Pod Dylan #161 – Everything Is Broken


Episode 161 -Everything is Broken

Rob welcomes BobKitten Dr. Chris Lewis to discuss "Everything Is Broken" from 1989's OH MERCY.

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One response to “Pod Dylan #161 – Everything Is Broken

  1. I will admit, I am not one of the faithful legion of Pod Dylan listeners. However, Dr. Chris Lewis is one of my favorite commenters, medical advisors, and guests on MASHcast. So, I had to listen to this one. Of course I enjoyed it, despite my superficial knowledge of Mr. Dylan.

    Please indulge this neophyte and allow me to offer an alternate hypothesis for the lyrics of “Everything is Broken.” Many people throughout history have come to the conclusion that as amazing and wonderful as the universe is, there is something broken about it — that things are not as they should be. Christianity is one of the worldviews that asserts this, and the Bible’s explanation is that original sin led not not only to the depravity of humanity but also to the fall of creation. The lyrics of this song fit this doctrine. This is especially true if we consider some of the lyrics Dylan cut. “A broken orphanage” could refer to the entire world, full of people whose relationship with God the Father has been broken by sin. Bob even wonders if things will be different on the other side of “the river,” a common allusion to heaven. Of course, in this case, that makes Hoboken heaven. I haven’t spent enough time in New Jersey to judge that comparison.

    Of course, the Bible promises not only redeemed people, but a redeemed creation for all those who trust in Christ:

    “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” – Romans 8:18-21

    Rob, it may interest you to know that in the redeemed creation, everyone will be a vegetarian, even in the animal kingdom:
    ““For behold, I create new heavens
    and a new earth,
    and the former things shall not be remembered
    or come into mind.
    But be glad and rejoice forever
    in that which I create;
    for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,
    and her people to be a gladness.”

    “The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;
    the lion shall eat straw like the ox,
    and dust shall be the serpent’s food.
    They shall not hurt or destroy
    in all my holy mountain,”
    says the LORD.” – Isaiah 65:17-18, 25

    This meaning might also explain Bob’s upbeat acceptance of the brokenness. I’m pretty confident that Larry Norman was referring to fallen creation in his cover of the song whether Bob was or not. My wife was a big Larry Norman fan in college. In my research for this comment, I learned that Norman is called “the Bob Dylan of Christian music.” I always thought Bob Dylan was the Bob Dylan of Christian music, although there’s certainly a lot more to his body of work.

    Of course, even if the fallen creation is a part of what Bob meant, it may have been a bad week that motivated him to reflect on the brokenness of the world. So I could be wrong, or we could all be right.

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