Home Radio-Ology by John Lawry

Radio-Ology by John Lawry

About the Song

“Radio-Ology” was released in 1990 on the album Media Alert by John Lawry (one of Petra’s keyboard players). It is an upbeat tune based on Philippians 4:8 and Galatians 1:9–10.

The song starts out with the speaker asking the listener to play a game of “Stereo Sherlock Holmes.” Since “-ology” means the study of something, Lawry is encouraging us to study the music we hear in order to discern its true message.

He comments that when we listen to music, it can be very easy to zone out and just enjoy the music without considering the message of the lyrics.

John Lawry’s *Media Alert* Album Cover

Even worse, it can be tempting to ignore negative messages and influences when we enjoy the style of a song – too often, we think we can jam out to the music of a song and just ignore what it is saying.

But Lawry points out that the words of a song promote a lifestyle of some sort – good or bad – and that we need to be on guard against deception hidden inside artists’ lyrics.

Life Application

This song resonates with me in more than one way.

For one, I have always been one to look into the lyrics of the songs I listen to. What is the song saying? What point is the artist trying to get across?

There have been multiple times that I have heard a song that I really enjoyed the music and the beat of, only to find when I really listened to (or looked up) its lyrics that its message was either deceptive, perverted, or just plain stupid.

(This typically creates a situation in which I get really frustrated whenever I hear the song in the store, on the radio, etc., because I hate the lyrics, but the song gets stuck in my head because I like the music. Super annoying.)

On the flip side, sometimes I come a cross a song that really isn’t my style preference, but I end up loving the song because it has awesome lyrics. (For example, I don’t typically gravitate toward rap music, but there are some songs that make it onto my favorites list due to their messages.)

Another reason that I really like “Radio-ology” is probably obvious – I want the songs that I play on my radio station to reflect the message of God’s Word as much as possible.

This is not to say that we cannot listen to some music written purely “just for fun,” but we do need to watch out for messages that contradict the Truth of God’s Word.

This can definitely take some discernment, as some artists are downright sneaky! Music is like a platform or podium from which artists “preach” the messages that they want to get through to their listeners.

Scriptural Application

Let’s look at the verses that “Radio-Ology” is based on:

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

(Philippians 4:8, New Living Translation [NLT])

This verse confirms what we have been saying here – we need to make an effort to focus our thoughts on the Truth. We must cast out any thoughts that contradict the Truth of God’s Word: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:5, New International Version [NIV]).

The other Scripture on which the song is based addresses the “preaching” of artists that I mentioned earlier:

9I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.

10Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

(Galatians 1:9–10, NLT)

Here, Paul instructs Christians to exercise discernment regarding the messages being preached to them: Do the messages line up with the Word of God, the Truth that they have already learned? If not, the false message should be rejected. Additionally, we should pray for the speaker of the false message to turn to the Truth, since they currently have chosen a life outside of God’s Blessing.

Paul also comments that he is not trying to win a people’s popularity contest – the only Person he is concerned about pleasing is God. It would be wise to follow his example.

Something else that comes to mind throughout this discussion is Jesus’ words to His disciples when He told them the Parable of the Sower: “Take care what you listen to….” (Mark 4:24, New American Standard Bible).

We truly do need to be careful what we allow into our ears, because what we listen to will eventually make it into our hearts, whether we realize it or not. And what is in our hearts affects everything else we do (Proverbs 4:23).

So take the time to actually listen to the music you listen to. What message is the artist preaching to you?

Prayer Focus

  • John Lawry

  • Gary Chapman (Birthday: August 19, 1957)

  • Liam Payne, member of One Direction (Birhday August 29, 1993)

  • Rudolf Schenker, guitarist with the Scorpions (Birthday: August 31, 1948)

Please pray for these bands and individuals as God leads you.

(I also have a basic guideline here if you wish to refer to it.)

Station Support

In addition to praying for the weekly Prayer Focus, please pray for God to guide me and give me wisdom as I make decisions for the radio station and for the website. I really appreciate your prayer support!

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In the past, have you considered the messages of your favorite songs? Or is this a new challenge for you? Let me know!

John Lawry’s *Media Alert* Album Cover

This song is difficult to find online, but downloads and/or physical copies may be available worldwide from your favorite online music store or streaming service, at your local bookstore or thrift shop, or through your favorite online marketplace.

Closing Note

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Signing off until next week –

Rocking for Jesus with you!

Amanda Renée

(The author's permissions for copying/quoting this article are found in the disclaimer.)