Once Upon A Time

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 by Gabriel Thy

by Alan Jacobs

ABOUT THE TIME I BECAME a Christian, in 1978 or so, Bob Dylan did too. Of course, I didn’t know about his conversion at the time—no one did, or almost no one, and when word started to creep out it was greeted with disbelief. Even when Dylan’s first Christian record—Slow Train Coming—was released, Jann Wenner, the founder and editor of Rolling Stone, would trust none of his writers with the review but instead wrote it himself. I smiled for weeks over Wenner’s ingenious attempts to argue that the record didn’t prove that Dylan was a Christian, his desperate protests that songs like “I Believe in You” and “When He Returns” didn’t necessarily refer to Jesus. I smiled because Bob Dylan—Bob Dylan!—was on my side of the cultural street.

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