In 1978 one of the biggest rock stars on the planet became a born again Christian and then over the next three years proceeded to release only Christian-music. His name is Bob Dylan.
Bob Dylan will go down as one of the most enigmatic and mysterious artists of the twentieth and twenty-first century, and who knows how long his music will endure after he's gone.
In the '60s and '70s, which most die-hard Dylan fans will say was when he was in his prime, people hung off of his every word and deed. He was heralded as some sort of shaman-prophet-oracle whose lyrics both perplexed and beguiled the listener.
He was an anti-establishment voice who spoke out against segregation, the Vietnam War and the threat of nuclear war. He was a man who continually marched to his own beat and "betrayed" his folk roots in favor of the electric guitar, got into a mysterious motorbike crash in upstate New York and was nowhere to be found at the counter-cultures crowning moment, Woodstock.
He also almost killed himself through drug and alcohol abuse and was a serial womanizer. Yet even in the upheaval of the '60s and the life Dylan led during those pivotal times you could see a man seeking out the truth and no clearer example of that can be found in his songs.
Enter author, pastor and theologian, Phil Mason who describes himself as, "Something of a Dylan tragic," because he collects, "obscure Dylan songs, outtakes and occasional concert bootlegs in addition to the standard CD releases."
Masons latest book, A Voice from On High-The Prophetic Oracles of Bob Dylan is a labor of love about an artist who he admires greatly and a subject that he believes deserves proper scholarly attention.
Mason calls Dylan "a street theologian" and believes that he is a legitimate prophetic voice the evidence of which he suggests can be found in a number of his songs. He writes,
"I have taken a particular interest in one specific aspect of Dylan's vast work and that has been his personal interaction with what he calls the "The Voice from On High." All of Dylan's life he had been engaged either intellectually, or, since his conversion, at a deeper heart level, with the truth that proceeds from the mouth of God. Throughout his life, even prior to his conversion, Dylan had also been shaped to a certain degree by the voice of God."
Specifically, Mason identifies 32 songs that Dylan wrote which he claims are "prophetic oracles" spoken in the first person, in the voice of God, like the prophets in the Old Testament did.
A Voice from On High is a fascinating read and a must-have for anyone who is a fan of Dylan's music, whether it was in the early days, gospel years or when he took a step back and wove his Christian beliefs into his music in a far subtler way.
Originally from: LightWorkers
CCD reprinted with permission.
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