Andy Stanley

8 Reasons to Reject Stanley’s Irresistible: Reasons 5 - 8

5. He posits that the Old Testament has been completely fulfilled.

Stanley is correct that the church has at times incorrectly understood the Old Testament and in some cases has used the Old Testament to subjugate and coerce others. Rather than discussing the hermeneutical mistakes and complexities that led to abuses, Stanley simply posits that the entire Old Testament is now fulfilled and should be detached from the New Testament.

He incorrectly argues that the mere appearance of fulfillment formula in the New Testament refers to complete, exhaustive fulfillment of all Old Testament promises and prophecies. He repeatedly cites the Abrahamic promises as being completely fulfilled, since Abraham was blessed by God and since Christ came through Abraham’s lineage. Stanley writes that Jesus uses the fulfillment formula as His way of saying “God’s conditional, temporary covenant with Israel was coming to an end, the intended-from-the-beginning end” (109). Meanwhile, Stanley ignores the unconditional land promises given to Abram and his descendants (Israel) that have not yet been fulfilled. He ignores all the future unfulfilled promises in the prophetic literature. And he discredits the Song of Solomon as well, since the writer had over 300 wives.

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8 Reasons to Reject Stanley’s Irresistible: Reasons 1 - 4

Republished with permission from Baptist Bulletin © Regular Baptist Press. All rights reserved.

Andy Stanley is a master communicator, popular author, and prominent pastor. In his book Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed from the World, Stanley argues that the church with its modern version of faith is ineffective and too easily resisted. He conjectures that people resist the modern church and Christianity because the Old Testament is mixed into it. Consequently, when believers defend the Old Testament’s historicity and accuracy, they alienate what he refers to as “post-Christians.”

Irresistible is filled with clever phrases, including chapter titles such as “Temple Tantrum,” “Splittin’ Up,” “Homebodies,” “The Apoplectic Apostle,” “Trending Horizontal,” “Obsolet-r Than Ever.” Using wit, humor, satire, anecdotal comments, wordplay, and wordsmithing, Stanley presents his belief that the church must become “unhitched” and “unmixed” from the Old Testament. He uses his rhetorical skills to urge believers against integrating Old Testament truth into Christianity, thus dissuading believers from defending the historical reliability and believability of the Old Testament. His arguments, however, exemplify logical errors, simplistic exegesis (which is often eisegesis), errant theology, reductionism, and very serious hermeneutical errors. Consider these eight reasons to reject his thesis.

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Tom Schreiner on Andy Stanley and "Unhitching" the Old Testament

Tom Schreiner: Commenting on Andy Stanley's new book arguing that Christians must "unhitch" from the Old Testament, Schreiner disagrees and argues: "We must interpret the Old Testament in terms of God’s progressive revelation in his covenants in order to discern how to apply it today."

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