Andy Stanley attacks the Bible

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Evangelical Christianity has a big problem, says Andy Stanley, and that problem is a reliance on the Bible that is both unwarranted and unhelpful. In a recent message delivered at North Point Community Church and posted online, Stanley identifies the evangelical impulse to turn to the Bible in our defense and presentation of Christianity as a huge blunder that must be corrected.

For the Bible Tells Me So: Biblical Authority Denied … Again

By Albert Mohler

“Jesus loves me — this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” This is a childish error?

Evangelical Christianity has a big problem, says Andy Stanley, and that problem is a reliance on the Bible that is both unwarranted and unhelpful. In a recent message delivered at North Point Community Church and posted online, Stanley identifies the evangelical impulse to turn to the Bible in our defense and presentation of Christianity as a huge blunder that must be corrected.

Some years ago, in light of another message Stanley preached at North Point, I argued that his apologetic ambition was, as we saw with Protestant liberalism a century ago, a road that will lead to disaster. No doubt, many Christians might be surprised to see an apologetic ambition identified as an entry point for theological liberalism, but this has held constant since Friedrich Schleiermacher, the father of modern theological liberalism, issued his book, On Religion: Speeches to its Cultured Despisers in 1799.

In the wake of the Enlightenment, Schleiermacher understood that the intellectual elites in Germany were already turning a skeptical eye to Christianity, if not dismissing it altogether. The Enlightenment worldview was hostile to supernatural claims, suspicious of any claims to absolute truth beyond empirical science, and dismissive of any verbal form of divine revelation.

No problem, Schleiermacher responded — we can still salvage spiritual and moral value out of Christianity while jettisoning its troublesome doctrinal claims, supernatural structure, and dependence upon the Bible. He was certain that his strategy would “save” Christianity from irrelevance.

His ambition, in other words, was apologetic at its core — to defend Christianity against claims of its eclipse. The formula offered by theological liberals is the same now. Save what you can of Christianity by surrendering truth claims. Acknowledge the inevitable hostility that these doctrines face in the modern age and adjust the faith accordingly. No theological liberal declares himself the enemy of Christianity. To the contrary, he offers liberalism as the only means of avoiding Christianity’s demise in a secular age.

Of course, the “Christianity” that remains after this doctrinal surgery bears little resemblance to biblical Christianity and, as Scripture makes abundantly clear, it cannot save.

Let’s be clear — Andy Stanley does not mean to deny the central truth claims of Christianity. In his message, “Who Needs God? The Bible Told Me So,” he affirms the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. But he does so while undercutting our only means of knowing of Christ and his resurrection from the dead — the Bible.

And he does so directly and without risk of misunderstanding. In his message he stated: “So I need you to listen really carefully and the reason is this — perhaps you were taught, as I was taught, ‘Jesus love me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.’ That is where our trouble began.”

That is where our trouble began? What trouble?

Stanley’s apologetic concern is clear from the beginning of this message. He identifies the crisis of “de-conversion” as adults leave the church because they have outgrown their child-like faith and no longer believe. He traces their de-conversion to the fact that their adult, “fact-based” questions were met with only childish, “faith-based” answers.

He goes on to say that the “the Bible told me so” is “one of the threads we hear in de-conversion stories all the time, and I have a feeling for many, many, many of you who are losing faith or have lost faith, especially in the Christian faith, this is a bit of the part of your story.”

Later, he follows by dismissing a “the Bible says it, that settles it” approach to Christianity. “The problem with that is this: if the Bible goes, so goes our faith.”

At this point, Stanley goes on to amplify his concern with a Bible-based Christianity. “If the Bible is the foundation of your faith, here’s the problem: it is all or nothing. Christianity becomes a fragile, house of cards religion.”

And, as he states boldly, “it is next to impossible to defend the entire Bible.”

In short order, Stanley argues that claiming infallibility for the entire Bible is a losing project. Furthermore, he argues that Christianity “made its greatest strides during the 282 years before the Bible even existed.”

There is more in that statement than can be unpacked in his message or in this essay, but the central problem with his argument is that he seems to believe that the church did not have the Bible until the early fourth century. This claim can only refer to the official listing of the canon of the New Testament, but it is clear that the early church recognized the Old Testament as Scripture and that the early church quickly had both the gospels and, even earlier, the letters of the Apostle Paul (see 1 Tim 5:18; 2 Pet 3:15-16).

