Michael Card

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Michael Card
Michael Card Seattle 2008.JPG
Michael Card in concert
Background information
Birth name Michael Card
Born (1957-04-11) April 11, 1957 (age 57)
Origin Madison, Tennessee
Genres Contemporary Christian music
Occupations Singer, Songwriter, Author, Composer, Radio Host
Instruments Vocals, piano, guitar, harp, banjo
Labels Milk & Honey, Sparrow, Myrrh
Website www.michaelcard.com
Notable instruments
Michael Card plays a right-handed strung guitar left-handedly.

Michael Card (born April 11, 1957) is an American Christian singer-songwriter, musician, author, and radio host from Franklin, Tennessee. He is best known for his contributions in contemporary Christian music, which couple folk-style melodies and instrumentation with lyrics that stem from intensive study of the Bible. Since his debut in 1981, he has sold more than 4 million albums[1] and has written 19 No. 1 singles.[2] He has also authored several books, including Gold Medallion Book Award winner A Sacred Sorrow.[3]

Career[edit]

Card was born in Madison, Tennessee as the son of a doctor and grandson of a Baptist minister.[1] He received Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Biblical Studies from Western Kentucky University, and was awarded the university's "Distinguished Alumni Award" in 1997.[1] His studies in physics and astronomy allowed him to support himself while a student by working for six years at a planetarium. As of 2005,[dated info] he is working on a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Classical Literature.[citation needed]

Musician[edit]

Card never intended to be a professional musician. He got his start when his professor and mentor, William L. Lane, asked Card to write some music to accompany weekly sermons at their church. His friend, musician Randy Scruggs, then asked him to record a demo tape so Scruggs could get a job as a producer. The record label agreed to hire Scruggs as long as his first project was to produce an album featuring Card. Since then Card has released nineteen original albums and at least six compilation albums. Another album, Starkindler, is composed of Card's interpretations of traditional Celtic hymns. The compilations often include one or two new songs along with previously released material. With the exception of Starkindler, Card writes the vast majority of the music he records (although sometimes with collaborators).

Many of Card's albums are structured around a unifying theme. For example, the songs from The Beginning are all based on the Pentateuch. The individual songs have subjects such as Genesis, Leviticus, Abraham, Isaac and Moses. Card is particularly adept at relating difficult or obscure concepts from the Old Testament to more understandable themes from the New Testament. For example, the song "Jubilee" talks about the period of rest and the release from debts and slavery commanded in the Jubilee year as described in Leviticus 25, but also reveals how the idea culminated in the rest and freedom from condemnation offered through Jesus.

Card's most famous song is "El Shaddai", which was recorded by Amy Grant as well as by Card himself. Grant's recording was named No. 326 on the RIAA's list of 365 Songs of the Century in 2001. Other popular Card songs include "Immanuel", "Joy in the Journey", and "Heal Our Land". "Heal Our Land" was commissioned as the 1993 National Day of Prayer's theme song.

Despite his success in music, Card has always maintained that his music career is secondary to his calling as a Bible teacher. He has at times distanced himself from the CCM industry by criticizing the promotion of personalities over musical content[4] and the shifting emphasis away from God in order to sell more albums.[5]

One current music project is his writing and mentoring of musicians under the ByFor.org Project.

Author[edit]

Michael Card is the author or co-author of twenty-two books. He originally started writing as a way to share the knowledge he accumulated while researching his songs. His studies were so in-depth that he couldn't condense everything he had learned into one short song. The books that resulted from album research bear the same titles as the albums. He then branched out to other subjects not specifically based on his music, such as the Gospel of John, homeschooling, and Christian discipleship and mentoring. In 2014, Card completed the Biblical Imagination Series, a four-volume set which takes a deeper look at each of the gospels and the voice of the writers behind them.

Radio Host[edit]

In addition to touring and writing, Card also hosted a weekly radio program. In the Studio with Michael Card was carried by stations in 48 states, Canada, and the Caribbean. It was also available via internet streaming audio and as a podcast. The show was an amalgam of talk, musical performances and Bible study. The show ceased production in March, 2009.

Controversies[edit]

  • In 1996, Michael Card caused some concern within his primarily evangelical fan-base by co-releasing an album (Brother to Brother) as well as touring with musician John Michael Talbot. Some fans and critics felt betrayed by the collaboration since Card is known for lyrics that scrupulously adhere to Protestant theology whereas Talbot is a Roman Catholic.[6]

Still, Card said, he doesn't see Mormonism and evangelical Christianity as opposed to each other. They are more like the two ends of a long thread — part of the same thing.[7]

Since the statement was not a direct quote, some have surmised that Card was misunderstood. The impact of this statement can be understood in the context that many Protestants deny that Mormons are Christians and consider the LDS church a cult. Card's response to his critics online[8] did satisfy some, since it denied the quote and the LDS interviewer later admitted to re-wording Card's statement somewhat interpretively.

