Singer and songwriter David Bazan is possibly one of the more prolific and valued members of the independent music scene most notably with Pedro the Lion and as a solo artist. And for a while… he was a Christian. After many years of making faithful music chronicling the totality of his faith experience, even at its most raw, Bazan’s personal faith shifted away from the faithful. His music was next to follow. Bazan’s 2009 relase, “Curse Your Branches” was called by some “a break-up record with God” and artfully articulated the dismantling of a man’s faith, his own.
Surprisingly, Bazan still finds himself engaging with Evangelicals despite his current situation. As part of Q Talks David Bazan talks with author and occasional social philosopher David Dark about the collapse of faith and the confusion of Evangelical culture. You can watch it here. It’s important to understand how, from Bazan’s perspective, cultural American Evangelicalism contributed to his situation, versus how the true personhood and nature of God contributed. Few people can speak with Bazan from such common ground in the Christian realm and I find Dark’s analysis of Bazan absolutely remarkable, moving Bazan from an angry doubter into a faithful thinker.
A truly interesting moment is when Dark sums up Bazan’s views on public commitments to titles such as Christian, where he says, “We end up being people who are committed to not much more than the rigorous defense of our own personalities.” Bazan and Dark seem to agree that public confessions and titles become less about a genuine faith and more about an individual making attempts at conceiving power through supposed credibility. “What’s the fruit in the end?” Bazan says later, emphasizing that self-applying titles seems to be far less important than the ultimate effect of an individual’s faith.
Bazan concludes his remarks on credibility by saying, “Credibility is you trying to have power over other people. And if you believe in what Jesus said …which I almost do… You can’t be trying to collect power over other people. It’s not what He would have you do.”