Truth of Gospel Carefully Preserved in Modern Gospel Rock Opera

A Christian “rock opera” that sets the story of Jesus in modern times will soon hit the road.

More than a decade ago Eddie DeGarmo, a pioneer in Christian rock, collaborated with Bob Farrell to write Hero, the story of Jesus set in modern-day Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Now final rehearsals are under way for a spectacular theatrical adaptation of the story called !Hero The Rock Opera.

DeGarmo says his main desire for the production is that it will get people to discuss the gospel. He believes modernizing the biblical events in the life of Christ will make them more accessible and relevant for post-modern and mainstream audiences.

“I think the story [of Christ], in many people's minds, especially in the mainstream, has been softened and turned into something that it's not, and it's a very gritty story. Really, about the happiest part of the gospel is the ending,” he says.

DeGarmo believes updating the gospel with modern characters and a present-day American setting will help audiences better relate to the story. “I think people can maybe connect with power politicians and dirty cops differently than they can with Roman magistrates and centurions,” he says.

But the rocker-writer insists he and his co-author were careful not to abuse their creative license, and the truth of the gospel is carefully preserved in the show.

“I'm certainly not the first to adapt the gospel. It's been done literally hundreds of times. I think as long as the truth of the story and the theology of the story is protected, I'm fine with it,” he says.

As an added precaution, DeGarmo says he had theologians involved “from day one” to review the project and to make sure that !Hero remained true to the spirit of the gospel.

!Hero The Rock Opera tours the United States in November. The production features several popular contemporary Christian recording artists, including Michael Tait of dc Talk portraying Christ, Rebecca St. James as Mary Magdalene, and Mark Stuart of Audio Adrenaline as Petrov, the modern-day version of Peter.

(This article courtesy of Agape Press.)

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