When I was a small child, I thought Johnny Cash's song "Ring of Fire" was a warning about the fires of hell. When I was a teenager it dawned on me that, no, the song actually was a celebration of the fire of love. Now I've concluded that it was really about both.
On the second episode of my new podcast "The Cross and the Jukebox," I take a look at what's behind the raw emotion of the song, co-written by June Carter (later, of course, June Carter Cash; and that's part of the story).
The real issue, of course, is about more than lyrics. The lyrics point to something we seem to know at a primal level. Love, and lust, don't feel rational. Desire is more like a force of nature, and it burns. Why does the Scripture use the language of "fire" and "burning" for love, for lust, for hell, and for God? Why is sexual infidelity such a pull, even for those who rationally know all the reasons it will ruin their lives, and the lives of those they love?
Pour a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and join me for the second installment of "The Cross and the Jukebox" for a discussion of why "Ring of Fire" resonates with sinners like us.
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About Russell Moore
Russell Moore is President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. He formerly served as Dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and executive director of the Carl F. H. Henry Institute for Evangelical Engagement. Dr. Moore is the author of The Kingdom of Christ: The New Evangelical Perspective (Crossway, 2004) and Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches (Crossway, May 2009).
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