Kingdom Come

Charlie Peacock

re:think Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Michael Ehret

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/09/1999

It's been three years since Charlie Peacock released his last album, strangelanguage. In between, he filled the time with some producing chores, a nine-month sabbatical, and authoring the book At The Crossroads, a look at the current state and future direction of this thing called contemporary Christian music.

Where the book was a little disjointed and hard to follow in places, there is no such problem with Peacock's latest effort, Kingdom Come. This piece of art hangs together musically, thematically, and theologically. The songwriting and musicianship are top notch, with help from Bela Fleck, Darwin Hobbs, Kenny Greenberg and, unless my ears fail me, Christine Dente, among others.

In his book, Peacock wrote that the industry driving the talent in contemporary Christian music (CCM) misdirects them to write and produce songs that sell. The goals of Christian music are no different from the goals of those in the secular music business, Peacock claims.

"From music to ministry, CCM takes its cues from the world."

And:

"In the beginning, the CCM industry came alongside the artists, and the artists looked to the industry to equip them for their various missions and callings. Now CCM looks to the artists to adjust to the corporation's mission -- their calling. The relationship between artists and equipper has become, as they say, a case of the tail wagging the dog."

In Kingdom Come, which he also produced, Peacock's vision, his idea of just what his ministry is, is presented with crystalline clarity. It boils down to this: God's kingdom is everywhere and as His people, we should be everywhere as well.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

In the tune, Peacock sings: "I keep forgetting that nothing's really as it seems/'cause everything's got to, got to be redeemed./I want to see your story become my dreams./Your kingdom come, your will be done/It's so much more than I can see./It's been before, it's yet to be/Your kingdom's born inside of me."

According to Peacock, God's kingdom has been here always, is here now, and will yet come -- that's a tough concept to get your brain around, but the song makes it easy. Christians shouldn't be waiting for the kingdom to come but should be living as if it's already here -- because it is.

Kingdom Come calls listeners to catch a glimpse of the Kingdom of God and their place in it. The kingdom is so far away from how we live, Peacock says, that to experience it would be strange -- we wouldn't recognize it if we saw it.

Many Christians have been taught since their early Sunday School lessons what God's kingdom would be like -- and still it's strange. In the song "Wouldn't It Be Strange" Peacock takes all of those Sunday School lessons and combines them.

"Wouldn't it be strange if power made you weak?/Victory came to those who turned the other cheek?/Wouldn't it be strange to welcome your defeat?/Wouldn't it be strange to find out in the end/the first will be the last and all the losers win?/Wouldn't it be strange if Jesus came again?/Wouldn't it be strange?"

Power = weakness. Victory = submission. First = last. Winning = losing.

Put this up against the whole Michael Jordan/Nike "Just Do It" attitude so prevalent in our society today and one can begin to see why it is hard to recognize the kingdom of God when it's staring you right in the face.

Musically, this disc, like other Peacock projects, touches many different musical bases. "Kingdom Come" and "Wouldn't It Be Strange" are pop-rock singles-in-waiting. There's some jazz influences in "The Night Won't Last Forever;" worship textures in "Is The Brightness Still In Me."

Beatles influences are plentiful and there are some really interesting instrumental and rhythm turns being taken. Peacock's voice sounds fuller and more mature, similar to his vocal work on the Coram Deo projects.

Other highlights: "Is The Brightness Still In Me," a self-examination, self-critique that asks if the "brightness" of salvation and faith is still shining; "Don't Be Afraid," a rocking tune urging listeners to lose their fears and make themselves available to whatever God sends their way; and, "Genius In The Details," a call to see God in the details of the world.

Peacock writes in "Don't Be Afraid": "All I want to do is inspire you to/live like you belong to God./Making every day, choices lived in light of never-ending grace and love." With this project he makes a convincing argument -- and in a setting that entertains besides.

Rating: A

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© 1999 Michael Ehret and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of re:think Records, and is used for informational purposes only.