Now I am not going to be offering my opinion or rebuttal to anything he said in the video. To be frank, I haven't even watched the video all the way through (and probably won't). However, several Christian blogging heavyweights have watched the video and graciously responded including Jared Wilson and Tullian Tchividjian, while Kevin DeYoung even dissected it verse by verse. In all honesty, I didn't even read his whole dissection because I felt the whole topic was—as Kevin later described—all "sound and fury signifying nothing". (Side note: that's good stuff, Kevin, someone should put that in a novel or play or something.) But then again, anything drawing that much attention needs careful thinkers offering careful thoughts.
However, Jefferson Bethke actually responded personally to Kevin DeYoung's critique and even gave Kevin permission to share their subsequent back-and-forth exchange. And the thought that Kevin closed with grabbed me more than anything said up to this point:
The actual emails were longer, but these excerpts give you a feel for the tone. I’m immensely grateful for Jeff’s response and feel like I’ve made a new friend in this process. We talked on the phone this morning and had a chance to get to know each other better. We talked about the wonders and trials of the internet and the difficulty in receiving praise and criticism. We both talked about what we could have done differently in retrospect.
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.This is a beautiful picture of the sort of humility that we need more of within the Christian blogosphere. I know controversy and criticism drive the hits up, but when building a following trumps building up the church, this is a red flag that we've run off course. I have personally unsubscribed from blogs that I felt were doing more tearing down than building up, and I pray this blog never falls into that trap. Yes, there are times when hard words are necessary, but I hope myself and anyone representing this blog will always do it in such a way that, as Jeff and Kevin modeled, edification would be the end result. There is a sort of criticism that only tears down and vilifies and there is a sort that invites clarification, edification, and reconciliation. I pray that ours (and yours) is always characterized by the latter.