A favorite piece of music from Alan Bean’s youth was the "Jesus Christ Superstar" rock opera. However, the creators’ intent of the program eluded him until seeing an interview wherein the lyricist explained that the story was told through the eyes of Judas, the one "apostle" who did not believe that Jesus was who He claimed to be.
The inspiration for "The Bus Stop Atheist" arose out of a calling to re-tell the story of Christ in musical form, but this time based upon how the other 11 apostles knew Him to be. With Bean’s own path to faith influenced deeply by exposure to Christian music, it became clear that the Gospel message could be presented to all comers in an appealing “edu-tainment” medium. Faith-based music need not be stodgy and old fashioned. Any style is fair game, as long as it has an eternal purpose. In fact, this aspect is a recurring and central theme of this project -- style does not matter to God. His party is of the "come as you are" variety.
Have a listen to "Christian radio". Do not the songs played begin to sound like they all were produced by the same people? It is well past time that we break out of our molds and embrace new and exciting ways to play, sing and worship. God doesn't fit in a box...why should we?
Not surprisingly, the tale of the lead character in “The Bus Stop Atheist” is a bit autobiographical. Like the lead character in the film “Bruce Almighty”, most of us go through life looking for signs of a higher significance in all the wrong places. The proof of God is all around us every day, but our spiritual antennae are too often tuned in to the wrong stations.
With this project, the music came first; the story evolved seemingly as dictated by the songs themselves. The “atheist” in the story is a fellow that everyone has known at some point in life.
He may be right in the mirror.