So much attention was paid to the devoutly Christian message on 1979's Slow Train Coming and its supporting tour that few people realized just how amazing the songs from that period were. Nobody knows exactly what compelled a Jew to begin writing gospel songs like "Slow Train," "Precious Angel" or "Pressing On," but based on the passion he poured into every word he sang in that era, it's clear he meant every word of them.
His nightly sermon to the audience reflected an even more radical ideology than what he espoused in his songs. "You know what's happening right now, when you look at the Middle East?" he asked the crowd one night. "They're headed for a war. That's right, they're headed for war. There's gonna be war over there. I'd say maybe five years, maybe 10 years, could be 15 years, I don't know, but remember I told you right here. I told you 'The Times They Are A-Changin' and they did! I said the answer was 'Blowin' In The Wind' and it was! I'm telling you now, Jesus is coming back, and he is! There is no other way of salvation."