A priest talks about Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, and the New Evangelization

Think about it: Jesus himself didn’t only associate with the religious, in fact it was some of the religious leaders of Jesus’ day who were the first to condemn Him.

Father Barron’s take on this makes me think of when Jesus was questioned as to why he dines with sinners:

“When the scribes of the Pharisee party saw him eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard this he said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. I came to call not the upright, but sinners.'” Mark 2:16-17

The point is that it’s easier to reach those who otherwise might never consider Scripture or Christianity by referencing sources that a wider audience can identify with.

This doesn’t mean we are to exemplify rock stars in the same light as saints, but the saints themselves had open minds and weren’t quick to condemn other ways of perceiving God and the universe. We are all in this together, and we can all learn from each other.

As a huge Bob Dylan fan myself, there’s also something to be said for Bob’s wide range of Christian songs being testimonials for the faith in and of themselves. (Side note: Contrary to popular belief, Bob didn’t given up his faith, in fact he continues to sing and write songs that delve in the spiritual, even if he isn’t still in the fervent “born-again” phase of years’ past).

There’s also something to be said for not passing judgement and assuming every rock star is some kind of raging evil-doer. Heck, we all sin. So to paraphrase Jesus, let the person without any sin cast the first stone.

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