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I learned a lot from this wonderful book. Some delightful things about elephant-whispering and turning up the treble. But also some profound things that I have been thinking and writing about for decades. Scott Burson showed me in these pages that I still have much to learn about cultivating Christian civility.

 

— RICHARD J. MOUW
  PRESIDENT EMERITUS
FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

All about the Bass Audio Sample
00:00 / 10:05
 

DESCRIPTION

Many Christians are engaged in a bass-pounding culture war in which fidelity to our tribe demands a constant call to arms. This antagonistic posture, however, erects walls, deepens divides, and mutes empathy. All about the Bass: Searching for Treble in the Midst of a Pounding Culture War takes a different approach by offering fresh and faithful sheet music.

 

Using the metaphor of an audio equalizer, Scott Burson proposes ten action steps designed to turn up the treble of empathic compassion without compromising the bass of righteous conviction. In the first extensive Christian engagement with Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory, All about the Bass is academically grounded, yet written for a broad audience.

 

Filled with practical advice and elevating stories of hope, readers will be inspired to move from hostility to hospitality. If you have been longing to sing a better song in our discordant world, All about the Bass is the book for you.

 

PRAISE

I learned a lot from this wonderful book. Some delightful things about elephant-whispering and turning up the treble. But also some profound things that I have been thinking and writing about for decades. Scott Burson showed me in these pages that I still have much to learn about cultivating Christian civility.

— RICHARD J. MOUW
PRESIDENT EMERITUS

FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

 


 

All about the Bass is like a course on listening: it will enlighten, challenge, inspire, and—most important—equip you to understand more people better. And I can’t think of anything the world needs more right now than this effort, these skills, and this vision.

— KAREN SWALLOW PRIOR
RELIGION NEWS SERVICE COLUMNIST

 


 

This is a remarkable and insightful book that invites readers to live their convictions courageously, with humility and civility. Burson applies Moral Foundations Theory, bass and treble, to help us understand the intuitions and stories behind the music of today’s culture wars. This book should be essential reading for anyone seeking to expand the circle and love their enemies.

— DOUG DAUGHERTY
DEAN OF ROSEMEAD SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY
BIOLA UNIVERSITY

 


 

In our increasingly tribalized culture, Scott Burson’s All about the Bass offers a compelling way forward. This is a marvelously clear Christian adaptation of Moral Foundations Theory (MFT), which is a valuable gift in itself, but Burson does more. Guided by the Gospel, Burson leans on the insights of MFT to cast a winsome vision for remaining faithful to our convictions while compassionately sowing peace, empathetically building bridges, and courageously seeking reconciliation. This is essential reading!

— KENT EILERS
PROFESSOR OF THEOLOGY
HUNTINGTON UNIVERSITY

 


 

I wish I could take Scott Burson’s book back in time and give it to myself when I was a young Christian. It would have saved me from so many communication mistakes. It would have helped me be a better family member, friend, citizen, and pastor. It would have helped me be less of a noisy gong and clanging symbol, and more of a person whose communication conveys the sweet music of love. It’s never too late to learn the valuable lessons offered in this practical, readable, intelligent book. Thanks, Scott Burson!

— BRIAN D. MCLAREN
AUTHOR OF FAITH AFTER DOUBT
 

 


 

In a culture defined by greater anger, louder voices and stronger indignation, Scott Burson offers a different way for Christians to engage the world around them. He counters the fallacies of our time with a call for humility, empathy, and relational generosity—in other words, with the way of Jesus. Our interactions, both in person and online, will benefit greatly if we heed his words.

— ROD REED

CHANCELLOR

INDIANA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY

 


 

Here is a wonderful book that can help heal the fractious dialogue in our churches and society. It clearly presents the keys for how to accomplish this and the inspiring stories provide hope for success.

— JOHN SANDERS
AUTHOR OF EMBRACING PRODIGALS


 

 


 

In a noisy culture longing for radical hospitality and extra measures of kindness, Scott Burson offers a quiet voice with practical wisdom and personal messages that keep the reader turning the pages. Read, reflect, and apply, then repeat the cycle to discover new rhythms of grace and bridge the generational and relational divides.

— KEITH NEWMAN

PRESIDENT

SOUTHERN NAZARENE UNIVERSITY


 

 


 

In All about the Bass, Scott Burson persuasively argues for a higher calling of conviction and compassion, beginning with the search to find common ground and culminating with loving your enemies.

— ARTHUR C. BROOKS

HARVARD UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR AND

AUTHOR OF LOVING YOUR ENEMIES


 

 


 

In a time when the messengers have often upstaged the message, and conflated being right with leading others to the light, what a timely call for Christ-followers to imitate the Gospel of Reconciliation. Peppered with powerful stories, weighty points of theology, practical application, and whimsical pop cultural awareness, Scott’s thoughts could not have come sooner and cut me more deeply.

— STEVE WOOD

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF THEATRE

INDIANA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY


 

 


 

As I watched Scott write this book, I was impressed with the depth of his project, moving beyond the predictable way persuasion is often done to a much more sophisticated approach that understands that we are social even more than cognitive beings. His content is brilliant, original, and provides us with tools to make the world a better place.