Indeed, the early church provides abundant evidence of the “for the Bible tells me so” dependence upon Scripture, even if the earliest Christians did not yet have the collected New Testament. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul grounds both the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ as “according to the Scriptures.”

Perhaps the oddest part of Andy Stanley’s approach to defending the resurrection is his insistence that we have some access to historically verifiable accounts of the resurrection outside of the New Testament. He rests his confidence in recent historiographical work by apologists who defend the historicity of the resurrection by affirming historical sources that are prior to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

But where do these historians claim to find those sources? In the four gospels.

Stanley seems to base the defense of the resurrection in historical traditions he claims are prior to the gospels, but the Holy Spirit gave the church the four gospels, and the entire New Testament, as verbally inspired, authoritative, and infallible revelation. All of Scripture — the Old Testament and the New Testament — was given to the church so that we would know the rule of faith and everything revealed therein. This is the evangelical Scripture principle, and it is precisely what the Reformers defended as sola Scriptura.

And what is our alternative? Are we to believe that those who are “de-converting” from Christianity can be weaned off of the Bible and on to some other sufficient authority?

In the strangest turn, noted in Stanley’s presentations before this message, he argues that if we can somehow believe in the fact of Christ’s resurrection on the authority of prior historical sources, and then we find that Jesus (presumably as revealed in the four gospels) respects the inspiration of the Old Testament, we should conclude that if one who rose from the dead affirmed the inspiration of the Old Testament, then we should as well.

But Jesus actually pointed to the Old Testament and demonstrated the very approach to the truthfulness and authority of the Bible that Stanley identifies as the problem. When Jesus pointed to the Old Testament and said “these are they that testify of me” (John 5:39), he was effectively saying, “for the Bible tells me so.”

Add to this the problem that Stanley effectively refutes his own argument, undercutting the authority and inerrancy of the very Scripture that he would have us to understand that Jesus would want us to trust.

This is an apologetic disaster and would leave Christians with no authoritative Scripture. Instead, we would be dependent upon historians (among others) to tell us what parts of both testaments we can still believe.

Those parts will inevitably grow fewer and fewer. This is what must happen when the total trustworthiness, sufficiency, and authority of the Bible is subverted.

We are back with Friedrich Schleiermacher, trying to convince the “de-converted” of his day that Christianity can be retained as an intellectually defensible morality and spirituality without its central truth claims and doctrines.

Andy Stanley is no Friedrich Schleiermacher, but the path he charts for the church is a road to abject disaster.

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.

We are left in the same predicament as Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms. If Scripture cannot be trusted, then we are doomed.

“Jesus loves me — this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” A mature Christian faith will say more than that, not less than that. “For the Bible tells me so” does not mean that we do not have reasoned answers to difficult questions, but it does mean that we admit our dependence upon Scripture — and that we confess that God intended for us to be dependent on Scripture.

“For the Bible tells me so” is not “where our trouble began.” To the contrary, it is right where God wants us.

30 thoughts on “Andy Stanley attacks the Bible

  1. This is extremely difficult to believe what is happening to this man! I can’t even imagine what his father Charles Stanley feels! How does this truth extend in such an opposite direction of biblical truth? Very very very sad!

  2. sound’s like some one need’s an encounter with with Jesus Christ now I know why he took me to heaven in 09 and said come back and tell the church there not ready, and preach with more fire than ever before, 2 Cor. 12:20-21 is what’s going on, and some preaching all you have to do is believe, if you die that day, then that’s all you have to do, but if you live any longer you need every bit of that word, not just part of a verse or one verse, that book is our road map, it show’s and teaches us how to get to heaven, I know the word say’s but I never thought I would live to see all this sin and corruption in the church, it’s unbelieveable,.

  3. Listened to his podcasts so many years back, seemed like he was just into this multi campus programs church growth, a very good speaker better than most but it just seemed very structured around him and his multi campus buildings and all that. I’m thinking a lot of the Christians are just kind of tired of sitting in a chair and watching an extreamly gifted guy on stage, they know there’s more to Christianity than that. To call them “de-converted” is a mistake many of these people have very deep faith and that one man show on the stage just isn’t cutting it for them any longer. The so-called “de-converted” I think they may be hungry for authentic gifts of the Holy Spirit, fruit of the Holy Spirit fellowship in the Holy Spirit, learning about what their true dentity in Christ really is and all the promises and then being able to demonstrate and share that with others, that’s just not happening from the one man program up on the stage. don’t get me wrong I love to hear great preaching and the word of God taught. my guess is that pastors like him and maybe others are dismayed that the beautiful program and structure that they’ve set up just isn’t the all and all that they hoped it to be.

