Introductory Note: In appreciation of Petra’s fortieth year in music and ministry, I am ranking their albums from least best to greatest. You can read my opening post here.
Not of This World (1983, StarSong)
Lineup: Greg X. Volz (lead vocals), Bob Hartman (guitars), Mark Kelly (bass), John Slick (keyboards), Louie Weaver (drums)
Following up on the success of 1982’s More Power To Ya, Petra came back a year later with Not Of This World, the middle album of a trilogy marking the apex of the Greg X. Volz era, and an album contains three of Petra’s greatest and most enduring songs.
The introduction of synthesizers into the Petra sound start right from the beginning, with “Visions” instrumental pieces which bookend the album, transitioning nicely into the first song and out of the last.
And that first song, oh boy, is a ballad, yes, but a passionate call for believers to realize their identity in Christ in relation to their place in this world. It’s a song in the indicative, and it’s the title track. The lyrics by Bob Hartman are powerful: “We are pilgrims in a strange land / We are so far from our homeland / With each passing day it seems so clear / This world will never want us here / We’re not welcome in this world of wrong / We are foreigners who don’t belong // We are strangers, we are aliens / We are not of this world.” But that I, and all Christians, especially in America, would realize this important truth on a daily basis and live as though it is so. Continue reading “Petra’s albums: #7 – Not Of This World”