Andy Stanley’s Troubling Logic

I’ve already shared this on twitter, but it warrants blogging. Chris Rosebrough captured this video and Sola Sisters blogged about it on June 1. Andy Stanley of Northpoint Community Church in Georgia was being interviewed and said, “The foundation of our faith is not the Scripture. The foundation of our faith is not the infallibility of the Bible. The foundation of our faith is something that happened in history. And the issue is always, who is Jesus? That’s always the issue. The Scripture is simply a collection of ancient documents that tells us that story.” Actually the Bible declares itself to be more than that, it says it is the inspired word of God and that men “spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21)

You should watch the video for full context, but he went on to argue that he believes Adam and Eve were real people because Jesus talks about Adam and Eve as historical fact, NOT because the Bible says so. (video can be found here)

Sola Sisters did an excellent job of pointing out the first logical problem with this: The Bible is the book that tells us Jesus was God, took on flesh, lived sinlessly, died, was buried and was raised from the dead. It is also the book that says Jesus talked about Adam and Eve, so without the Bible how do we understand Jesus, who He is, why He died, etc?

My question is what happens when you extend this logic? If we accept the premise that only what Jesus actually spoke about is trustworthy, then it seems to me there would be a whole lot of Scripture that could get tossed out. Now perhaps Stanley isn’t throwing them away just yet, but others have (and continue to argue just that). Doesn’t that line of thinking lead to a modern kind of Jeffersonian cut and paste “Christianity”?

Some want to follow only the words of Jesus Christ, rather than the entire book that charts redemptive history and the need for it from start to finish?

God takes His words seriously. You need only look to Revelation 22:18-19 for a reminder of how serious He is: “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

This is a slippery slope folks. Very slippery.

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5 Responses to Andy Stanley’s Troubling Logic

  1. Not too bright of Andy to devalue Scripture.
    When we do, “inerrancy” has no meaning.


  2. Pingback: Equipping your mind | Stand Up for the Truth

  3. myaerodream says:

    I dont think That Andy was trying to devalue Scripture at all. I think that what he was saying, and to me it was pretty clear, is that Christianity and following Jesus is more than just reading some stories in a book, but the book that we read actually represents actual events, and is useful for leading others to Christ.

  4. Mike Hager says:

    This is troubling logic on the part of a man whom I have always respected. If he is going to make the historical Jesus the touchstone of truth, then he is going to have to take what Jesus said seriously. “Thy Word is truth” John 17:17. If we do not have an inerrant book, then we have no truth nor any instrument for measuring truth.

  5. JCD says:

    If you listen the message thoroughly, it’s quite clear he is pointing out that the Bible is a collection of documents, and that those documents are verifiable as historical records.
    In other words, we don’t have to start with the *assumption* that the Bible is true. We can start by establishing that Jesus is true (by examining particular components of the Bible, I.E., the gospels), and then point out that he believed the Old Testament was true, and that he set up the apostles to speak/write with authority.
    What Andy Stanley did was, essentially, a less competent version of this:

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