The Gospel Unplugged: Turning Up the Volume on

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, presents The Gospel Unplugged: Turning Up The Volume on Songs That Rock Your Soul from acclaimed writer Rich Wagner. Releasing July 1, the book unearths the meaning of twenty-five contemporary Christian songs as recorded by popular music artists, including Switchfoot, Jars of Clay, Nichole Nordeman, Stephen Curtis Chapman, Newsboys, Third Day and others. Offering his lyrical interpretation, Wagner also provides practical applications for daily living.
Intended for a new generation of music enthusiasts, Wagner’s The Gospel Unplugged proposes that music artists such as Jars of Clay and Nichole Nordeman may have as much theological influence on their generation as the great hymn writers had on the people of their day through the transformation of biblical truths communicated through song. In The Gospel Unplugged, Wagner shows readers how to apply these truths to their lives, gain a better understanding of their faith, and grow in their relationship with God.
The Gospel Unplugged is the ninth title, which partners Revell with Hungry Planet. Hungry Planet is a company founded to funnel truth to teens and adults with a postmodern mindset. The partnership between Revell and Hungry Planet has led to such best-selling titles as Dateable, Mean Girls, and The Dirt on Sex, to name a few.
“We will be promoting The Gospel Unplugged through targeted advertising to Generation X as well as to students,” says Twila Bennett marketing director of Revell. “We believe that the message of this book will appeal to those that read Relevant Magazine, Christian Music Planet and CCM, as well as young professionals and those who just like good music. We will also be pursuing ways to promote the book that connects to the fan base of the artists mentioned in the book. This book will give depth to songs that are already in the consciousness of music fans, and help them dig into what the songs truly say about faith and God.”
Hungry Planet General Manager Michael DiMarco notes, “A recent online poll asked Christians what one activity most helped them grow in their faith and the number one answer was ‘listening to Christian music.’ Instead of us bemoaning the state of Bible study in typical Christians, The Gospel Unplugged takes popular songs to another level and medium of growth in a Christian music listener’s daily life.”
The book, which delves into the meaning of songs such as “Meant To Live” by Switchfoot, “Free” by Stephen Curtis Chapman, “40 Acres” by Caedman’s Call, “Deep End” by Newsboys, and “Big Enough” by Chris Rice, addresses different aspects of life and is divided into the following five parts:
Part 1: Explores songs that reveal something about the amazing love of God.
Part 2: Discusses songs that point to the freedom and identity experienced through Jesus Christ.
Part 3: Dives into life’s meaning for the Christian.
Part 4: Looks at songs that confront tough issues facing Christians living out their faith.
Part 5: Explores songs focused on how Christians can keep their eyes fixed on Jesus Christ in this complex, modern world.
At the end of each chapter, Wagner includes an “Action Steps” box providing specific challenges to help readers better live out the truth seen in the songs, as well as a “Diving Deeper” box providing pertinent Bible verses, books and films to reference for further exploration of the song’s theme.
Wagner offers this challenge, “As you read through The Gospel Unplugged, I encourage you to dive into the meaning behind each song’s lyrics, discover their biblical foundation and get practical about how you apply these truths to your life.”
In addition to The Gospel Unplugged, Rich Wagner is the author of several For Dummies books designed to make Christian truth approachable, including Christianity For Dummies, Christian Prayer For Dummies, and C.S. Lewis & Narnia For Dummies. He is also publisher and writer of Digitalwalk (, a discipleship-oriented website for challenging and encouraging Christians living in this postmodern, digital age.
A former Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Wagner was previously V.P. of Product Development at NetObjects, an Internet software company, as well as inventor of NetObjects ScriptBuilder, an award-winning software tool. He has written numerous computer books and served as columnist for Delphi Informant magazine. He lives in Princeton, Massachusetts.
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