    1. Interesting point. Sad if true.

      I guess I was lucky. I was saved through my own “Damascus Road” moment, and received the Baptism of Holy Ghost Fire in 1973. I cannot question the faith of those who have not had this experience, my wife for one is a truly holy woman who has not, but I cannot understand for the life of me, that if you have an actual living relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, why you would need a “seeker-sensitive” fellowship. If your church has God’s love, even if only two or three are gathered in His name, He will be in their midst. The seeker will know it , and be seeking it.

      But fellowship is for believers. Evangelism and outreach are for the lost and wandering.

  4. Funny how only certain people can comment and others are blocked on Marrio’s shared post. There is nothing wrong with Andy Stanley or Rick Warren. Both fully accept the Bible as God’s word. This article has taken statements out of context and overblown the issue. Straining at a gnat while swollowing a camel.
    And The only people who had copies of the O.T. in Jesus day were scribes and pharisees. There was no Mardels, CBD or Family Book Stores. Most people could not even read. That has been true throughout history until the 19th century.

    1. Mitch, I did not write the article but I cannot see anything taken out of context. If he fully accepts the Bible as God’s word why did he say and I quote “it is next to impossible to defend the entire Bible.” And, ““the church made its greatest strides during the 282 years before the Bible even existed.” Those are attacks on the Bible.

    2. sir respectfully R. W. said buddah helped him pray, and that is wrong we don’t have a devil help us pray, the Holy Spirit help’s us pray we do not bring a devil in the prayer, people need to read and seek the face of God in prayer, with the help of the Holy Spirit. I hope this is in the right place

    3. We must put our Faith in the finished work of the cross of Christ Jesus and Faith in that finished work alone. I must look to Jesus Christ the author and finisher of my Faith.
      Keep your eyes on Jesus Christ Crucified to the Jews a stumbling block to the Greek foolishness and mythology.This is the answer for which we seek. The apostle Paul lays it out very nicely in 1st Corinthians 2:2 I am determined to know nothing among you save Christ and him crucified Nevertheless, he said that the focal point of his teaching, preaching, and ministry among the Corinthians was simply “Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Everybody understands that a statement like that is an exaggeration—an exaggeration born not out of deceitfulness or falsehood, but out of an intent to bring emphasis.

      That’s what Paul was doing when he told the Corinthians he had determined to know nothing except Christ crucified. Clearly Paul was determined to know all kinds of things besides the person and work of Jesus. He wanted to teach the Corinthians about the deep things of the character and nature of God the Father. He planned to instruct them about the person and work of the Holy Spirit, about Christian ethics, and about many other things that go beyond the immediate scope of Christ’s work on the cross. So why, then, did he say this? The answer is obvious. Paul was saying that in all of his teaching, in all of his preaching, in all of his missionary activity, the central point of importance was the cross. In effect, this teacher was saying to his students, “You might forget other things that I teach you, but don’t ever forget the cross, because it was on the cross, through the cross, and by the cross that our Savior performed His work of redemption and gathered His people for eternity.

  5. I feel sorry for this man as he is terribly deceived. This is proof we are in the last days…deception abounds even in the church of Jesus Christ!

  6. 1st Timothy 4:1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly,that in the later times some shall depart from the faith,giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils;………

  7. Mario, never stop speaking truth !!!!!!! The Bible is Holy and our compass to living on this corrupt earth. Woe unto those who speak against God’s word to his creation.

  8. Although I have not listened to what the author of this article is critiquing (he does not cite any references…more on that in a minute), I do find it suspicious that he is presenting that Andy doesn’t believe the Bible’s authority; yet Andy’s NorthPoint Church website says this at the top of the list of what they believe as a church:

    “What We Believe About the Scriptures:
    We believe the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God and that men were moved by the Spirit of God to write the very words of Scripture. Therefore, we believe the Bible is without error.”
    (http://northpoint.org/about/) <— notice I provide a link to what I reference???

