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THE HOUSE SHOW (2004)
The House Show - Click to view!Like many die-hard Derek Webb fans, I can still remember the excitement I felt when I first heard his solo debut She Must and Shall Go Free. It was not the bubblegum thrill one gets when riding roller coasters, nor was it the "Ooh! Aah!" heartwarming fuzzies that populate baby showers. This feeling was different. It was like seeing for the first time. As I listened to Derek's words I was convicted and uplifted by what he said, and I felt strengthened by what I had heard.

But time has a way of growing cataracts on the eyes of our souls, and I've found that the more I've listened to She Must and Shall Go Free, the more I'm able to shrug it off and forget the Gospel that it preaches. It's become easy for me to say, "Yeah I'm crooked deep down," and not even think about what that means or what Scripture teaches me about this.

If you, like me, have been afflicted by this forgetfulness of the soul, then The House Show is the antidote you need. Forget that it's chock full of live emotion and great acoustic performances by Derek: the novelty of those things will wear off with time. Derek's mini-sermons—disguised as "Intro to..." tracks—will not.

Why are these mini-sermons so important? Because they expound on what Derek preached on She Must and Shall Go Free. You can only say so much in a three- or four-minute song, so these intros provide Derek with the chance to explain to his audiences why the Gospel is so important, why we must believe that we are great sinners, and why our salvation is so glorious. Simply put, Derek preaches the Gospel, and he preaches it in such a way as to leave the listener no option of escape.

All that said, the redeeming factor here is not Derek or his songs. Rather, it is that the Gospel is preached faithfully. Derek is simply the messenger, the songs simply his tools. And as the disc ends, you will not be thinking, "Man, I love Derek Webb!" Instead, you'll be praying, "Praise Christ for His glorious Gospel."

And that is how it ought to be.
- Jason Ewert
July 2004
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