Jefferson Bethke appears on “Morning Joe”

Jefferson Bethke appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program yesterday morning to promote his new book Jesus > Religion. As you can see in the photo at right, he had a good time. You can watch the entire interview below. You can purchase the book here.


  • Esther O'Reilly

    I guess I don’t get why there’s been so much hype around this guy—first the video, now his book. His “poetry” is mediocre, and from the sample of his book I’ve read it seems like he’s not offering any new biblical insights. His exegesis is dubious at best and embarrassingly wrong at worst, and his style is very cliched. I’m not casting aspersions on his sincerity, but honestly, we should be praising excellence in all things and Bethke just doesn’t deliver that.

      • Esther O'Reilly

        It could certainly be a lot worse—he could be preaching outright heresy, for example. At the same time, I suppose it’s just a bit sad to me that we’re kind of “settling” for his work instead of continuing to push him to do better. It’s almost like “Yay, you’re a millenial who’s not a heretic and hasn’t walked away from his faith! *falls down and kisses ankles*” When it should be more like “Hey, you’re a young guy who understands the gospel and is trying to reach others with it. Cool. Now let’s clear away some of the cliches and political baggage so your message will be more effective.”

        • buddyglass

          Well, yeah, except that I think it’s what you’ve termed “political baggage” that is what’s animating some folks. There’s a lot of pent up dissatisfaction with “religion” and the institutional church out there. Bethke’s tapping into that but instead of saying, “Scrap the whole deal,” he’s pointing back to the essentials. Now, some of that dissatisfaction with “religion” and the institutional church is probably unfounded. We likely disagree on how much, but some of it surely is. But there’s also a lot to be legitimately dissatisfied about, and especially in the American Church (capitol “C”).

  • Joe Wisnieski

    I really don’t understand the snark. Maybe Bethke is a young Timothy in the making and he would benefit from a little more godly encouragement and a little less snark. He’s obviously a young man with the desire to use his time and talents to honor Christ, and he’s gotten some traction in the culture. No, he’s not a Kevin DeYoung or a Denny Burk. But if that’s the standard, most of us would need to stay silent when providence comes knocking on our door.

  • Esther O'Reilly

    Not trying to be snarky, just stating the facts honestly. As for Timothy, I’m probably being waaaaay less harsh on Bethke than Paul would have been on Timothy if he said some of the things Bethke did. Seriously, Paul would totally win the snark contest hands down. 😀 Seriously, in Bethke’s video about “sacred vs. secular,” he completely mangles and misinterprets Jesus’ “this or that mountain” passage while making the analogy from Paul’s use of a proverb to a modern-day pastor quoting L’il Wayne (!) All to make the point that those silly religious fundamentalists don’t understand sacred vs. secular, etc. Perfect example of what I meant by using bad exegesis to make what’s ultimately more a political than a theological point.

  • Jim Ottaway

    His appearance reminds me of Tullian T.’s a short time ago. Both have written books aimed at a Christian/church audience, but here they are before secular viewers. I am not persuaded that the interviews they gave are the best way to go. It seems that they are speaking in terms that have either little or incorrect meaning for unbelievers.

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