Prime Cuts: Drop Your Stone, Find You to Find Me, Just the Same
Chris August's new album "The Maker" reads like a well-narrated autobiography where he does not just chronicle linearly and uneventfully his timeline of events. Rather, he gives exposition at life's intersection between his own personal struggles and God's revelation of Himself through the pages of Holy Scripture. As a result not only do we profit from the nuggets of truth August has had gleaned. But we also get to stand with August in his shoes with his honest confessions of fear, doubt, and uncertainties. "The Maker" came out of a doleful season of August's life after he had suffered from a skateboard accident and a long season of battling with depression. Thus, the songs here exist not just for our entertainment. Rather, they represent pearls of wisdom that will buffet our souls with holy delight as we put them on repeat on our iTunes.
August came to the musical purview with his 2010's #1 hit "Starry Nights." Out of which came his debut album on WORD Records "Not Far Away," which became a top 15 Christian album. Even at the start of his career, August has never been one not to wear his heart on his sleeves. From his debut record also came "7x70," a song that he wrote as a response of forgiveness towards his parents' divorce when he was just 5 years-old. Two albums down, August still bares his soul with this new record. Most autobiographical is "He's Still Here." A throbbing hook-laden pop number that blisters with a polish of confidence, August here unwaveringly sings about God's abiding presence even in times when our feelings betray such a truth.
One of August's mettle as a top flight songwriter shows with "Find You to Find Me." Turning around the worldly adage that "life begins when you find yourself," here August rightfully insists that life begins when we find God who then helps us find ourselves. If you want a song with a pretty (and memorable) melodic line, look no farther than the ear-grabbing and heart-fluttering ode of grace, "Just the Same." "Drop Your Name" is a modern day retelling of the story in John 8 where Jesus teaches us not to condemn others because we first are wretched sinners ourselves. Here, August shows that he is just as apt in penning a narrative-centered song.
The title cut "The Maker" calls to mind the hymn "This is My Father's World," where August reminds us again that God is with us in all of creation. Nevertheless, there's one line that needs to be brought to light. Over the course of the song, August sings "You are creation." God is indeed the Creator who loves, abides, and cherishes His creation. But nowhere in Scripture is God equated with creation. To say God is creation is to say God is pantheistic, which is an erring heresy. Other than this theological trip-up, "The Maker" is a well-told slice of autobiography narrated with heart, thought and melody.
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