Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Pastor Andy Stanley Says the Bible is Too Hard to Defend

For more than twenty years I have enjoyed the teaching ministry of Andy Stanley.  I have listened to him since he was the Associate Pastor at First Baptist of Atlanta in the early 1990's.

Recently he made headlines for comments about the Bible he made during a series.  Andy basically said that Christians focus less on defending the veracity of the Scriptures and focus more on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I have no stones to throw at Stanley.  However, I (and others) disagree with him on this point.  But this time the issue is important enough to speak up to conform to biblical authority.

Lita Costner and Stan Gillis of Creation Ministries Int'l do a great job responding to Stanley's comments in their rebuttal article Pastor Andy Stanley says the Bible is too hard to defend: Evangelical pastor preaches that the Bible isn’t the foundation for the Christian faith:

Andy Stanley has a church network of over 30,000 people in the Atlanta area, and his church was rated the fastest-growing in America in 2014 and 2015.1 Recently, he has been criticized by many evangelicals for saying that we need to take the focus off the Bible and put it on the Resurrection, because he claims that gives us a firmer foundation for our faith. As Stanley put it: “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’.”2 And: “The original version [of Christianity], the pre-Bible version, was defensible, it was endurable, it was persecutable, it was fearless, it was compassionate, and it was compelling,” but he claims “it is next to impossible to defend the entire Bible”.2
We actually have no desire to contradict and ‘blow the whistle’ on a well-known Christian pastor. So, it is with a heavy heart that we believe this issue is so important that we must ‘speak up’ to confirm the authority of the Bible’s history.

It is important to understand Stanley’s goal for this 6 part series, because we always want to be accurate when we are offering critiques of someone’s position. And his goal is quite admirable, even though we will disagree with how he goes about trying to accomplish it. In Part 4 of the series, he says, after noting that some critics have misunderstood him:

Read the entire excellent article here.

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