"Heaven in the Real World" cover art

Steven Curtis Chapman:
Heaven in the Real World

By Frank "Buzz" Trexler
for The (Maryville, TN) Daily Times
Summer 1994

“Where is the hope? I meet millions who tell me that they feel demoralized by the decay around us. Where is the hope? The hope that each of us have is not in who governs us, or what laws are passed, or what great things that we do as a nation. Our hope is in the power of God working through the hearts of people, and that’s where our hope is in this country; that’s where our hope is in life.”
Chuck Colson, prologue to “Heaven in the Real World,” Steven Curtis Chapman

It’s a haunting lead-in for the title cut to Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Heaven in the Real World”: News reports of gangs, drugs, violence and war, overlapped with Chuck Colson intoning “Where is the hope?”

Haunting, but fitting in that the selling of Jesus Christ’s message of hope as an answer to society’s problems is where the 31-year-old Chapman seems to be in his spiritual and musical journey. In fact, that’s Chapman’s vision of the church and individual Christian’s role in society today.

“I think it was Saint Francis that said ‘preach Christ to all men; use words if necessary,’” said Chapman, whose lyrics challenge listeners to live out their faith, but also reflect the struggles of someone who doesn’t have it “all figured out.” Still, it’s not just mere words that Chapman hopes to convey to listeners. At a time when everyone from the president, to Congress, to clergy are searching for answers, this No. 1 Contemporary Christian songwriter is pushing himself and others to “put some hands and feet” to the Gospel.


More Steven Curtis Chapman interviews with Buzz
"Heaven in the Real World": Summer 1994
"Speechless": December 10, 1999

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About Buzz Trexler

Buzz is a married father of two, managing editor for print/online at The (Maryville, TN) Daily Times and pastors Green Meadow United Methodist Church in Alcoa, TN. He is a 1981 graduate of East Tennessee State University, where he is a member of the Mass Communications Department Hall of Fame.


Inside you will find a collection of columns penned by Buzz on topics ranging from the death of Rich Mullins, to his battle with Hepatitis C, to asking the question, "Does God have a sense of humor."

CCM Interviews

Buzz talks with those who, as the late Larry Norman would say, "rock the flock." His interviews range from members of Audio Adrenaline, Newsboys, Jars of Clay and Third Day, to David Crowder and more.


Follow Buzz as he travels with Vine International on two different medical misison trips to Guatemala, as well as one with Volunteer Medical Mission. In 1999, he also went to Estonia with a Volunteers in Mission team.

Blog: Gathering Wool

Blog: The Pastor's Buzz