Why I Love Religion (And So Does Jesus)

I spy with my little eyes… an interesting video for you to watch!  (Twelve million people have in the past week alone, so you’ll be in good company.)

A while back, we spent a lot of time talking about how younger Christians are now tending toward alternative titles or expressions to identify their spirituality besides Christian.  I use the term spirituality very intentionally, because it appears that many younger Christians have also come to eschew the term religion itself.  Whereas a religion used to be simply a group of people organized around shared beliefs and practices, our poetic friend Jefferson Bethke’s video verbalizes an increasingly prevalent anti-religion bias among the rising generation of Christians, characterizing it as a cold, dead, empty formalism that Jesus hates.

There is so much to be said about this issue that I hardly know where to begin.  So, instead of launching another full-scale investigation and critique like I did with the Christian issue, I happily point you to the blog of pastor Kevin DeYoung.  This is not the first time I’ve commended DeYoung’s work to you (as his review of Rob Bell’s Love Wins is a veritable paragon of winsome AND biblical Christian argumentation), and I am pleased to report that his response to Bethke’s video is equally articulate, edifying, loving, and scriptural.  DeYoung grapples with the issues raised in the video with a grace and care that I almost certainly would have lacked in any attempt of my own.

Of course, another indication that DeYoung has penned the definitive response to the video is that Bethke himself emailed DeYoung about it, which precipitated a series of replies and even a phone conversation between the two.  Fans and critics alike are definitely going to want to read what Bethke had to say in response to DeYoung.

And so I leave you in very capable hands.  Read on!
“This day the LORD your God commands you to do these statutes and rules.  You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul.  You have declared today that the LORD is your God, and that you will walk in his ways, and keep his statutes and his commandments and his rules, and will obey his voice.  And the LORD has declared today that you are a people for his treasured possession, as he has promised you, and that you are to keep all his commandments, and that he will set you in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that he has made, and that you shall be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised.” –Deuteronomy 26:16-19