DeWitt and Flame collaborate on Jesus or Nothing book, album
Christianity offers hope and adds intrinsic value to life, while atheism offers despair, according to Dan DeWitt in his new book, Jesus or Nothing. So Christians have a choice: either Jesus, or the belief that nothing matters. DeWitt explores these two premises in the book.
Popular hip-hop artist Flame created a new album, which released with the book earlier this year.
DeWitt, dean of Boyce College, the undergraduate school of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote Jesus or Nothing as an explanation of the rationality of the theistic worldview. DeWitt discusses two premises in his book: “The first proposition is if atheism is true, there’s a loss of objective meaning and intrinsic worth,” he said in a recent interview.
A theistic worldview only makes sense in light of the gospel, he said.
“Theism only takes us so far, and theism can’t make sense out of the fact that we live in a world where children are discarded and where women are raped. And not just moral evil, which is certainly horrific, but natural evil: there are tsunamis in which thousands of people die. Theism has a hard time making sense of that apart from the gospel. So theism best describes reality, the gospel best describes theism.”
DeWitt says he hopes the book helps Christians to love those who reject Jesus.
“The way I would hope Christians use the book would be to grow in their compassion for people who don’t believe,” he said. “I hope that a Christian parent, for example, who maybe has a college student who has walked away from the faith, can empathize a bit more and understand perhaps what had led to their journey. Of course, every story is completely different, but I really do hope that’s accomplished: that believers will read it and be more empathetic and they’ll be quick to listen and slow to speak.”
In conjunction with the book, Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist Flame — Marcus Tyrone Gray, a 2010 Boyce College graduate — and Clear Sight Music productions released a 15-song album that correlates with DeWitt’s book. Each track explores questions about the meaning of life and the gospel. The album features Flame and several other hip-hop artists.
DeWitt and Flame will tour to speak and perform at various camps and conferences through the fall. Featured events include a camp at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, two weeks of Southern Seminary’s D3 camp, June 23-26 and June 30-July 2; several weeks with LIFT Ministries at various camps, including one in the United Kingdom, August 4-8; and an event in the Dominican Republic, Sept. 25-29 at Iglesia Bautista Internacional.
Southern Seminary recently hosted an Alumni Academy focused around Jesus or Nothing, May 22-23. Along with lectures from DeWitt, the conference featured a panel discussion with Greg Gibson, elder at Foothills Church in Maryville, Tennessee and assistant editor of the men’s channel on the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood website; Boyce College professor Bryan Baise; Timothy Paul Jones, Southern Seminary’s C. Edwin Gheens Professor of Christian Family Ministry; and Ted Cabal, professor of Christian philosophy and applied apologetics.
DeWitt used the “tale of two stories” to introduce how the gospel offers explanation for our existence, clarity for our confusion, grace for our guilt, meaning for our mortality and answers for our adversaries.
More information about Alumni Academy is available at sbts.edu/events. More information about Jesus or Nothing, both the book and album, is available at jesusornothing.com.