Russell Moore

Dean of Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Beer for My Horses,” by Toby Keith and Willie Nelson

Years ago, Toby Keith asked Willie Nelson if he’d record a song with him. When he heard that the song would be called “Beer for My Horses,” Nelson—to my understanding—was sold on the spot.

Their song is about vigilante justice, about a desire to see wrongs righted. Days after we’ve commemorated the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I think it’s worth our stopping to think together: why is that we—even those who don’t know Christ—desire justice? Why is it that even those who’ve never heard the gospel preached possess some standard of right and wrong?

And why is it that we, when we are wronged, want to lash out and seek some form of vengeance—if only the kind of vengeance that keeps in mind a record of wrongs? And why is it that we, when wrongs are righted, want to celebrate and rejoice?

In this week’s episode of “The Cross and the Jukebox,” we address such questions—and how Jesus answers them all.


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