Andrew Weill, what is God for you

Biblical motif

Examples from pop culture

Creation motive / life motive

Life comes from God (Ps 104); God as life-giving force (Ez 38; Ez 40); God as the keeper and protector of life (Ps 23); the creation of the world from nothing (Gen 1); the new human creature in Jesus Christ (Gal 6:15); the constant renewal of man (2 Corinthians 4:16).

Joy in life is the primal power of all living beings; Amazement at the world as a whole; Become grateful; Death also belongs to life; threatened creation.

by oral tradition: Laudato si

Louis Armstrong, What a wonderful world

EG 432, God gave us breath

Laurie London, He’s got the whole world (Lindner, 2014, 88f.; 158)

Michael Jackson, Earth song (Böhm / Buschmann, 2002, 113-125; Kirschstein, 2007, 5f .; Buschmann 2004)

Gotthard Schneider, Thanks for this good morning (Lindner, 2014, 62f.)

Bernadette Philipp, Never forget you are you

Udo Lindenberg, Strong as two

Peter Strauch, My time is in your hands (Lindner, 2014, 31)

Daniel Kallauch, Direct hit

Clive S. Lewis, Narnia (Mühling, 2005, 110)

Wisdom motif

God created an order that enables life (Jn 1); God guarantees life-sustaining order in the midst of a threatened creation (Gen 8:22); wisdom is hidden (Ez 28; Koh 3,1-11); Christ is identified with wisdom, but comes into greater tension with the world (Lk 11: 49-51); Underage, laborious and burdened people, on the other hand, have access to the wisdom of God (Matt. 11: 25-30; 1 Cor. wisdom remains unrecognized and leads to the crucifixion of the Lord (1 Cor. 2: 8).

The life-promoting force of order in the world, which can never be fully grasped, is astonishing and relieving at the same time: Man does not have to be the measure of all things, the world could also exist without him. At the same time, it enables the joy of discovering this (secret) order.

Enya, Only time

Hermann van Veen, go away (Lindner, 2014, 109)

John Cage, Organ2 / ASLSAP (Lindner, 2014, 109-112)

The Beatles, Nowhere Man

I and I, from the same Star

Herbert Grönemeyer, The way

Xavier Naidoo, This way

Celine Dion, My heart will go on

The Byrds, Turn, turn, turn (Kirschstein, 2007, 2)

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Charlotte Kerner, Blueprint. blueprint (Zimmermann, 2012, 109-112)

George Orwell, Animal Farm

Clive S. Lewis, Narnia (Mühling, 2005, 104-110)

Michael Ende, Momo

John R. R. Tolkien, Lord of the rings (Hammer, 2003, 161)

Miracle motif

God appears to Moses in the burning bush, which is not consumed (Ex 3); Elijah the prophet is caught up into heaven in a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2); the people of Israel are miraculously delivered (Ex 14); Jesus and his disciples perform miracles through action (Mk 5.34; 10.52; Lk 17.19 etc.) or through word (Mk 11.22-25, 1Cor 13.2) and as a protest against suffering (1Cor 12 , 28); death is conquered by the miracle of the resurrection (1 Cor 15; Lk 24); faith moves mountains (Mk 11:22).

The unforeseen can help, believing in it gives consolation and hope that no one is given up from the start, experiencing miracles is an elementary part of life. Not everything can be explained by ratio or binary logic alone.

Julian Perretta, Miracle

Cascada, Miracle

Coldplay, Miracles

Whitney Houston, When you believe

Mike and The Mechanics, All I need is a miracle

Michel Scouarnec, We found God's footsteps

Alois Albrecht, Sometimes we celebrate in the middle of the day

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jesus Christ Superstar (King Herod’s Song)

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jesus Christ Superstar (See my eyes)

Joanne K. Rowling, Harry Potter (Zimmermann, 2013, 62-66)

Jutta Richter, The sea lies behind the train station (Zimmermann, 2012, 42)

Clive S. Lewis, Narnia (Mühling, 2005, 124)


Alienation motive

God is holy, but man is a sinner (Gen 4,1-16) and exposed to death (Gen 3); our overestimation of ourselves (Gen 11: 1-8); our distance to life; Awareness of absurdity; Experience of failure.

