I will honestly say that I have not done quite enough research yet to justify my topic fully. There’s still more that I can do for sure to have the fullest sense of my topic, but with the limited resources I have, I think I have a fair sense of where my paper could go (I actually now need to read the sources and figure out for sure).
I’m hoping to make the nuanced argument that the CCM movement was overall a positive development in the history of Christian music, but that there are numerous theological and praxial (this word meaning how people live their lives/perform CCM music) problems that are troubling for someone who cares deeply about the mission of spreading the Christian Gospel. The sources I have I think will help me make this argument, but I don’t know exactly yet how the argument will be shaped out. I may very well need to do more research to solidify things.
Firstly, I found a couple solid articles examining the theological content of CCM music, which I’m positive will be very helpful as I aim to talk about the theology of CCM (not comparing it to Luther yet, that will hopefully be my final paper). I also found an excellent paper talking about the conservative anti-rock discourse and its connection to culture wars that I hope will help me talk about the very interesting dichotomy between on one hand condemning rock and on the other hand appropriating much of secular music into the CCM movement. There’s also great sources about the history of the CCM movement and how it’s been seen as entertainment and worship, another dichotomy I would explore.
Again, I don’t know yet exactly how this paper will take shape, and the difficulty with this topic in particular for me will be maintaining my scholarly objectivity. I’ve grown up listening to and loving CCM music and never really having a problem with it (except recently for reasons I’d outline in the paper), so it would be difficult for me to fully understand other Christian traditions who don’t have that as part of their experience. I hope that I can take the evidence where it leads and write an objective paper (which is why I specifically propose a nuanced view of the movement instead of an overly positive one). I have a lot of work to do yet on this paper (I’m behind the A-ball for sure), but I’m excited to do the work and see where it leads because this topic (and class) means so much to me personally and academically.