Article by Cameron Spink
It is appropriate for me to write a short follow up to my, rather lengthy, piece on Jeff Bethke's video. I was not the only one to write a critique of his video. In fact, Kevin DeYoung article surpasses the length of my own. He looks at each individual verse and sets straight what was left ambiguous. His concluding comments are:
"I know I've typed a bunch of words about a You Tube video that no one may be talking about in a month. But, as I said at the beginning, there is so much helpful in this poem mixed with so much unhelpful-and all of it so common-that I felt it worth the effort to examine the theology in detail.
The strengths in this poem are the strengths I see in many young Christians-a passionate faith, a focus on Jesus, a love for grace, and a hatred for anything phony or self-righteous. The weaknesses here can be the weaknesses of my generation (and younger)-not enough talk of repentance and sanctification, a tendency to underestimate the importance of obedience in the Christian life, a one-dimensional view of grace, little awareness that our heavenly Father might ever discipline his children or be grieved by their continued transgression, and a penchant for sloganeering instead of careful nuance....."
This carefully written article compliments the one I wrote a handful of days ago. It is highly illuminating and worth the ten or so minutes it takes to read. Of interest is the correspondence that has now occurred between DeYoung and Bethke. Jeff Bethke responded to Kevin DeYoung's article in this way:
"I just wanted to say I really appreciate your article man. It hit me hard. I'll even be honest and say I agree 100%. God has been working with me in the last 6 months on loving Jesus AND loving his church. For the first few years of walking with Jesus (started in '08) I had a warped/poor paradigm of the church and it didn't build up, unify, or glorify His wife (the Bride). If I can be brutally honest I didn't think this video would get much over a couple thousand views maybe, and because of that, my points/theology wasn't as air-tight as I would've liked. If I redid the video tomorrow, I'd keep the overall message, but would articulate, elaborate, and expand on the parts where my words and delivery were chosen poorly... My prayer is my generation would represent Christ faithfully and not swing to the other spectrum....thankful for your words and more importantly thankful for your tone and fatherly like grace on me as my elder. Humbled. Blessed. Thankful for painful growth. Blessings.
Grace and Peace,
It is encouraging to see that Jeff is mature and humble enough to be challenged and learn from Kevin DeYoung's article. We must all be ready to accept reproof when it is deserved. I am sure Jeff will take this onboard in future projects.