Answering the theological challenge of Robbie Williams

|PIC1|That’s the most recent question posed by a perplexed member of the public to be answered on popular theological answers-website, Freelance Theology.

Jon the freelance theologian, who has run the website since January 2004, says it shows how many Christians feel confused when dealing with challenging cultural developments.

“When we hear a popular singer like Robbie Williams referencing Jesus, we often don’t know whether to react positively or negatively, especially if the ‘message’ being presented is ambiguous” says Jon.

“We have a choice in the way we engage with someone like Robbie, But first we have to know what he is singing about.”

Robbie Williams’ latest song, ‘Bodies’ refers to a number of religious ideas, including new age and Buddhist references, as well as Jesus.

This, says Jon, reflects the religious hodgepodge of the singer’s audience.

“The cultural output of any society is important for Christians to study,” says Jon. “Songs like this both reflect and shape the attitudes of people.”|QUOTE|

But despite the religious imagery, Jon believes the song ultimately reflects a “nihilistic materialism”. But even despite that, Christians can use the song as a ‘way in’ to deeper discussions with friends and co-workers.

“Some Christians may find these lyrics unsettling, but they could provide a very useful starting point in discussions with people who are looking for meaning and are examining the truth-claims of Christianity,” concludes Jon.

© Jon the freelance theologian, 2009. This article first appeared on freelance theology - visit to read more answers to genuine questions about Christianity. Reproduced with permission.