— KEN SCHENCK

VICE PRESIDENT FOR INNOVATION AND PLANNING

HOUGHTON COLLEGE


 

 


 

 

AUTHOR SCOTT R. BURSON

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Scott R. Burson, Ph.D. (Brunel University—London, England) is Professor of Philosophical Theology at Indiana Wesleyan University. In addition to All about the Bass, he is the author of Brian McLaren in Focus: A New Kind of Apologetics (Abilene Christian University Press, 2016) and (with Jerry L. Walls) C.S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer: Lessons for a New Century from the Most Influential Apologists of Our Time (InterVarsity Press, 1998).

The seeds for All about the Bass were planted on Valentine’s Day 2017 when Dr. Scott Burson gave a talk at Indiana Wesleyan University's first Day of Courageous Conversations. He was humbled by the positive feedback from many students and colleagues, including Professor of Music Phoenix Park-Kim who wrote the following on social media: "So grateful today for the IWU community engaging in the Courageous Conversations. There are just too many excellent sessions to attend, but if you can't make up your mind for the afternoon sessions, I highly encourage you to attend Scott Burson's session titled 'All about the Bass.' (Hint: It's not about the song)."

 

Following this initial presentation, Dr. Burson proceeded to integrate the All about the Bass content into his Humanities Philosophy course. Central to this material is a Matthew 5 “love your enemy” assignment. The first part asks students to identify their “other”—the kind of person they find difficult to understand across a moral/social/cultural divide. Throughout the semester, students then learn ten action steps designed to help them become a more compassionate Christian without sacrificing their convictions. At the end of the semester, students conclude the “love your enemy” assignment by writing a paper on how they will try to build a bridge to their “other” moving forward. While students rarely change their convictions, most move from incivility to increased emotional and cognitive empathy. Dr. Burson has found the “All about the Bass/Love Your Enemy” material to be the most impactful and transformative content that he has taught during his career as a professor.

 

One of the most meaningful comments about the All about the Bass material came from a student named Mason, who is bound to a wheelchair due to a degenerative disease. This physical challenge, however, has never dampened Mason’s spirits. In fact, Mason travels far and wide as a popular motivational speaker. A few years ago he even addressed the Indiana House of Representatives. After taking Dr. Burson’s Humanities Philosophy course, Mason wrote: “Dr. Burson’s ‘All about the Bass’ content is the best I have ever seen and worked through throughout my educational career thus far. As a communicator, I admire how Dr. Burson came up with the content because I know how hard coming up with fresh new ideas can be. I do not know if Dr. Burson has done so already, but I would encourage him to travel the world to share this content.”

Dr. Burson sees his All about the Bass book as only the beginning. He is developing an accompanying workbook that can be used by Sunday School classes and small groups. In September he is launching a podcast entitled appropriately "The All About the Bass podcast," where the conversation will continue. Through his blog and podcast, Dr. Burson plans to interview people from all walks of life who are choosing the courageous path of biblical empathic compassion over bass-pounding tribal division and demonization.

 

If you have a story of reconciliation and hope that you would like to share with Dr. Burson, please send him an email at scott.burson@indwes.edu. Who knows? He might put you on the air!

 

NEWS AND EVENTS

October 27

Dr. Scott Burson Receives 2021 Indiana Wesleyan University Outstanding Scholarship Award for All about the Bass

Dr. Scott Burson received the 2021 Outstanding Scholarship Award for his new book, All about the Bass, at the IWU Scholarship Symposium on Wednesday, October 27. The award was presented during the Symposium luncheon. Dr. Burson was one of several IWU faculty and administrators who presented their research at the annual symposium.

October 2

Dr. Burson Interviewed in Crux Magazine

September 30

Dr. Burson Appears on the Right Side Up Leadership Podcast

Listen to Alan Briggs talk to Dr. Burson about how to move from hostility to hospitality. 

September 24

Dr. Scott Burson Speaks in Chapel at Indiana Wesleyan University
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Dr. Scott Burson was the featured speaker at the Indiana Wesleyan University chapel service on Friday, September 24. The title of his talk was "How to Love Your Disgusting Neighbor." The content was based on a chapter from his new book, All about the Bass: Searching for Treble in the Midst of a Pounding Culture War. The video of his chapel talk will be available soon at allaboutthebass.net.

September 9

Dr. Burson Appears on the Chris Ayotte Radio Show

Listen to Dr. Burson on the Chris Ayotte Radio Show. The Chris Ayotte Show airs on WMUZ 103.5 in Metro Detroit.

Chris Ayotte Scott Burson 09-09-2021
00:00 / 27:28

September 2-5

Wild Goose Festival
Hot Springs, NC

Dr. Burson speaks about content from his new book, All about the Bass. The title of his talk was "To Stand or Kneel: Competing Quarterbacks and Sacred Values."

August 25 

Dr. Burson Interviewed on Bill Martinez Live

Listen to Dr. Burson discuss All about the Bass on Bill Martinez's nationally syndicated radio show. 

Scott Burson on Bill Martinez Live - 8_29_21, 7.02 AM
00:00 / 18:49

CONTACT

For media inquiries, please contact publicist Karen Campbell:

Tel: 616.309.4390 | karen@karencampbellmedia.com

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