Friday, September 21, 2012

the view from ... Kim and Jim Thomas of Say So

Tell us a little about how you became a Christian. What experiences led you to believe that there had to be something more than just this life?

Say So: We both became Christians at an early age and grew up in the church. Later on, during our high school and college years, we began to understand that being a Christian is about more than just sin management.

How did those experiences and that decision to follow Jesus Christ impact your life and the relationships you had with others?

Say So: Discipleship means integrating our faith into all the other areas of our lives. Because we have decided to follow Christ, it means we look at life in a completely different way than we used to.

What does your faith mean to you? Why is it important to you?

Say So: The Christian faith begins to answer all the BIG questions of life i.e. Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? How can we know the difference between right and wrong? Where are we going?

What lessons have been the most valuable to you during your experience of following Christ?

Say So: Understanding the importance of seeking hard after God and studying the scriptures which reveal God's thoughts.


While many Christians today seem to retreat into a subculture of Christian music, Christian books, Christian TV, your music seems to speak openly and honestly about faith and life in fresh ways, not just telling Christians something they want to hear or repeating the same old things over and over again, but speaking so that anyone can listen and wonder. Do you feel that this retreat into the subculture has kept many Christians from being able to have a real voice in the world?

 Say So: Perhaps. American evangelicalism has on occasion fallen into the trap of trivializing and sloganizing the Christian faith.

How do you avoid that retreat, particularly as songwriters and artists?

Say So: In the lyrics of our songs and in the books we've written (Jim: Coffeehouse Theology and Streetwise Spirituality, Kim: Simplicity and Living in the Sacred Now) we've tried really hard to speak in a language that anyone could understand. We try to think more in terms of worldview and less in terms of a Hallmark card approach to our faith. We feel we should sing/speak/write about all of life from a Christian worldview.

How do you perceive the state of Christian music today?

Say So: It's probably fair to say there is some very good, some okay, and some bad. But that's nothing new.

One of my favorites songs you've recorded has the line: "water and blood and flesh and bone ... mysterious jewel in a plastic box." That line has always stuck with me since. What was the genesis of that song?

Say So: The first part speaks of our solidarity in physical terms and the second of our solidarity as creatures made in the image of God. The mysterious jewel is the image of God that sets us apart from the rest of creation and gives us the capacity to know our creator as a heavenly Father.

Who are the thinkers, artists, and writers who have influenced your understanding of the life of faith?

Say So: C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, Dallas Willard, John Stott, Alister McGrath, Francis Schaeffer, Annie Dillard, Madeline L'Engle

What do you see as the biggest hang-ups keeping Christians from being able to make an impact in the world at large, or becoming what Bob Briner refers to as "roaring lambs"?

Say So: I think we are doing better than we were in the past couple of decades. But there are probably several things that still hold us back at times. Our use of "Christianese" or, insider language. The arrogance we so often display. Our lack of unity. Our lack of social responsibility. etc.

What do you see as the real issues Christians should be addressing to a postmodern generation?

Say So: One thing is that we need to rethink evangelism. I think we need to approach it on more of a relational level. This takes more time and involves more listening and less talking which we aren't used to. But that is definitely what it will take if we're going to make more Christians and better ones at that.

Okay, supposing I'm an honest skeptic standing before you at this moment. What's the one thing you wouldn't want me to leave without hearing?

Say So: That the Designer of your brain (God) really does exist or you wouldn't even be able to think your skeptical thoughts. That the ancient scriptures reveal how this Designer desires to be in relationship with you, so much so, that in spite of your doubts, He loves you and is in hot pursuit of you.

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