Monday, January 16, 2012

Two views on Jesus vs. religion

You may have heard about the "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus" video making the rounds. In it Jefferson Bethke, a young Christian from Seattle, gives a terrific spoken word presentation contrasting Jesus' message of love and grace with religion. The video has been viewed over 12 million times and generated an amazing amount of discussion on Christian websites and blogs.

The distinction between the gospel and religion is one I've written about more than once (see here and here). Properly understood it's helpful in understanding how the Christian gospel is utterly unique from other major religions. Some of the push-back to Bethke's video argues that he overplays the Jesus vs. religion theme and betrays his generation's anti-institutional church bias. Interestingly, criticism has come from the evangelical right and the evangelical left.

The most interesting response that I've seen is "Why I Love Jesus But Hate Religion - A Catholic Response" by someone going under the name Makeafriar. This guy makes some great points. Both videos are below. If you haven't seen the original video, watch it first, then watch the Catholic response. This is a worthwhile dialogue to be having.

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