Michael Jackson, Heal the world (Lindner, 2014, 84f.; 135; 138)

Genesis, Tell me why (Lindner, 2014, 134; 138)

Christina Stürmer, Ana ahabak (Lindner, 2014, 135; 138)

Sting, Russians (Lindner, 2014, 167-172)

Zofia Jasnota, There is unrest on earth (Lindner, 2014, 174; 177)

The Beatles, Yesterday

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jesus Christ Superstar (Damned for all Time)

Hope motive

Expectation of a new world; Apocalyptic and messianism; present eschatology of the New Testament (John 5:24; 1 John 3:14); as a motive for renewal (Rom. 6.4) and utopian consciousness; Hope for a fundamental change in the world and in one's own life (Gal 6:15); Images of peace in the world and in nature, one world, in which everyone has a good life.

Ulrich Nehls, Heaven is a wonderful place (Lindner, 2014, 66f.)

Jasmine Madelaine, peace

Ludger Edelkötter, Lord give us your peace

Hevenu shalom alejchem

Zilphia Horton et al., We shall overcome (Lindner, 2014, 166f.)

Eric Clapton, Tears in heaven (Lindner, 2014, 27-31)

The dead pants Only to visit

Celine Dijon, My Heart will go on

Spiritual, Free at last (Lindner, 2014, 164f.)

Spiritual, We shall overcome (Lindner, 2014, 166f.)

Materia, OMG (O my god)

Kurt Rommel, Lord, give me courage to build bridges

Shalom Ben-Chorin, Friends that the sprig of almonds

Harold Arlen, Somewhere over the rainbow

Reversal motif

Man should turn his own life around and turn to God (Am 4,6-11; Hos 5,4), in the New Testament people are moved to repentance by the dawn of the kingdom of God (Matt. The motive for repentance is not fear of judgment, but joy (Lk 15: 7-32); there is indeed the experience of failure, but one can always start over.

Xavier Naidoo, This way

Cat Stevens, Father and Son

Mark Forster, AU Revoir

Alan Menken, I will follow him (Sister Act)

The dead pants, paradise

Don Mc Lean, Crossroads

Tracy Chapman, Crossroads

Bruce Springsteen, My Father’s House (Böhm / Buschmann, 2002, 139-146)

Exodus motif

Renewal takes place in the people who move out of the bondage of the old world into the new (Ex 14); in the New Testament the Exodus congregation sees itself on the way to a new community (1 Cor. 10: 1-13), which welcomes many strangers and outcasts (1 Cor. 1: 26-31); In modern society, the emancipation and renewal movements are those that abandon the old and the familiar.

Spiritual, Go down, Moses (Lindner, 2014, 153; 155-157)

Scorpions, Wind of Change

Scorpions, Send me an Angel

Real life, Send me an Angel

Bob Marley, Exodus (Böhm / Buschmann, 2002, 103-111)

Tracy Chapman, Freedom now

Spiritual, See that band

Spiritual, Swing low, sweet chariot (Lindner, 2014, 158)

Spiritual, Good news (Lindner, 2014, 158)

Substitute motive

Representation as the structure of the whole of life, since everything is closely related; one life can stand up for another (Isa 52: 13-53: 5); Acting for others (Mk 9.37; Rom 1.8; Gal 6.2); Dying for others (2 Corinthians 5:14); all living beings have the will to live; all life lives at the expense of the other.

Madonna, Like a prayer (Buschmann, 2004)

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jesus Christ Superstar (Hosanna)

Sabrina Setlur, I live for you


Residential motive

God takes up residence (Ex 25.8) in the world (1 Kings 8:27) through his spirit, he incarnates in Christ; God is present in the middle of life; he has entered into a concrete human being and lives through and suffers through everything as a human being; God or Christ dwells in the believer (1 Cor. 3:16; Eph 3:17) as the bread of life (John 6: 51-59); The spiritual must be concretized, embodied; Longing for corporeality.

