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Kings of Convenience – Declaration of Dependence

June 26, 2011

I can’t stop listening to the sound of two soft voices rendered in perfection.

I love stumbling across contemporary talented musicians (like Jake Smith, Alexi Murdoch, James Vincent McMorrow), so you can imagine my delight when I discovered two such gifted artists in the form of  Kings of Convenience. Comprised of the German soloist Erlend Øye and the Norwegian Eirik Glambek Bøe (The Whitest Boy Alive), this duo is one to watch. Don’t be fooled by their calm demeanor; behind their apparently bashful reserve, there are endless possiblities for innovative harmony and lyrical wit.

I was intrigued by the title to their new album: Declaration of Dependence. Often we don’t like to declare that we are dependent on anyone else. We are living in a culture of independence – I have my own space, you have yours. We are independent kings of convenience.

I thought I’d search the word ‘depend’ on biblegateway.com to see what the Bible has to say about that. The Psalmist wrote: “My salvation and my honour depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.” (Psalm 62:7)

The Psalmist acknowledges that he cannot depend upon himself either for salvation or for honour. Instead, he puts his trust in God, in whom he takes refuge as his Mighty Rock (see Simon and Garfunkel’s I am a rock).

Similarly, Paul writes: “It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” (Romans 9:16)

In another letter, he writes: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

What on earth does that mean for us?

Postmodernism, with all its so-called liberating relavitism and apparent tolerance, ultimately leaves us with two options: cyncism or hedonism*. As such, it can be seen as one of the hollow and deceptive philosophies of our age – instead of freeing us, it actually imprisons us. What Paul is saying is that we cannot depend on ourselves or our human philosophies for salvation or honour. Instead, he writes, these two things that we seek can be found in the person of Jesus Christ.

*Wim Rietkerk – Want to know more? Have a listen to his talk on Postmodernism – The Loss of a Search for Truth.

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