Christian radio is becoming less, well, Christian, reports Sojourners—and the shift is treating stations well. By including more “family-friendly” songs (i.e., less overtly religious) and paring down bible-thumping programming, Christian stations have grown their pool of listeners, even nabbing listeners outside the faith who are simply looking for uplifting music.
Not all Christians are fans of the trend. Daniel Radosh, whose rollicking book Rapture Ready! Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture is excerpted on Utne.com, tells Sojourners that “the fact that committed Muslims can listen to Christian music actually says quite a bit, and I think not anything very good about Christian music these days.”
Christian music’s new listeners tend to disagree. Christian stations and artists “have an opportunity to offer the mainstream market the kind of inspiration and hope that people really need,” a Muslim listener tells Sojourners. “I appreciate it if they can touch the hearts of people like me.”