Friday, May 1, 2009

A Great Drummer But Not A Clear Thinker

The greatest drummer of all time is Buddy Rich - of that all percussion historians are agreed. Still, for someone like me (a poor drummer but an avid listener to great rock from the 70's & 80's), my faviorite drummer remains Rush's Neil Peart. Many know Neil only as one of rock's great drummers but are unaware that he's written almost all of the lyrics for Rush's many songs over a 30+ year period. One of their most well-known is the hit "Freewill," part of which goes:

You can choose a ready guide
In some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide
You still have made a choice

You can choose from phantom fears
And kindness that can kill
I will choose a path thats clear
I will choose free will

Not a bad rock tune, but it makes for very bad theology. I'm not blaming Neil. We shouldn't expect someone who's deeply opposed to biblical Christianity to think like the Bible. We, on the other hand, shouldn't fall into Neil's trap of exalting human free will.

A similar thought struck me with poignancy this morning as I read chapter two of Herman Witsius' Economy of the Covenants Between God and Man. The thought goes like this: No person who truly knows in increasing measure the sin-tendency of the human heart fights for the doctrinal or philosophical centrality of free will.

Let's pray for Neil Peart, but let's not be seduced by his thinking - the thinking of natural man which always will cry for the supremacy of human free will. Rather, thank God for the grace of His sovereign care, calling and eternal purposes. His alone is a will worth exalting.

1 comment:

Jason Skjervem said...

Buddy Rich was a great drummer. I often wonder though, if, like many "heros" that have died a long time ago, that he has become "better" with age. I'm not in disagreement that he wasn't insanely talented, but I think there have been some better guys since him. Just on the current pop music scene you've got guys like Travis Barker and Taylor Hawkins, and a few that were close in skill before Rich's popularity, Gene Krupa comes to mind.

Good prayer suggestion. I think many drummers and their band mates could use prayers like that!