It was once said that all a person has to do to realize God has a very good sense of humor is to look at a platypus. The same sentiment applies to the Bible. The Bible often seems like foreign territory, not only for students encountering it in introductory classes, but also for those who have spent many years in church. To many people, it is an intimidating collection of rules, lists, and theological arguments. But in reality, most of the Bible is made up of fascinating stories. Sometimes they're funny, sometimes they're weird, sometimes they're inspiring, but they're never dull. This college-level introduction invites students into biblical studies through creative, humorous retellings (and a few cartoons here and there) of the basic biblical narratives. The best way to get into the Bible, says Robert F. Darden, is to get to know its stories. In this new approach to introducing the Bible to students, Darden covers the major biblical stories and characters, retelling them in such a way as to bring out their original humor and pathos, and inviting the student to encounter them more fully by moving into the text itself.
Click here to listen to Terri Gross's interview with Robert Darden on NPR's Fresh Air about the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project. Darden runs the project at Baylor University where he is a journalism professor. The purpose of the project is to identify, acquire, preserve, record, and catalogue the most at-risk music from the black gospel music tradition, primarily between 1945 and 1970.