Episode #277

Trains, Jesus, and Murder: The Gospel According to Johnny Cash

Guest: Richard Beck

Series: Crackers and Grape Juice

Host: Jason Micheli

September 18, 2020

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“Saints and sinners, all jumbled up together.” That’s the genius of Johnny Cash, and that’s what the gospel is ultimately all about.

Johnny Cash sang about and for people on the margins. He famously played concerts in prisons, where he sang both murder ballads and gospel tunes in the same set. It’s this juxtaposition between light and dark, writes Richard Beck, that makes Cash one of the most authentic theologians in memory.

In Trains, Jesus, and Murder, Beck explores the theology of Johnny Cash by investigating a dozen of Cash’s songs. In reflecting on Cash’s lyrics, and the passion with which he sang them, we gain a deeper understanding of the enduring faith of the Man in Black.

Jason and Johanna talk with out latest guest, Richard Beck, who is an award-winning author, speaker, blogger and Professor of Psychology at Abilene Christian University. Every Monday Richard leads a bible study for fifty inmates at the maximum security French-Robertson unit. And Monday-Friday on his popular blog Experimental Theology Richard will spend enormous amounts of time writing about the theology of Johnny Cash, the demonology of Scooby-Doo or his latest bible class on monsters.

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