of desperation [our condition]

In the name of wretched pain [pain is universal]

In the name of all creation [the creation groans]

Gone insane [who can dispute this?]
We’re so f*cked [our natural state without Christ]

Sh*t outta luck

Hardwired to self-destruct
On the way to paranoia

On the crooked borderline

On the way to great destroyer [the god of this world]

Doom design
We’re so f*cked

Sh*t outta luck

Hardwired to self-destruct
Once upon a planet burning

Once upon a flame

Once upon a fear returning

All in vain
Do you feel that hope is fading?

Do you comprehend?

Do you feel it terminating?

In the end
We’re so f*cked

Sh*t outta luck

Hardwired to self-destruct

Hardwired to self-destruct



As the Scriptures say, we’re “born in sin and shapen in iniquity,” doomed to die apart from our Creator. By our very nature we are indeed “hardwired to self destruct.”


But, God, knowing our nature, made a way. And that way is Jesus. Only in him can our very nature be rewired.

Be redeemed.

So, as in Macbeth, there is a theology in Hardwired, but it’s only half the story. Yes, indeed the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Which path are you on? The Hardwired one, the broad way? Or the narrow one leading to life?


PS You might say I’m reading too  much into a rock song. That’s as may be. C.S Lewis also said,

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

When Music Was Fun

randomlychad  —  January 6, 2014 — 2 Comments

Being already grown, and married, I missed the angst-ridden music scene of the 90s. Nirvana was not my thing. To be fair, back in the day I was into Metallica, AC/DC, Scorpions, etc. That was the sound of my rebellion. My angry candy.

But I didn’t always turn to music to give voice to my my inner demons. Rather, sometimes I just wanted to rock. I wanted to have fun. For my money, no one epitomized just how fun rocking out could be than Billy Squier. For a few years, he was then reigning champ of the arena rock scene.


Who can forget The Stroke? A song not about sex, but rather rockstar egos? Or In the Dark, Everybody Wants You, etc?

The guy knew how to rock, and had fun doing it.

I spent some time this past weekend revisiting some of Billy Squier’s catalog, and I’ve gotta say that it holds up surprisingly well. Besides which, his power ballads helped me power through cleaning my bathroom.

Made the domestic fun. And the songs took me back thirty years to when I was a much younger man. To a time when rocking out didn’t mean having an agenda, a message to peddle. No, Squier’s songs don’t have U2-level depth, don’t address world issues…

But darnit! They’re fun! They are well-crafted, infectious ear candy that exist only to make you feel better. If you have a good time listening to these tunes that’s the point.

So give Billy Squier a listen on one of those new-fangled things you kids are using these days. Pandora, Spotify, or that YouTube I keep hearing about.

(Yes, it’s okay to scratch your head and laugh at the absurdity of Squier’s Rock Me Tonight video).