(Editor's note: We invited J.D. Walt to respond to Brian McLaren's column, "It's All About Who, Jesus?" J.D. speaks as a pastor, composer, worship guide, and leader of emerging ministers at Asbury Seminary.)
I had the privilege of co-writing (with Chris Tomlin and others) a short chorus called "The Wonderful Cross." It's a small part attached to the big Isaac Watts hymn "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross." The words to the chorus are:
Oh, the wonderful Cross. Oh, the wonderful cross,
bids me come and die and find that I may truly live.
Oh, the wonderful cross, Oh, the wonderful cross,
all who gather here by grace draw near and bless your name.
From time to time we get e-mail about the song. One such e-mail came from Dan, who excoriated us for celebrating the cross and a gospel that would "bid us come and die," as Dietrich Bonhoeffer so aptly put it. Dan closes his letter with this:
"Don't get me wrong, when that song is being ...1