...So let me offer a few of words in defense of the video, because I actually think it’s very good. I’m a songwriter who cares very much about creativity and sound doctrine. I love to see them blended and fused into something beautiful and doctrinally sound.
One of the first rules when it comes to interpreting a song, or any creative work for that matter, is that it must be judged on it’s own terms. In other words, the content must be interpreted based on the author’s intent. The first line of the piece is “Jesus came to abolish religion.” To that I say, “Oh really? Tell me exactly what you mean by the word ‘religion’.” Because the meaning of the entire piece depends on what Jefferson means by the word “religion”. If I’m going to critique it, I need to critique his meaning of religion, not my meaning of religion.
The critique of the video generally runs along the lines of this: Jesus was not against religion. That’s a false dichotomy that Jefferson is creating.More at the link.
But I think that the wrong question is being asked. The question everyone seems to be asking is: was Jesus against religion? The answer to that question is: yes. And no. And maybe. It all depends on what you mean by the word “religion”.....
UPDATE: Keven DeYoung and Jefferson Bethke have been talking on the phone and exchanging e-mails regarding DeYoung's critique of Bethke's video. I wish all disagreements among believers could be handled with this level of humility and class. Good job, guys!