As Ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20) each Christian is called to reflect Jesus to our culture. Imploring people to be reconciled to God. Spoken word poet, David Bowden, communicates theological depth in a passionate format.

On Friday April 4th, spoken word poet David Bowden released a new video entitled “I Am.” Always aiming to be as much theologian as slam poet, David’s new offering provides us with both Bible and talent. This heavily cinematic piece, different from David’s normal stripped down style, employs the seven “I Am” statements Jesus makes about himself in the Gospel of John. The poem concerns itself with the idea of God’s foreknowledge and providence, and how that interplays with our decisions, sins, and salvation. A suitable summation for the work can be found towards the end of the poem: “Before you even knew how to sin, I Am where your salvation begins.” Clearly, David is taking a strong stance for the omnipotence and preeminence God has in relation to mankind’s election, calling, and ultimate salvation.

Here’s the video:

A unique feature of this video is the vignettes placed throughout its over six minute running time. Each short story is an abstract embodiment of the “I Am” statement in which they are located. For example, during the stanza discussing “I Am the gate,” which talks about the distance placed between us and God, we see a man and a woman running towards each other through a parking structure only to be separated by a vast divide. The most significant vignette however is one of an elderly man during the stanza on “I Am the resurrection and the life.” This man, Earl Jones, was David’s grandfather who died just a few days after the shoot. Jones said to his grandson David that it would be an honor to let his pain represent the promise of Jesus’s resurrection. In fact, David has stated elsewhere that the nighttime shoot on which the video opens was shot the very night his granddad Earl died. Suffice it to say, getting through the stanza dedicated to his grandfather was difficult and moving. But David hopes his listeners will find comfort in the same thing that gave him comfort that night: “I Am the resurrection and the life.”

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    1 Response to "“I Am” Statements in a Fresh Format"

    • Ernst Wendland

      A brilliant piece of theological poetry–a ‘psalm’ for today! I am sharing it with family, friends, and work associates.
      Lusaka Lutheran Seminary

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