Back on August 28th Andy Stanley was a few weeks into his sermon series called Who Needs God. That particular message, called For the Bible Told Me So, was Stanley’s attempt to correct what he thinks is an error in Christianity, specifically that Christians place far much emphasis on the Bible and not enough emphasis on Jesus. A few days passed by and a friend told me of the message, so I went onto the North Point website and watched it….yikes.
The further I got into the message the further my angst increased. This happened for two reasons. First, what Stanley put forth in that message was wrong and second, it was historically deceptive. I shared my grievances and was challenged to reach out to Stanley rather than just talk about it…so I did. The first time I got blocked by a general response, then someone personally responded asking me to listen to the message again, and then after I persisted to speak with Stanley I got blocked by his personal assistant who told me that I need to listen to the whole sermon series to get the gist of what Stanley is up to. I never got through. I am fully aware that I am an unknown and largely unimportant pastor in the whole scheme of things, but when did it become alright for a pastor to be so cut off from other pastors that he is unwilling to take a quick call and talk through these things?
After being unable to get through to Stanley I thought about blogging about why his message is so unhelpful and harmful to the Church and the lost, but to my great joy a few a guys already did and they’ve done a wonderful job explaining the issues. I am posting this blog today to help point out where to find all these things for yourself. Follow the links below:
Stanley’s Message: The Bible Told Me So – “If the Bible is the foundation of our faith, Christianity becomes a fragile house of cards. If the whole Bible isn’t true, Christianity isn’t true.”
Andrew Jaenichen’s Response: Do We Really Believe the Bible? – “My faith is in a risen Savior. Who came, suffered, and died as the Word of God declared would take place, and now has risen from the dead 3 days later and ascended to the right hand of the Father as testified to by the apostles. I believe because of the work of Christ in me and I am assured of His love and promises because of His written Word to us, both the Old and the New. Yes I believe in the Event and in the Words that testify to it. Both before and after its occurrence.”
Russell Moore: Signposts: Reflections On My Conversation With Andy Stanley – “At our recent ERLC national conference, I had the opportunity to sit down with pastor Andy Stanley. Andy and I have a lot of significant disagreements about ministry, but our conversation was fascinating and helped me and everyone at the conference think through some important issues. In this episode of Signposts I reflect on my time with Andy Stanley, and how our dialogue about ministry and theology sharpened my own thinking about Scripture and the church.” (audio)
Michael Kruger’s Response: Is the Bible Foundational to Christianity? – “However, the sermon itself was deeply confusing and left many questions unanswered about the proper role of God’s Word in our lives. Unfortunately, much of the confusion in the sermon was driven by Stanley’s commitment to a particular methodology about how to reach non-Christians. For whatever set of reasons, Stanley has become convinced that the Bible gets in the way. I disagree. On the contrary, the strategy of downplaying the Bible for the sake of the Gospel is a false dichotomy. The two cannot and should not ever be pitted against each other. What God has joined together let man not separate.”
Al Mohler’s Response: For the Bible Told Me So: Biblical Authority Denied … Again – “In the end, we simply have no place to go other than the Bible as God’s authoritative revelation. Christ, not the Bible, is the foundation of our faith — but our only authoritative and infallible source of knowledge about Christ is the Bible. A true defense of the Christian faith has never been more needed than now, but an attempt to rescue Christianity from its dependence upon Scripture is doomed to disaster.”