On The Title – An explanation of Reform Follows Function.

This is Part 1 of 3 explanations of the new album Reform Follows Function.  This is also on the Reform Follows Function page.  Part 2 is on the making of RFF, and Part 3 is on the songs.

Reform Follows Function is a play on architect Louis Sullivan’s motto, Form Follows Function. If you want a car’s primary function to be speed then it’s form will be aerodynamic. That’s form following function. Remember the last time you saw a VW Vanagon on the speedway? Exactly.

Form following function makes great sense in the realm of design but falls short when describing the church. Unlike cars and buildings the church is a living thing. It’s people. It’s you and me. I believe the primary function of the church is joining the world in the embrace of God’s love and providing opportunities for response. We exist in ever changing environments and as a result we are most functional when we are continually reformed.

The European church of the early 1500’s was dysfunctional. People didn’t have direct access to the Bible and they were being charged for forgiveness. Martin Luther took issue with this and about 93 other things. The Reformation he instigated was all about creating a more functional church. This was his response to the embrace of God’s love.

Our response may look a little different but it is equally revolutionary. It may be sharing a meal with a neighbor. Or a stranger. Volunteering at a free clothing store. Hugging our kids. These are the things that change the world. Small things with great love as Mother Theresa would say.

The songs on Reform Follows Function reflect this approach of changing and responding to what God has done for us. Whether growing in trust, rethinking spending habits, challenging authority, working for peace, living our callings or simply staying in touch, this is an album of hope and encouragement to a people that have been embraced by God’s love and continually respond. We are simply who we are and this world cannot ignore us. The Reformation continues.

Posted: April 18th, 2011
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