Around the Town: Weekly Round-up #2 (2012)
We have a new logo courtesy of Steve Feld. Thanks so much for the awesome design!
This week a spoken word poet named Jefferson Bethke went viral with his video: Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus. The guys over at Resurgence posted this about the video: “We don’t post poetry very often, but we do when it’s pretty good. Check out this poem on how the gospel of Jesus is the good news that breaks us free from the chains of religion.” Despite this acclaim from Driscoll and his buddies, there have been several critical reviews written recently in response to it. My friend Raymond Morehouse posted this response which rightly notes that Bethke is critiquing hypocrisy, not religion, and notes the looming question of doctrine that “I hate religion” language could subvert. Kevin DeYoung from Gospel Coalition wrote this critique and analysis of the poem that breaks it down stanza by stanza. Deyoung also posted this follow-up correspondence with Bethke. Jonathan Fitzgerald notes the many false dichotomies within the poem in this response. Here are my two cents on Bethke’s video: I’ve been meaning to write a post here for The Two Cities entitled, “Reclaiming Religion in Evangelical Vocabulary.” I guess I won’t get around to that post since the topic is being adequately addressed and debated all throughout the blogosphere. If I could say one thing I’d say that the problem with Bethke’s poem is the same problem with J. Louis Martyn’s commentary on Galatians. There is an unwarranted assumption that religion by definition refers to false religion, legalism, and stuffiness. The problem is that this is a pietistic definition of the word that is simply idiosyncratic. I think this poster sums it up better than anything else (I got it from the Bird man, but I’m not sure where he got it from. Kudos to whoever made this!):
Well, the Tebow Train has officially made its last stop. It was a fun ride, and we’ll look forward to more next season (especially after working with John Elway in the offseason). Love him or hate him, Tebow is simply one of the best persons in the NFL (note I didn’t say players). I especially enjoyed reading this post on ESPN’s website about how Tebow helps those in need before and after every game. For a clear-headed Christian response to the whole Tebow thing (alebit before last night’s brutal loss), Michael Bird posted a brilliant post on what Karl Barth would say about certain Christian responses to Tim Tebow.
In light of Tanner’s recent discussion on Mark Driscoll’s new book Real Marriage, here is part 1 and part 2 of Matthew Lee Anderson’s review. Also, Driscoll posted his own summary of his book for Foxnews entitled, What the Bible Really Says About Sex.