The Gospel Unplugged: Turning Up The Volume On Songs That Rock Your Soul

The Gospel Unplugged: Turning Up The Volume On Songs That Rock Your Soul By Richard Wagner
(Revell)
This book is a great concept. Take some of today’s top Christian songs, look at the words, analyze their meaning, and apply them to our daily lives. I am an avid music fan and the words to my favorite songs are something that I always have enjoyed getting to know. Figuring out just what a writer is looking to impart and what I can glean from those words has always been something I enjoy. I believe this is Richard Wagner’s intention in The Gospel Unplugged.
Wagner goes through about two dozen contemporary songs from the likes of Stephen Curtis Chapman, Jars of Clay and Caedmon’s Call. It is set up chapter-by-chapter so it could easily be used as a devotional. I think today’s youth especially need to be taught to look seriously at the words they listen to. Today’s secular music is full of lust, greed, and violence. Kids need to know the concept of garbage in and garbage out. This book would be great to use for a youth study.
That said, this book is not an easy read. The chapters are rather long and lay it all out like a sermon instead of helping the reader delve into the words on their own. In addition, some of the songs are unfamiliar to me. I would have liked the words in the beginning of the chapter in order to know what is being discussed. Another great touch would have been a compilation CD to listen to as you go. I would love to know what the writers and or performers were thinking. Questions like Why did they write it?, What were they thinking or struggling with along the way?, What did they hope to communicate? and How has it changed their faith? would have helped give more light to what the songs were made for. Wagner does challenge in ways that I had not thought before, but I do not feel this is something the average music fan will read.
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