I had been a Christian only a few months in summer 1971, so I knew nothing about the young man a few feet away plucking his guitar except that his name was Larry Norman.
Tall, lanky, with sweeping blond hair, Norman was in town for a concert and had dropped by the Christian commune where I was staying. No one had invited him.
Apparently he had learned via the grapevine that our little household, known as His House, was the gathering place for Jesus Freaks in Albuquerque.
Only a few of us were in that night, so we sat comfortably on the floor quietly talking, praying, and singing in the soft lamp light.
Norman played a few of his trademark songs like “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” and “We Need a Whole Lot More of Jesus (and a Lot Less Rock and Roll).”
Larry Norman went on to be hailed as the founder of Christian Rock Music (and the owners of His House, Denis and Margie Haack, went on to found a ministry called Ransom Fellowship).
Norman defended his work as a musician by invoking a basic Christian worldview principle: “I think everybody should be a full time Christian, even if they work on cars or sell insurance” (quoted in American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon).
When Norman died last Sunday, the obits began pouring in. Here are some links:
Update: Larry Norman on Youtube.
HT: Mark Joseph; photo: amazon
Nancy Pearcey is editor at large of The Pearcey Report.