Greg Laurie’s enjoyable book hurtles along like a train, travelling from the gospel roots of rock and roll and terminating at Justin Bieber.
The church background of the “million dollar quartet” of Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis sets the scene. Laurie then investigates The Beatles’ spirituality, including Hare Krishna and the “more popular than Jesus” claim. Lennon gets a separate chapter of his own, focusing on enlightening stories from his last couple of years.
Laurie touches on the beginnings of Contemporary Christian Music (CCM), referencing Lonnie Frisbee, Larry Norman and Calvary Chapel, but majoring on mainstream artists such as Bob Dylan and Alice Cooper. His America-centric outlook means that, despite U2 being one of the biggest rock bands on the planet and having an evangelical youth group background, the Irish band are entirely omitted from the narrative.
After an objective account of his subject, Laurie (surprisingly) dips in and out of the first-person with his own story; and in places even gives an altar call. Although well researched and edited, the book sometimes feels like three different ideas mashed together.