Bringing Sexy Back for DET’s Birthday!


Observe the pictures above, gentle readers. On the left you see pictured Justin Timberlake, singer, songwriter, actor, etc, and on the right is pictured David W. Congdon, kickass dialectical theologian. Both men, it could be argued, have brought, are bringing, and will continue to bring the proverbial “sexy” back. Only one of them, however, is also bringing Rudolf Bultmann back. Unless, that is, the gentleman on the left has as yet hidden depths…

I hear you, gentle readers, I can see into your minds: “What, oh what,” you ask yourselves, “does this have to do with our beloved, esteemed, decorous theology blog?” I’m glad you asked. You see, tomorrow is DET’s 11th birthday, and I felt that this momentous occasion warranted breaking our current hiatus to conduct something of a celebration. And since I won’t be at my computer terminal tomorrow on DET’s actual birthday, I thought I’d celebrate it today.

What’s that? You wonder what on earth this has to do with Mr. Timberlake? Well, as some of you know, I enjoy visiting the realm of Twitter from time to time. A couple of weeks ago in that cacophonous realm, Josiah Daniels (who has contributed to DET) posted the below:

Knowing certain of my proclivities through long association, David then mused:

I was quite beleaguered at the time, working on proofs and paginating the index for my forthcoming book on Helmut Gollwitzer. So I responded thusly:

However, the muse has not deserted me and she struck earlier this week, and…

What’s that? You still have no idea what I’m talking about? Well, perhaps it’s easier to just show you. But first, if you aren’t very familiar with Mr. Timberlake’s ditty, I suggest you refresh your memory.


There, now you are properly fortified. Ladies and gentlemen, gentle readers all, I give you the below:


Bringing Bultmann Back
(sung to the tune of Justin Timberlake's "Sexy Back"
dedicated to David Congdon)

I’m bringing Bultmann back (yeah)
Other theologians just be trippin’, mack (yeah)
Don’t know he’s special, don’t peek through the crack (yeah)
Demythologizing’s the program they lack (yeah, take it to the bridge)

Your theology’s dirty babe
You don’t see your shackles, baby
You’re a slave
Concepts need whipping when they misbehave
So be like Rudy, intellectually brave (take it to the chorus)

Drop that book (go ‘head, be done with it)
Ain’t never goin’ back (go ‘head, be done with it)
The R&B? (go ‘head, be done with it)
Thinks kerygmatically (go ‘head, be done with it)
You see what you’re thinkin’ with? (go ‘head, be done with it)
Look at those myths! (go ‘head, be done with it)
Time for some sachkritik (go ‘head, be done with it)
Yeah, that’s the dope s%$# (go ‘head, be done with it)
Now get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on

I’m bringing Bultmann back (yeah)
Other theologians always talkin’ smack (yeah)
But Rudy makes up for concepts they lack (yeah)
Theologian of advent, well, he’s got your back (yeah, take it to the bridge)

Your theology’s dirty babe
You don’t see your shackles, baby
You’re a slave
Concepts need whipping when they misbehave
So be like Rudy, intellectually brave

Drop that book (go ‘head, be done with it)
Ain’t never goin’ back (go ‘head, be done with it)
The R&B? (go ‘head, be done with it)
Thinks kerygmatically (go ‘head, be done with it)
You see what you’re thinkin’ with? (go ‘head, be done with it)
Look at those myths! (go ‘head, be done with it)
Time for some sachkritik (go ‘head, be done with it)
Yeah, that’s the dope s%$# (go ‘head, be done with it)
Now get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on

(You ready? x3)

Um, yeah, I’m bringing Rudy back (yeah)
You best be steppin’ if you be a hack (yeah)
Objectifications goin’ down, that’s a fact (yeah)
Dialectical theologians ain’t playing, jack! (yeah, take it to the chorus)

Drop that book (go ‘head, be done with it)
Ain’t never goin’ back (go ‘head, be done with it)
The R&B? (go ‘head, be done with it)
Thinks kerygmatically (go ‘head, be done with it)
You see what you’re thinkin’ with? (go ‘head, be done with it)
Look at those myths! (go ‘head, be done with it)
Time for some sachkritik (go ‘head, be done with it)
Yeah, that’s the dope s%$# (go ‘head, be done with it)
Now get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on (go ‘head, be done with it)
Get your Bultmann on

Thank you for joining me in these frivolities in honor of DET’s 11 years, and for your dedicated readership. If you would like more serious reflection on DET’s history, I would suggest that you read Scott Jackson’s three-part series on “The Nine Lives of DET” (part 1, part 2, part 3).

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