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Christa BanisterCopyright Christianity Today International
Unlike your past projects, Beautiful News seems more a response to today's darker current events. Why do you think it's important to write worship about these headier topics?Matt Redman: As Christians, we can't escape from pain in this world—whether that's going through hard seasons personally or watching our loved ones do the same. But here's our distinctive: Even in the darkest and most disturbing moments, as real and as painful as they might be, we stand on an even greater reality. It's the truth of God who never lets go and never loses control. The One who never changes—always good and merciful, always strong and mighty to save. Standing on the unshakeable truth of our God, we can make it through the storms of life. More than that, we find that we have a song in our hearts. For even in the toughest times, we look at Jesus and find plenty of reasons to continue singing out His praise and calling on His name.So how does our faith in God and our worship help shine light in a dark world? How can it transcend all the other cultural messages being sent?Redman: When we lift up the name of Jesus in worship, it overflows into evangelism. My hope is this new album might do that. With a song like "Beautiful News" where Christians can celebrate the gospel, I hope it might also speak truth to those who don't know Christ. But remember, worship is not just about songs. It's our lives, so one of the main ways our worship to God can shine in this world is through lives lived out in service and devotion. As the church, we need to impact our communities, comfort the broken, free the oppressed, and feed the poor. These things are worship while also sending out a message of what the heart of God looks like in this world.On more of a personal level, what was going on in your life when these songs were written? Redman: A while back, my wife Beth and I were in a really painful situation. She had just had another miscarriage, and it happened to be the week of the London bombings. So out of us flowed "You Never Let Go," a little song of faith and trust. But here's the cool part. A while later she was pregnant again, and things were going really well. We came out of the ultrasound scan, having seen our little baby on the screen, and the idea for "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made" popped into my head. Beth and I ended up writing it together as a celebration of the miracle of God's creation, and a challenge to use the lives he's given us for His glory. Back in September 2005, Beth gave birth to our fantastic little son Rocco. He is an amazing blessing. Quick takes:
Where are you from originally?
Favorite place you've traveled to?
Cape Town, South Africa.
Best meal you prepare?
I am hopeless in the kitchen. Probably salad!
Your most annoying habit?
Constantly changing the TV channel, hoping for a better option.
What makes you laugh?
Being on tour with my friends Chris Tomlin and Louie Giglio.
Your favorite web site? www.bbc.co.uk —I like the news coverage.
Last good book you read?
I'm just reading This Is Your Brain on Music by Daniel J. Levitin—interesting stuff.
Last good movie you saw? The Queen
Band/artist you're listening to the most right now?
Duke Special—he's a musician from Ireland.
Band/artist that comes closest to your sound?
My fellow Brit and close friend, Tim Hughes.
Age you became a Christian?
Age 10, at a Luis Palau event.
Your favorite Bible verse?
Last lesson God taught you?
Through the calm and the storm, He never lets go.