by Bethany Kay, staff writer
“Belief systems shape who we are and what we think—they change the way you are living life,” said Aaron Shust after his Aug. 26 concert at Moody. This is the driving force behind his new album “This is What We Believe,” released on Aug. 23.
Shust’s album focuses on what God has been doing in his family, who have come out of a difficult season of health complications this year. According to StereoTruth.net, Shust’s son Nicky had Eosinophilic Esophagitis, a “rare and extremely painful condition in which Nicky was unable to take in any nutrition.”
The songs from this album contain many lyrics from Scripture; Shust even wrote in the Scripture references next to several lines in the CD booklet for “This is What We Believe.” His motivation is “so [listeners] can read the Scripture and know it’s not just ‘Aaron’s opinion.’” He has been criticized for having too much Scripture in his new album; “I have no problem with that,” he said.
In addition to referencing Scripture, Shust wrote a devotional entry for each of the 10 songs, available on the deluxe edition of the album. The purpose was to share with his listeners the thoughts behind each song and to lead them to an attitude of worship.
“I really enjoy creating atmospheres of worship,” he said, “and I’m learning how to do that. I’m really trying to figure that out and not come across like, ‘Hey, here’s a song I wrote when I was bored one night.’”
Shust left with a word for the students: having attended a small private school in northeast Georgia, he knows of the “bubble” of life at a Christian college. “This is what this album is about,” Shust said—taking our world outside the bubble. It is one thing to be able to write what one believes on paper, but entirely different to articulate it to people outside of the community. “Burst [through] that bubble,” he said.