The blog post before this one features the viral video by Jeff Bethke, "Why I hate Religion but Love Jesus." Soon after this video went viral, the Gospel Coalition blogger Kevin DeYoung wrote a critique of it.
At first, I was disappointed and saddened that DeYoung felt a line-by-line criticism was necessary, and some of his points seemed petty considering that Jeff clearly stated he was using "religion" to mean "false religion," and he wasn't against all organized religion. As one commentator on the post stated "Why don’t we, as reformed folks, make a better video instead of simply moaning and complaining because he didn’t cross all of the doctrinal t’s that we would have crossed. I just simply do not understand how we can hold to the belief that God elected and saved us based on no work of our own (i.e., we are nothing and He is everything), yet still be so proud as we gleefully point out the sticks in everyone else’s eye."
However, I re-read DeYoung's article, and I had to admit a some of his points were valid. For example, we really can't reserve the right to define "religion" however we want to, even with the best of intentions. I won't summarize all of his points here, but I hope you'll read his entire article for yourself.
Then I noticed an update to the article, and clicked over to read it. Jeff had initiated contact with DeYoung after reading his blog post. I hope you'll read DeYoung's update for yourself, but I thought this summed it up well:
A friend wrote to me yesterday and said, “This is a good test for both Jefferson and for yourself. Is he the kind of guy who would be willing to write a critic with humility? And did you write the piece in such a way that the one being criticized would feel comfortable chatting with you?” I hope we are passing that test. Through the years I haven’t always aced this kind of exam.I think Jeff is a good example of accepting criticism humbly with a teachable spirit. I do wish Kevin had responded more Biblically by going to Jeff first, before airing his concerns on the internet. However, I think the situation has shown the best of both men as they both learned from the experience.
I hope everyone reading this blog will share Jeff’s heart and mine for getting the gospel out as far as we can and as right as we can. I look forward to seeing Jeff’s next video.
How do we respond when we're corrected?