Jerry Johnson, the author of the article on Michael Card in Deseret News, later admitted:

The word Michael used was "continuum." He said he thought the tensions between the LDS Church and the Evangelicals was because the LDS Church was on one end of the "continuum" and Evangelicals on the other.[9]

Discography/writings[edit]

  • First Light (1981)
  • Legacy (1983)
  • Known By The Scars (1984)
  • Scandalon (1985)
  • The Final Word (1987)
  • Present Reality (1988)
  • Sleep Sound in Jesus: Gentle Lullabies (1989)
  • The Beginning (1989)
  • The Way of Wisdom (1990)
  • The Promise: A Celebration of Christ's Birth (1991)
  • The Word: Recapturing the Imagination (1992)
  • Come to the Cradle (1993)
  • Poiē’ma (1994)
  • Brother to Brother (with John Michael Talbot) (1996)
  • Close Your Eyes So You Can See (1996)
  • Unveiled Hope (1997)
  • Starkindler: A Celtic Conversation Across Time (1998)
  • Concert Talks Volume 1 (1998)
  • Soul Anchor (2000)
  • Scribbling in the Sand (2002)
  • A Fragile Stone (2003) reissued in 2006.
  • "The Rabbi's Heartbeat" (2003) CD single available only with Brennan Manning's The Rabbi's Heartbeat book.
  • The Life of Simon Peter (eight-disc teaching series) (2003)
  • The Hidden Face of God (2006)
  • A Fragile Stone (Reissue) (2006) Comes with DVD of a four-part program Michael Card did with Day of Discovery on Simon Peter.
  • Hymns (2008)
  • Luke: A World Turned upside Down (2011)
  • Mark: The Beginning of the Gospel (2012)
  • A Violent Grace (2013)
  • Matthew: The Penultimate Question (2013)
  • John: The Misunderstood Messiah (2014)

Compilations[edit]

  • Legacy and First Light (1988) both albums reissued on a single disc.
  • The Life (1988) contains The Final Word, Scandalon and Known by the Scars in a boxed-set (except "Crown Him (Reprise)")
  • The Early Works (1991)
  • The Ancient Faith (1993) contains The Beginning, The Way of Wisdom and The Word: Recapturing the Imagination in a boxed-set (plus "Heal Our Land" song for the National Day of Prayer & "Ancient Faith Overture")
  • Joy in the Journey (1994) contains "Chorus selections from The Life trilogy
  • Signature Songs (1999) contains selections from Legacy and First Light
  • The Ultimate Collection (2006)

Other works featuring Michael Card[edit]

  • Christmas (1988) Michael Card sings "What Child Is This?". Not available elsewhere.
  • Coram Deo (1992) Michael Card sings two duets with Charlie Peacock: "Amen! Praise and Glory!" and "Lord of Love".
  • Steve Green People Need the Lord (1994) Duet on "Embrace the Cross".
  • Promise Keepers- A Life That Shows (1994) Song "Bearers of the Light", later available on Poiema, debuts here.
  • Wedding album (1995) Michael Card's "Earthly Perfect Harmony" and "Lord of Love", a duet with Charlie Peacock appear.
  • Wes King A Room Full of Stories (1997) Wrote "Who But God?"
  • Songs 4 Life: Feel the Power (1998) "Love Crucified Arose"
  • Songs 4 life: Renew your heart! (1998) "Joy In The Journey"
  • John Michael Talbot "Cave Of The Heart" (1999) Backing vocals.
  • 30 Years of Award-Winning Music (1999) "El Shaddai"
  • Songs From The Book (1999) "The Book" appears. Michael Card also plays acoustic guitar on "El Shaddai" sung by Winans Phase 2 & Amy Grant.
  • John Michael Talbot Wisdom (2001) Backing vocals.
  • I Will Be Here: 10 Contemporary Wedding Songs includes "The Wedding"
  • Giving You the Rest of My Life: 13 Contemporary Classics for Memorable Weddings Michael Card & Charlie Peacock's "Amen! Praise and Glory" is included, but Charlie Peacock isn't credited as singing.
  • Let Us Pray: The National Day of Prayer Album "Heal Our Land"
  • "My Cry Ascends: New Parish Psalms" (2010) (various artists, Gregory Wilbur, composer)[10]

Videos[edit]

  • "Front Row" (1990)
  • "The Word: Recapturing The Imagination" (1992) Includes music video "So Many Books".
  • "The Visual Bible: The Debate Over Tradition" (1994) Includes "Recapture Me" music video.
  • "Christmas In Belfast" (1997)
  • "Scribbling In The Sand" (2002) Also on DVD.

