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Changed: True Stories of Finding God Through Christian Music
Authors: Christy Barrett & Ginny McCabe
Publisher: Standard Publishing
Length: 223 pp.

This book is exactly as advertised ­ over forty stories of people who came to Christ or found a deeper relationship to Him as a result of Christian music.  It is easy for those of us in media to become cynical about Christian music ­ we have the same complaints about simplistic lyrics, mediocre talent, or the stifling of artists who aren't always positive.

However, Changed serves as a reminder that music can be a powerful force in bringing people to God.  Were I an artist performing music that was cited in this book, I would take an incredible amount of encouragement from someone listing my song as a trigger towards their finding God.

The title page is slightly misleading ­ Barrett and McCabe actually edited and compiled the book, rather than writing it.  The essays contained here are written by a variety of contributors from all walks of life, most of whom are not readily known to those outside of their immediate circle of friends.  One notable exception is HM Magazine founder Doug Van Pelt, who details his experience with the Amy Grant song "Find a Way."

Changed is one of those books that makes it easy to read a few pages, put it down, then pick it up again later.  It attempts to offer a rationale for "Christian" music and the impact it can have on people's lives, and mostly succeeds in that endeavor.  My only quibble is that after awhile, the stories begin to blend together as they seem to follow a basic formula: the writer's life was going badly, they heard a song that made them see things differently, and the healing process begins.  There is nothing inherently wrong with this premise ­ it just becomes repetitive after reading twenty or thirty accounts.

Brian A. Smith
19 August 2005



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