Thursday, October 11, 2012

Review of SINNER'S CREED by Scott Stapp

Rating: 5 out of 5

When I was in ninth grade, I was learning how to play electric guitar and listening to music through my headphones every night before I went to sleep, dreaming of making music that sounded as great as the music I was hearing. I can remember the first several times that I heard the song “My Own Prison” by a new band called Creed, and I thought it was amazing. I immediately got the guitar music for it and started learning how to play it. Creed was unique among rock bands. Stories about lead singer Scott Stapp’s childhood made the band and its unique lyrical content intriguing. I grew up going to church and hearing about Jesus, but it was around this time that I began to understand the message of Jesus for the first time. Creed was ever presenting itself as “not a Christian band,” but their lyrics seemed reminiscent of Christians wrestling with God on a spiritual journey that explored the deepest longings of humanity.

Then Creed was no more. One of the biggest rock bands in history was suddenly done making music. What happened? What was brewing under the surface? And where did God fit in the midst of all of it?

In SINNER’S CREED Scott Stapp takes us on an intriguing and often tragic journey beginning with his rocky childhood through Creed’s rise to fame and his battle with alcohol. Stapp shares the sad story of his biological father leaving his family when he was little and meeting and becoming the adopted son of an ultra-fundamentalist named Steve Stapp. Stapp is faced with two very divergent pictures of God at a young age. His grandfather shows him a loving God that cares deeply for him, but this is hard to reconcile with the angry vengeful God presented by his new father. This God is one who will send him to hell for the slightest deviance.

Stapp grows up trying to please his father and his father’s God, making excellent grades and being a star athlete. But any imperfection or the slightest hint of imperfection meant a beating. His upbringing eventually drives him away from home and on his own where he discovers drugs and self-expression through music. He tells the fascinating formation of Creed and their discovery by Wind-Up Records, their rise to rock-and-roll fame, and their disintegration. Throughout, Stapp shares his personal journey through alcohol addiction, being a father, and finding the love of his life, and finally reaching sobriety, a journey he says will always be ongoing.

I loved this book because Creed was one of my favorite bands of all time. I still love to pick up my guitar and play the intro to “Higher.” Creed’s lyrics were always reflective of a deep spiritual journey, and it was interesting to read Scott Stapp’s reasoning for why he wrote some of the words he wrote. Stapp tells the story in a way that kept me wanting to keep reading all the way to the end. I especially loved his recounting of meeting the guys who would form Creed.

Stapp shares a lot of intimate details in this book, and he shares a deep love of God on nearly every page. I appreciate his sharing of his struggle and giving us an inside glimpse of Creed. SINNER’S CREED is a captivating memoir that makes much of Jesus throughout.

I received this book for free for review from Tyndale House, and the opinions contained in this review are completely my own

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