Teaches that the Bible is not the foundation of our faith
Andy Stanley has a fast growing network of churches in Atlanta Georgia and he believes that our faith would be stronger and more defensible if we focused on the resurrection of Christ and not on the Bible. Andy said it this way on his website:
“We believe Jesus rose from the dead not because the Bible says so. It is way better than that! Christianity does not hang by the thread of ‘The Bible told me so’.”
“The original version, the pre-Bible version, was defensible, it was endurable, it was persecutable, it was fearless, it was compassionate, and it was compelling,”
Now the resurrection of Christ is very defensible and undeniable beyond any reasonable doubt. He’s missing several important points though; first, skipping over the book of Genesis or considering it allegory leads to the question, then why did Jesus have to die? You can’t answer that using only the “pre-Bible” testimonies of the original followers of Christ. The New Testament authors knew that and used Old Testament quotes from Genesis to explain it. The New Testament is replete with Old Testament quotes or summations because they were needed to explain this new faith called Christianity. Christianity, in its “pre-Bible” form was made up of the Epistles or letters to the churches. They were used almost from the very beginning to form and develop Christians with a strong emphasis on Old Testament prophesy and Genesis as true history. Christianity is not defensible without the Bible – the full counsel of God.
Second, Andy Stanley also claims, “It is next to impossible to defend the entire Bible”. Well, that’s just crazy, the Bible is completely defensible if you take the time to do the research and reconcile all research back to the Word of God. Andy says,
“So, if you stepped away from Christianity because of something in the Bible, if you stepped away the Christian faith because of Old Testament miracles, if you stepped away from the Christian faith because you couldn’t reconcile 6,000 years with a 4.5 billion year old earth and something you learned in biology, I want to invite you to reconsider, because the issue has never been, ‘is the Bible true?’.”
It sounds like Andy thinks the Bible isn’t entirely true. Most of us know it is true – every word. Those that step away from the church or Christianity because of “something in the Bible” are stepping away because the leadership of the church can’t answer their questions, they fail to do the research on their own, or they were never saved in the first place. Our faith must come first, and then if the church leadership can’t adequately answer our questions, we must take it upon ourselves to do the research. The research we do must reconcile with scripture, because if we base our faith on scripture, we must reconcile all information to it, not to the world. Through all of my research, the Bible is completely defensible. Any Stanley is correct in one aspect though; you cannot simply answer the questions of impressionable children, babes in Christ, or seasoned Christians with, “Because the Bible tells me so”. These people need good clear reasonable and responsible answers – real answers, because if they are asking the question, their faith isn’t strong enough yet for, “Because the Bible tells me so”.
Third, Andy is relying on feelings, faith and the resurrection to uphold the church. Historically, that is impossible. It works temporarily on the feeble minded, and then fails because the feeble minded ebb and flow like the tide to the latest and greatest new thing. Those with common sense and average or better intelligence need answers, they crave answers, they grow on answers and they keep the faith on answers that they in turn share with others seeking our faith. That’s how the kingdom of God is built and continues to grow.
We have a reasonable faith based on the completely reliable Word of God – the Bible. Anything else is just another cult.
I wrote this blog after reading an article on www.creation.com you can find the article here http://creation.com/andy-stanley-rebuttal Andy Stanley’s ideas are just another episode of Humanism trying to enter the church. It’s not about us, it’s about Jesus and you can’t know Jesus without reading and understanding the full counsel of God – the Old Testament and New Testament – The Bible.