DiscoverMusic & MeaningGod Gave Rock and Roll To You
God Gave Rock and Roll To You

God Gave Rock and Roll To You

Update: 2024-02-13


In this episode, we interview Leah Payne about her new book, God Gave Rock and Roll to You. First question: "Is this true? God is responsible for rock music?" Enter historian Leah Payne, Ph.D., to provide the church history lesson. With host Charlie Peacock, Dr. Payne guides us through a fascinating labyrinth of spiritual and sonic convergence.

Our odyssey commences at the dawn of the 20th century amidst the fervor of Pentecostal Revivalism. The story and soundtrack show how predominantly white evangelical Christians, fueled by the holiness movement, patriotism, and sobriety, inadvertently set the stage for rock music and the Church to find mutually beneficial common ground. This unlikely fusion has a name in history: contemporary Christian music.

God Gave Rock and Roll to You is a well-researched history lesson but also a cautionary word. The story forecasts the Church's continued pragmatic use of music, appropriation of fame and fashion, our present societal angst and division, and the binary, strongman politics that divide us even now. We are reminded that every movement has its architects, advocates, and dissenters. Love, empathy, wisdom, and learning from history help us decide which one we will be.


“Music and Meaning” is a production of Christianity Today:

Executive Produced by Erik Petrik and Matt Stevens

Produced and Written by Charlie Peacock and Mike Cosper

Associate Produced by Raed Gilliam

Original Music and Editing by Charlie Peacock and David LaChance

Mixed by Mark Owens

Show theme, “Sound of the Room,” composed by Charlie Peacock, featuring bassist John Patitucci

Special guest: Leah Payne

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit









Sleep Timer


End of Episode

5 Minutes

10 Minutes

15 Minutes

30 Minutes

45 Minutes

60 Minutes

120 Minutes

God Gave Rock and Roll To You

God Gave Rock and Roll To You

Christianity Today