Welcome to a new episode of Three Chords and the Truth: The Apologetics Podcast, with Dr. Dan DeWitt, a discussion of C.S. Lewis, and a celebration of a duo of flagrant illegalities! This episode commemorates two illegal acts, both of which were captured on tape and involved live rock and roll.
The second illegal act took place six years later, in 1993, when Timothy Paul “Definitely Not Bono” Jones rehearsed and recorded music in a condemned house on Fairchild Avenue in Manhattan, Kansas. One of the cassettes that Timothy’s band recorded there has been unearthed to provide the closing song for this week’s episode.
Despite the flagrant illegalities in the second half of this week’s program, the first half manages to remain completely licit, lawful, and full of C.S. Lewis. That’s due solely to the heroic efforts of Dan DeWitt, director of the Center for Biblical Apologetics and Public Christianity at Cedarville University. Dr. DeWitt—artist, author, and all-around very legal person—helps us to understand why the apologetics methods employed by C.S. Lewis still matter today. The question that Dr. DeWitt faces from the Infinity Gauntlet is a DC and Marvel mashup that throws the most righteous superhero in each universe into a battle that will shatter one of them forever or until the next reboot.
But then we get to the second half of the program, and everything pretty much goes to heck in a herd of hand-baskets. Bono’s illegal act in San Francisco triggers not only a citation for violating California Penal Code 594PC but also an exploration of the eschatology of U2’s rendition of “All Along the Watchtower,” the cover that gave this podcast its name. But, even though it was Bono who added the words “three chords and the truth” to Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” it wasn’t Bono who coined this phrase in the first place. “Three chords and the truth” can be traced back to one of the greatest composers in the history of country and western music, Harlan Howard. This excursion into music history leads to some unexpected links to soul artist Curtis Mayfield and to Ms. “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” herself, Cyndi Lauper. After an exploration of the differences between the eschatologies of Bono and Bob Dylan, the sordid story of Timothy’s illegal rehearsals emerges and forever besmirches his previously-pristine reputation.
In this Episode with Dan DeWitt
Dan DeWitt, Ph.D., is associate professor of applied theology and apologetics and the director of the Center for Biblical Apologetics and Public Christianity at Cedarville University. Before joining the faculty of Cedarville University, Dr. Dan DeWitt served in academic and pastoral roles as Lead Pastor of the Campus Church of Highview Baptist Church and as Dean of Boyce College. He is the author of many books, including Why God?, Life in the Wild, and Christ or Chaos? Follow Dr. DeWitt at @DanDeWitt.
Questions to Discuss about C.S. Lewis
1. Who was C.S. Lewis?
2. How has C.S. Lewis influenced your life?
3. What are some of C.S. Lewis’ strongest apologetic arguments?
Links to Click
C.S. Lewis: website by HarperCollins Publishers
Surprised by Joy: book by C.S. Lewis
The Problem of Pain: book by C.S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters: book by C.S. Lewis
Miracles: book by C.S. Lewis
“Sixty Seconds in Kingdom Come“: song by U2
“All Along the Watchtower“: song by Bob Dylan
“All Along the Watchtower“: song by U2
“Pride (In the Name of Love)“: song by U2
“Heartaches by the Number“: song by Cyndi Lauper
“People Get Ready“: song by Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions
Theolatte: blog by Dan DeWitt
If you are interested in earning a master’s degree online or on campus that will equip you with the most comprehensive apologetics training available anywhere, go to http://www.sbts.edu/bgs/degree-programs/mdiv/apologetics/
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The Closing Credits
Three Chords and the Truth: The Apologetics Podcast thanks B&H Academic for their sponsorship.
Brief excerpts of music played in each program are included solely for the purposes of comment and critique as allowed under the fair-use provision of U.S. copyright law. “The fair use of a copyrighted work … for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, … scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright” (U.S. Code § 107, Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use).