Books[edit]

  • Sleep Sound in Jesus (1989) (ISBN 0-7369-1219-3)
  • Immanuel: Reflections on the Life of Christ (1990) (ISBN 0-8407-7496-6)
  • The Promise: A Celebration of Christ's Birth (1991) (ISBN 0-917143-07-8)
  • Come to the Cradle (1993) (ISBN 0-917143-24-8)
  • The Parable of Joy: Reflections on the Wisdom of the Book of John (1995) (ISBN 0-7852-8229-7)
  • Close Your Eyes So You Can See: Stories of Children in the Life of Jesus (1996) (ISBN 1-56507-425-4)
  • Joy in the Journey (1996) (ISBN 0-7935-7665-2)
  • The Homeschool Journey (with Susan Card) (1997) (ISBN 1-56507-568-4)
  • Unveiled Hope: Eternal Encouragement from the Book of Revelation (with Scotty Smith) (1997) (ISBN 0-7852-7209-7)
  • Tell Me Why: Eternal Answers to Life's Timeless Questions (1999) (ISBN 1-58134-031-1) — Answers to children's questions such as "Why did God make me?" and "Why do we have to die?"
  • A Violent Grace (2000) (ISBN 1-57673-688-1) — Focuses on the frequently ignored brutality of Jesus' crucifixion.
  • The Walk: A Moment in Time When Two Lives Intersect (2001) (ISBN 0-7852-7750-1) — Chronicles the 20-year relationship between Card and his mentor, Dr. William Lane, until Lane's death.
  • Scribbling in the Sand: Christ and Creativity (2002) (ISBN 0-8308-2317-4)
  • Scribbling In The Sand Audio Book (2002)
  • A Fragile Stone: the Emotional Life of Simon Peter (2003) (ISBN 0-8308-2372-7)
  • A Fragile Stone Audio Book (2003)
  • A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God in The Lost Language of Lament (2005) (ISBN 1-57683-667-3) — Reclaiming the ability to cry out to God when we suffer.
  • A Sacred Sorrow Experience Guide (2005) (ISBN 1-57683-668-1) — A 10-week study that helps the reader relate his own painful experiences to those of Biblical personages.
  • The Hidden Face of God: Finding the Missing Door to the Father Through Lament (2007) (ISBN 1-57683-669-X)
  • A Better Freedom: Finding Life as Slaves of Christ (InterVarsity Press, 2009) (ISBN 0-8308-3714-0)
  • A Violent Grace: Meeting Christ at the Cross (InterVarsity Press, 2013) (ISBN 0-83083-772-8)
  • Luke: The Gospel of Amazement (InterVarsity Press, 2011) (ISBN 0-8308-3835-X)
  • Mark: The Gospel of Passion (InterVarsity Press, 2012) (ISBN 0-8308-3813-9)
  • Matthew: The Gospel of Identity (InterVarsity Press, 2013) (ISBN 0-8308-3812-0)
  • John: The Gospel of Wisdom (InterVarsity Press, 2014) (ISBN 0-8308-4413-9)

Awards[edit]

1983 GMA Dove Awards

Songwriter of the Year
Song of the Year: "El Shaddai"

1988 GMA Dove Award

Praise & Worship Album of the Year: The Final Word

1994 GMA Dove Award

Children's Music Album of the Year: Come to the Cradle

1994 RIAA Certified Gold Recording

Sleep Sound in Jesus

1997 Western Kentucky University Distinguished Alumnus [11]

1998 National Religious Broadcasters Chairman's Award

2001 RIAA 365 Songs of the Century

No. 26 "El Shaddai", as recorded by Amy Grant

2002 Publishers Weekly Award

Best Religion Book: Scribbling in the Sand

2002 Chicago Book Clinic Award of Excellence

Best General Trade Book in the Self-Help Category: Scribbling in the Sand

2006 ECPA Christian Book Awards

Winner in the Christian Life Category: A Sacred Sorrow

Singles[edit]

Album Song Year Position
First Light "I Have Decided" 1982 8 [1]
"Fan the Flame" 1982 16 [1]
"Jesus Loves Me (This I Know)" 1982 8 [1]
Legacy "Love Crucified Arose" 1983 5 [1]
"Abba Father" 1983 4 [1]
"Tell the World that Jesus Loves You" 1983 32 [1]
"This Must be The Lamb" 1984 14 [1]
Known by the Scars "Known by the Scars" 1985 14 [1]
Scandalon "Scandalon" 1986 3 [1]
The Final Word "The Final Word" 1987 11 [1]
"Celebrate the Child" 1987 14 [1]
"To the Mystery" 1988 10 [1]
Present Reality "That's What Faith Must Be" 1988 14 [1]
"Know You in the Now" 1988 6 [1]
The Beginning "Jubilee" 1990 7 [1]
"Lift up the Suffering Symbol" 1990 23 [1]
The Way of Wisdom "The Way of Wisdom" 1991 15 [1]
"How Long" 1991 14 [1]
The Promise: A Celebration of Christ's Birth "We Will Find Him" 1992 16 [1]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Michael Card at Wikimedia Commons