Are you a melody person or a lyric person? I’m always surprised when people tell me that they don’t know the words to a song because, they say, “I only listen to the music.”
The words really matter to me, and as a result, I’m an unashamed fan of lyricists. If I were forced to choose just one, it would have to be Paul Simon. It’s been more than half a century since I first heard the line “Hello darkness, my old friend” and wondered, from far away in Yorkshire, “Where is Bleecker Street?” Years later, in 1975, when driving a U-Haul in New York City, I found myself on that very street and sensed I could almost hear those “voices leaking from a sad café.” Throughout his songs, Simon admits to being puzzled by life—by his life. He continues to have “questions for the angels” and about the afterlife: “After you climb up the ladder of time, the Lord God is near.”
I little doubt that Simon has read the Psalms, but in his lyrics, he gives no indication of finding in them the satisfaction that comes in the morning (Psalm 90:14) in the awareness of God’s covenant love expressed ultimately in Jesus. He admits that his lyrics contain “a certain amount of spiritual seeking …. But just as often the references are skeptical.”
Along with many others questioning life’s meaning, Simon is part of the potential audience of Truth For Life. We continue to try to teach the Bible clearly and relevantly so that people may come to know Jesus as a Savior, Lord, and Friend. Since the Bible is a book about Jesus, we’re always on the lookout for books that make this clear.
Along these lines, one of the titles I’ve chosen to recommend this month is How the Bible Can Change Your Life by my friend Josh Moody. It offers much help when explaining our confidence in Scripture and is equally good to give to someone you know who’s searching for answers to the big questions. Our second offer is an abridged version of Arnold Dallimore’s two-volume biography of George Whitefield and is one of my all-time favorites. I found it an immense help in understanding the impact of the Gospel during the eighteenth century.
So, I leave you with these suggestions for your reading and listening pleasure as you enjoy the long days of summer. Remember that there’s an open invitation for you to come visit us on a Sunday at Parkside Church if your vacation travels bring you anywhere near Cleveland.
With my love in the Lord Jesus,
Topics: Letters From Alistair Begg