Finding Faith

Stories of Music and Life
Nick Baines

A few years ago I went along to a series of weekly training events held in a local church looking at how the church could and should reach out to men.

In general it was quite a good series, but there was one evening that jarred. In thinking about young men and older boys, the leader that evening wanted to outline the predicament and need that these boys and young men had for Jesus.

In doing so he showed a presentation of various images of lad behaviour along to the soundtrack of U2’s song “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”. The connection was then laboriously made that the song was the anthem of this generation of men: never happy, always searching after
something new, on a constant quest for that next thing.

On the surface of it, that is fine. Except that this is not what that song is about. Indeed it really was a perversion of the theme of the song which lacked any understanding of the quite profound depth of this song in describing someone’s faith journey.

Our leader on that evening was playing to the stereotype that “if only you find Jesus, then all your questions are answered, all your struggles are over, and all your wants will be met”. If only.

I was delighted to see that Nick Baines in his recent book, “Finding Faith: Stories of Music and Life”, uses this particular U2 song as the basis for one of his chapters.

Baines notes that the song, while a big hit, had a mixed reaction from Christians. Some thought it was asking questions that shouldn’t be asked, while for others it articulated exactly how they felt about their faith in a messy world—it is a work in progress.

Nick Baines is the Bishop of Croydon and author of a number of books for
Saint Andrew Press. Baines’ books are approachable and worth a read, and
Finding Faith is no exception. He reflects on his own life and faith through the use of songs that have been important to him at different times.

“Finding Faith” is a very personal book for Baines, almost autobiographical, and yet I am sure it will appeal to all who have reflected on their own faith at different times of their lives. The songs Baines has picked range from The Beatles to Van Morrison, and Paul Simon to Joan Osborne with many other stops along the way.

The themes that Baines picks from his own life and the musical accompaniment to those times are both challenging and also affirming, they are very aware of the complexity of this world and life, but through it all find ways to express wonder and hope through his commitment to serving Jesus Christ.

While reading the book, I could not help but to think about the songs that have accompanied my own life, and about the artists that have been influential at different stages of my faith development.

If Baines’ own journey helps us to explore our own faith, then so much the  better for us: let the song continue.

Rev Peter Johnston

Finding Faith
Nick Baines
Saint Andrew Press, 2008
ISBN: 9780715208687

This entry was posted in Book Reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>