Derek Webb, The Ringing Bell (2007)

“What would you do / If someone would tell you the truth / But only if you torture them half to death.” Derek Webb, formerly of Caedmon’s Call, raises questions on The Ringing Bell (2007) that many of his Christian fans may prefer to ignore. In a time of war and violence, Webb insists, correctly, that he’s “facing enemies / On both sides of the gun.” There is passion here, a fine love-song (“I Wanna Marry You Again”), and hope. “There is a day that’s been inaugurated but has not yet come / That we can proclaim by showing that there’s a better way.” Exactly right: we live in the tension of a Kingdom come, but not yet fully realized, so the questions and our answers matter. With well crafted instrumentation and a voice that carries his conviction, I look forward to Webb’s next offering.