eighties rush

Yesterday I was honored to speak in Cornerstone’s chapel, which is a first-rate program run by Matt Westerholm.  If you’ve read this site before you know that Matt is very funny and kind of won a Grammy this year, so it won’t surprise you that he introduced me by explaining the plot of “Don’t Stop Believing” with old power ballads.

I asked Matt if I could paste it here, not to call attention to my book (I think the banner at the top of this page is enough) but because it’s creative, fun, and brings you one click away from the best years of your life.

So here’s Matt:

A few people know that Dr. Michael Wittmer is professor of systematic and historical theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. Fewer people know that he is a loving husband and father of three children.

Most people know him as the guy who has written books named after 80’s power ballads. His first book, “Heaven is a place on earth,” was followed by “Don’t Stop Believing.”  I realize this means little to a room full of college students who were born in 1988.

My dad taught me that anything worth doing is worth doing right.  And the 80’s taught me that anything worth doing right is worth OVERdoing.  So, I will now summarize his book “Don’t Stop Believing” using nothing but 80’s song titles.

Conservative Fundamentalists are usually “Sharp Dressed Men” with great “Pride” who view postmodernism as “The End of the World as we Know It,” and reply “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” and “We’re Not Going To Take It.”  They insist that people “Walk This Way” and ask “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”  But since “One Thing Leads To Another” and they believe they have “The Right Stuff” they are ready to journey on “With Or Without You.”

Postmodern Innovators have tried evangelicalism and “Still Haven’t Found What They’re Looking For.”  They insist on thinking globally since, “We Are The World” and perhaps “They Miss The Rains Down in Africa.”  They believe conservative fundamentalists are “All Out of Love.”  Their opponents feel postmodern innovators may either be “Lost In Love” or (for the Air Supply triple score) may be “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All.”  I guess “Love Is A Battlefield.”

Dr. Wittmer “Didn’t Start The Fire” but “Under Pressure” dives into the fray.  “Here He Goes Again On His Own.”  He attempts to “Spin Us Right Round” and doesn’t “Really Want to Hurt Me,” but fears that “Tainted Love” could “Give Love A Bad Name” since “The Final Countdown” is coming and an “Eternal Flame” awaits.

Please help Dr. Wittmer forget about this horrible introduction by giving him a warm Cornerstone welcome.

8 Comments

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  1. Thanks, Dr. Wittmer and Matt Westerholm. I graduated from high school in 1989 so those titles bring back a wave of memories. Little did those 80’s “artists” know just how biblical they actually were: After all, even in our Wild, Wild West, you gotta have Faith. And not just any faith but the kind that comes via grace that’s Simply Irresistible. And once you’re saved, the Lord is Never Gonna Give You Up. So let’s lift our Hands to Heaven and Don’t Worry – Be Happy…

  2. I am quite certiain that Matt and I could be real good friends.

  3. What scares me Mike is that I know you’re thinking seriously about each of these songs as a future book title

  4. Jonathan Shelley March 24, 2010 — 9:36 pm

    Matthew has the gift of reminding me of just how truly unfunny and uncreative I am. Thank you for that, Matthew. I don’t often use the word “genius”….

  5. @Chris,

    I think they are already registered w/ Zondervan by Dr. Mike in the Library of Congress…

    I’m really looking forward to the Air Supply trilogy or “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All”

  6. Dr. Wittmer,

    Thank you for the excellent chapel message as well as the blog plug. Ironically, I spent the 80’s as a pastor’s son, so I could summarize your first book in “DeGarmo and Key” song titles as well. But I’m not sure that would edify anyone.

    Try this video—featuring a “5 & 1/4” floppy disk as a main character. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUVj47rpuoo.

  7. Excellent intro, it must be especially nice to now have list of titles for your next book.

  8. “Just Between You and Me”, “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” – “I’m Alright”.

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