This is to let you know about my new book, which takes what we’re doing here at Down at the Crossroads a bit further and explores in more depth the connections between the blues and faith.
The Gospel According to the Blues dares us to read Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount in conversation with Robert Johnson, Son House, and Muddy Waters. It suggests that thinking about the blues–the history, the artists, the songs–provides good stimulation for thinking about the Christian gospel. Both are about a world gone wrong, about injustice, about the human condition, and both are about hope for a better world. In this book, Gary Burnett probes both the gospel as we find it in the Sermon on the Mount and the history of the blues , to help us understand better the nature of the good news which Jesus preached, and its relevance and challenge to us.
“The Gospel According to the Blues is at once a primer in American music, culture, and race and religious history. Gary Burnett moves deftly from lyrics to theory and back again, from Blind Lemon Jefferson to the insights of contemporary scholarship. Highly readable, thoroughly researched, and with deep respect for the art form on every page. For best results, read with scratchy vinyl recordings of the masters as accompaniment.” —Michael J. Gilmour, Providence University College, Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada
“This book functions like the blues to which it introduces us: as a wake-up call to the cries of lament that stir in the hearts of people all around us. In this informative, moving, and convicting book, Gary Burnett reminds us that the gospel comes as a divine promise of justice and peace in answer to those cries.” —J. R. Daniel Kirk, Fuller Theological Seminary, Menlo Park, CA
“Gary Burnett’s office is shelved with theological books, guitars fill the floor, and the drawers are crammed with CDs. In The Gospel According to the Blues, Gary brings his vocation as a New Testament teacher together with his passion for the blues and gives the reader scholarly knowledge and wise insight.” —Steve Stockman, Author of The Rock Cries Out: Discovering Eternal Truth in Unlikely Music
You can find an interview with the author here.