I’m excited to announce that I’ll be launching two new podcasts in 2019! The first one, Urban Ministry Podcast, is being produced in coordination with the Dehoney Center for Urban Ministry at Southern Seminary—I’ll post more later about the Urban Ministry Podcast.
The second podcast is a 24-episode personal project entitled Three Chords and the Truth: The Apologetics Podcast. Each episode of this podcast brings together a few of my favorite topics: apologetics, history, and rock and roll. When it comes to apologetics, my focus will be on racial reconciliation, the reliability of the Gospels, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
But, first, I need some help from you.
(No, I’m not about to ask for your money—but, if being asked to give money to a project somehow excites you, let me encourage you to go here.)
Here’s what I am asking: As I develop this podcast, I need some feedback to make certain that what I’m producing will actually provide God’s people with a helpful tool for apologetics and discipleship.
With that in mind, would you please consider doing the following?
1. Listen to at least one of the following two episodes of Three Chords and the Truth: The Apologetics Podcast.
2. Evaluate the podcast by clicking on the survey link below.
3. If you’re interested in being entered into a drawing to win three free books on leadership and family ministry, include your name and address when you fill out the survey.
How Did This Podcast Begin?
This podcast began in the doorway between two offices in historic Norton Hall on the campus of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. That’s where a friendship began to develop between Garrick Bailey and me, when Garrick was serving as my administrative assistant. What we discovered during those years was that we shared a passion for apologetics, historical theology, and rock and roll.
At one point, I found myself leaning through the doorway of Garrick’s office, discussing the various versions of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” while Jimi Hendrix’s cover of the song blared in the background. Our discussion eventually turned to Dylan’s derivation of his lyrics from the oracles of the biblical prophet Isaiah, and we wondered whether anyone had ever considered doing a podcast that brought together faith, reason, and rock and roll. A quick search of iTunes and Soundcloud revealed that no such podcast existed; the same searches also revealed a relative paucity of high-quality apologetics podcasts. In 2018, our discussion of this possible podcast began to develop into reality and became Three Chords and the Truth: The Apologetics Podcast.
Why Three Chords and the Truth?
In the U2 version of “All Along the Watchtower,” Bono dared to drop the final verse of Bob Dylan’s rendition of the song and to replace it with a few lines of his own composition:
“All I’ve got is a red guitar,
three chords, and the truth.
All I’ve got is a red guitar.
The rest is up to you.”
Of course, the phrase “three chords and the truth” did not originate with Bono. It was Harlan Howard—one of the greatest songwriters in the history of country music—who first spoke these words. According to Howard, a country and western song is “nothing more than three chords and the truth.” Howard’s point was that country music doesn’t need to be complicated; the point of a country song is to tell a true story with a clarity and a simplicity that resonates with the real experiences of people’s lives. Bono probably picked up the phrase from The Edge, who used these words to describe Curtis Mayfield’s classic tune “People Get Ready.”
“Three chords and the truth” as the title of this podcast is a nod to the origins of this project in a discussion of the different versions of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower.” But it’s more than that as well; the phrase also expresses our desire to express deep theological truths in clear and simple ways that resonate with the lives of real people. Theology and apologetics don’t need to be complicated; they need to tell a true story with clarity and simplicity.
What’s the Purpose of This Podcast?
It may be that this project never grows beyond the initial twenty-four episodes of this podcast. If that’s the case, it was a joy to develop these episodes together, and I’m satisfied with what we’ve produced. If, however, this project grows into something larger and becomes financially profitable, my goal is for “Three Chords and the Truth” to develop into a brand that produces a clear and simple video-based apologetics curriculum for student and adult ministries, provided to churches and other organizations at a cost that’s scaled to their size and capacity. If you’re interested in helping out with this vision, please take a look at the Three Chords and the Truth Patreon site.