Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Larry Norman 1947-2008

One of the most influential musicians in Christian music has gone home to be with the Lord. Larry Norman, the writer of songs such as “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” and “Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music”, passed away two days ago. Larry became known as the Father of Christian Rock as he was among the first musicians to combine spiritual themes with rock and roll.

I had the pleasure of meeting Larry in 1996 at a worship conference in Toronto. During one of the workshops, Larry answered questions from the audience. I asked Larry how he responded to Christians who criticized his appearance especially his long hair. He replied by quoting 1 Corinthians 11:14 (“Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?”) and then said, “Women these days cut their hair so short it makes mine look long.”

Larry was looked upon by some church folk as a rebel. He once told CCM Magazine, "The churches weren’t going to accept me looking like a street person with long hair and faded jeans. They did not like the music I was recording. And I had no desire to preach the gospel to the converted." Over the years, both secular and Christian audiences appreciated Larry’s music. He will be missed.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” – John 5:24

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