Is the Bible Foundational to Christianity? Engaging with Andy Stanley

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G. N. Barkman's picture

So what, exactly, is the difference between an "Evangelical" like Stanley, and a "Christian Liberal"?

G. N. Barkman

David R. Brumbelow's picture

Many today seem to be claiming brand new theological views, that really just turn out to be old fashioned theological liberalism. 

I would love to be proven wrong, but it looks like Andy Stanley is just another in a long line of liberals.  Even sadder since his dad has stood faithfully for the inerrancy of God’s Word. 

David R. Brumbelow

TylerR's picture

Editor

I always enjoy listening to Charles Stanley. He is a great preacher with a true Pastor's heart. You know the man cares. I watched clips from Andy Stanley's sermon (linked in Kruger's article, above). It is very sad. His father must be very disappointed.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Bert Perry's picture

Stanley doesn't just go where the liberal church does--I grew up United Methodist, and it's actually nice how they will have a Gospel reading, a New Testament reading, and an Old Testament reading in every service.  There are times when we fundagelicals would do well to do some of the same!  Rather, what the liberal church does is to selectively read the Scriptures--YAY to "God is love", but anything suggesting a biological or moral qualification for leadership or membership will go.  So they preserve--at least so far--a shell of the authority of Scripture.  It's fragile, but it's there, and it helped lead me to Christ.

What Stanley is doing here is to throw away the shell, more or less, and in doing so, he's doing something remarkable; he claims the ancients did not have a Bible, when in fact the church had, through their Jewish converts, 39 of the 66 books already, as well as whatever letters they'd received from the Apostles.  

And I must confess that the Stanleys have bothered me for a while, really ever since the father's divorce without resigning from ministry.  They shepherd two immense churches, yes, but I just can't get beyond the family train wreck.  And really, the father's failure to heed Paul's instructions to Timothy and Titus regarding ministry seems to be undergoing metastasis in the hands of his son.  Stage four theological cancer, really.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jonathan Charles's picture

I get irritated with the pandering Stanley and others do to the de-churched.  Such people will always give "legitimate" excuses for their de-churching: the church was full of hypocrites, the church couldn't give good answers for difficult questions, there was a scandal in the church, the church was unloving, etc.  Truth is, most de-churched people were nominal Christians, unconverted, who left when they got old enough to because they wanted to live in sin.  Now that some are older, their past familiarity with Christianity probably makes them an easy catch.  I don't have a problem with that, but don't encourage their flimsy excuses that make it entirely the church's fault for why they left.  The church is not perfect, and won't be until Jesus comes.  If you coddle their flimsy reasons for leaving the first time, given enough time, they will find fault with the church and will leave it again.