Johanna Parker wrote:
But that doesn't give any credence to the...validity of his conversion imo. It only marks it out as the last roll of the dice of an emotionally and creatively drained man. If you were going to write a biography of Bob then SL would be interesting to delve into because I believe that is the album where he began to lose the plot completely. But if you’re looking at it from a theological perspective, in an attempt to trace the steps of his spiritual development, then I'm not sure you'll find anything other than a man at rock bottom looking for an easy way out.
What would make a conversion valid in your eyes? It's not like anybody forced him into bible class. As for the easy way out, it wasn't. He got death threats for this. His own mother tried to have him re-converted. His record sales waned and so did the support of his record label. Plus people booing his new songs.... but he's known that before, of course.
I don't know. I can only say that when I look at it as a whole, with the benefit of hindsight, taking into account what happened prior to the conversion and after it, I find myself viewing the affair with a skeptically raised eyebrow.
I'm not saying that conversions, religious fervor and all that jazz are necessarily founded on unstable minds, I just think that that was the case with Bob. When he starts talking about meeting The Big Guy in a hotel room you have to ask yourself is this man sincere or is he losing his marbles?
if he had devoted his life from that point on to Christianity and everything that goes with it then maybe I could believe it. But do you honestly believe that a man who encountered Jesus, a man who essentially has the mystery of our entire existence revealed to him, would find himself as unhappy and washed up and he later confessed himself to be only a few years later? i think not to be perfectly honest.