The Beach Boys are one of rock's most enduring and enigmatic groups, and while the band has been the subject of numerous biographies and other in-depth studies, there has been no focused evaluation of the religious and spiritual themes in their work. Spiritual and theological themes are present in much of their work, and when this realization is coupled with Brian Wilson's mission ""to spread the gospel of love through records,"" and his sense of music as spiritual--of thinking ""pop music is going to be spiritual . . . that's the direction I want to go""--this is a striking way to explore the band's music. In God Only Knows, the contributors attempt to come to grips with just a small amount of this band's massive output--by circling around its theological virtues. Each section of the book is a loose investigation of the guiding topics of faith, hope, and love. Each essay is a free exploration of theological and spiritual themes from the contributor's own perspectives. ""In the emerging era of popular music as a shaping cultural force, there were a few artists whose work not only profoundly impacted their peers but who continue to influence today. Among those artists were The Beach Boys, one of California's most unique contributions to the pop music canon, a band whose music exported not only American pop to the world, but also Cali surf culture, sunshine, and a commitment to spread love through music. Much has been written about The Beach Boys over the years and their work has been scrutinized from virtually every angle. What's unique about this volume is that it seeks to explore a singular and key element of The Beach Boys' music, namely, the spiritual component that funded their creativity. The Beach Boys rose to fame in the wake of the 'death of God, ' but their music, like many of their era, was fueled by a hunger to seek out the spiritual in new and expanding ways. God Only Knows is a volume of essays that unearths some of those spiritual and theological threads and along the way invites the reader to a deeper appreciation of pop music's power and some fresh perspectives on one of popular music's most important and influential bands."" --Barry Taylor, teacher, writer, music lover ""This is one fine book. It investigates an unexamined aspect of The Beach Boys ... at long last. Brian Wilson had a hidden agenda. I think Brian would be proud of this work. Jon Foreman of Switchfoot fame would be proud too After all, he covers the song 'God Only Knows.' And that thought is, indeed, true "" --David Naugle, Distinguished University Professor, Dallas Baptist University ""Who knew there could exist a beautiful, serious, playful book on The Beach Boys that pointed to the Kingdom of God and the gospel of love? I thank my teenage aunt for introducing this magical group to me. And now, grateful again to have all these robust thinkers paying homage and plumbing the depths of this hallowed group from my native California. I'm swimming in delight."" --Charlie Peacock, Producer Jeff Sellars teaches philosophy, humanities, and religious studies in Northern California and Southern Oregon.