Madonna, Like a prayer

Pier Paolo Pasolini, The 1st Gospel of Matthew, sacrament scene

Spiritual, Somebody is knocking at your door

Spiritual, Rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham (Lindner, 2014, 158)

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jesus Christ Superstar (The last Supper)

Belief motive

Man experiences God and salvation in his faith (Gen 15: 6; Ps 40), trust in being secure; In the New Testament, faith in God or Jesus 'help (Gal 3:23; Mk 2:17) and salvation become miraculous (Mk 2.5), prayer and confession of faith in Jesus' power of redemption (Rom 10.9); in a secular context, the motive of faith moves people to have courage to live, to trust in that which we do not owe to ourselves because it is unavailable; as an elementary basic trust.

Hanna Lam, Abraham, Abraham, leave your land and your tribe (Lindner, 2014, 86f.)

Ernst Arfken, Our Father, Heavenly Father (Lindner, 2014, 65f.)

E nomine, Our father (Lindner, 2014, 36-41)

U 2, 40

Genesis, Jesus, he knows me

Söhne Mannheims, Maybe

Sabrina Setlur, I want to see that (Kirschstein, 2007, 10)

Beat operation, What do you believe in? (Lindner, 2014, 11)

Barclay J. Harvest, Hymn (Böhm / Buschmann, 2002, 131-134; Kirschstein, 2007, 2f.)

Agape motif

The elementary basic trust allows people to enter into a positive ability to relate, both towards others through love for their neighbor (Lev 19:18), as well as towards themselves and towards God; In the New Testament, Jesus exemplifies this ability to relate to his disciples by practicing charity (Mt 5,43-48; Lk 7,36-50); the love motif corresponds to a secular solidarity, a humanity from which a willingness to help the needy arises.

Martin Gotthard Schneider, Between Jericho and Jerusalem (Lindner, 2014, 89-93)

Black Eyed Peas, Where is the love?

Silver moon, House of cards

Unholy, By your side

Rykers, You'll never walk alone

Herbert Grönemeyer, The way

Neville Brothers, Brother’s keeper (Böhm / Buschmann, 2002, 127-131)

Marius Müller-Westernhagen, Jesus, (Böhm / Buschmann, 2002, 147-161; Buschmann, 2004)

The doctors, Cry out for love (Buschmann 2004, 239-243)

Change of position motif

God humbles and exalts at the same time (Lk 1,52); the first will be the last (Mk 9.33-37); the birth of the Messiah occurs among poor people; whoever wants to be first must be ready to serve (Mk 10: 42-45); Expression of humility lies in the willingness to serve the other as a superior; In the encounter of young and old, it is important to meet the child at eye level (Mt 18: 3).

Joan Osborne, One of us (Böhm / Buschmann, 2002, 69-74; Kirschstein, 2007, 7)

Jewel, Hands (Kirschstein, 2007, 8f.)

Mark Forster, We are tall

Crash test dummies, God shuffled his feet (Böhm / Buschmann, 2002, 63-69)

The princes, At the top (Böhm / Buschmann, 2002, 211-216)

Court motive

Man is held accountable by God for his deeds (Isa 24: 1-23; Dan 12: 2); the cosmic thought of judgment becomes the voice of the heart and conscience in the New Testament (Rom. 2: 12-16); the judgment motif appears in tension with the idea of ​​salvation (Jn 3:17; Jn 12:47; Rom 8); This tension results in man assuming responsibility for God's creation and life as an elementary experience of conscience; in a secular context, this happens against one's own conscience.

Iron Maiden, The Number of the Beast

Whitney Houston, My love is your love (Kirschstein, 2007, 4f.)

Xavier Naidoo, Its streets (Kirschstein, 2007, 9f.)

Söhne Mannheims, Armaggedon (Kirschstein, 2007, 11)

Joachim Witt / Peter Heppner, When does the tide come? (Böhm / Buschmann, 2002, 75-102)

The fantastic Four, There will be rain (Böhm / Buschmann, 2002, 189-196)

John R. R. Tolkien, Lord of the rings (Hammer, 2003, 157)


Justification motive

The alienation motive, the court motive are closely related to the motive for justification; because man turns away from God again and again, he remains in need of redemption (Gen 8:21; Rom 1: 18-32); God in Christ turns to man in his grace of unconditional affirmation of life (Rom 8: 1f.); in spite of all failure there is an indestructibility of life which has an indelible right to life.

Madonna, Like a prayer (Buschmann, 2004)

Bertolt Brecht / Kurt Weill, The Threepenny Opera - Song of the Pirate Jenny (Lindner, 2014, 179-185)