    The claim Mario makes in an above comment that Andy's comment “it is next to impossible to defend the entire Bible” (scroll up to see the reply to Mitch by mariomurilloministries on Sept. 27, 2016) cannot be taken out of context isn't necessarily true. I would have to listen to the original message by Andy to know for sure. Which brings me to an important point. The author mentions his source as one of Andy's sermons on his website but never lists which one, provides a transcript, or a link to it. If you are going to bash someone, at least be decent enough to cite references so the readers can go research for themselves if what was said is taken out of context. By not doing that, the author is wanting us to believe his interpretation of what someone says. Poor scholarly work on his part which should take away his credibility.

    I am more likely to suspect that author Albert Mohler probably missed the overall point to whatever Andy was talking about and is on some sort of unnecessary witch hunt…

    1. Ed S.
      True or false: Does Andy downgrade the use of Scripture in witnessing?
      True or false: Does he–from a witnessing perspective–see more value in historical events that occurred before the New Testament was completed than in the use of Scripture?
      Does he believe that it is nearly impossible to defend the entire Bible to an atheist?
      No witch hunt here just honest concern.

      1. I have listend to many of Andy’s sermons (no…I do not go to his church) and I have read several of his books so just based on what I know about Andy so far, I would have to say “No” to both of your questions. Concerning your second question… although I have personally used non-biblical historical evidence in my teaching about biblical truths, it does not mean I hold it as more valuable than the Bible.

        If you are basing your above questions on whatever Andy Stanley message the article refers to, I would have to ask you to provide a link to the message so I can take a listen. I am not going to demean a person’s character based on un-cited quotes by an author I know nothing about. I will do my own research and come to a conclusion.

        I have a question for you. Have you personally listened to the Andy Stanley message referenced by the article in its entirety or are you just taking the authors word for it that he got the context right?

      2. You have not answered any of my questions Ed. Moreover you are making my point in the fact that because we do not preach an apologetic or shrewd gospel no one is saying Mario Murillo Ministries recently posted the following in an internet forum: “it is next to impossible to defend the entire Bible.”Oh my goodness… I can never trust Mario Murillo Ministries again since they don’t believe the Bible!!” They are never confused about where we stand. When you get to the point you don’t labor under as big a threat about people misunderstanding your “context.”

      3. May I answer?

        The Bible was written FOR US, the believers, not those outside the church. It CANNOT make sense to them except, as in the hands of Satan, as a weapon to trick us into stupidity and sin. The Bible is a precious gem, a pearl, which we must bury deep in our field, and buy the field, and protect from all comers; we must not give to dogs what is holy, neither cast our pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn and rend us.

        To answer your questions:
        #1 — to believers, no, to unbelievers, yes.
        #2 — to believers, no, to unbelievers, yes.
        #3 — to believers, no, to unbelievers, well, what’s the point? Who cares? You cannot believe His Word if you have no faith that He Exists, He Creates, He Judges, He Forgives, He Blesses, and He Destroys.

        Otherwise its just more pretty words, in their minds, perhaps not even equal to the Bhagavad Gita, the I Ching, Gilgamesh, the Tibetan (or Egyptian) Book(s) of the Dead, the Prophecy of the Rainbow Warriors, Pythagoras, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Solon, the Koran, the Book of Mormon,  the Sepher Zohar (Book of Splendour), the Sepher-Yetzirah (the Book of Formation or Creation), or any other dang rag you might find if your Akashic Library card hasn’t expired.

        So go into the Agora, and like Paul, preach about their statue “To An Unknown God”. Speak their language, be ignored, be rejected, until some say, “What is this strange God ‘Resurrection’? We will speak of this anon!” Be all things to all people. And by this means, perhaps save some.

      4. Stephen, so you believe that John 3:16 For God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes on Him shall be saved” was only written for believers? What about Romans 10:9,10 9 “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Or Ephesians 5:14 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”

  9. Taking peoples word out of context is a serious issue; especially when you are demeaning someones character. For example, I could say the following and I would be absolutely telling the truth:

    Mario Murillo Ministries recently posted the following in an internet forum: “it is next to impossible to defend the entire Bible.”

    Oh my goodness… I can never trust Mario Murillo Ministries again since they don’t believe the Bible!!

    If you actually scrolled up and read the post by Mario Murillo Ministries, you would find while my statement about what they posted is true; it is taken out of context and the quote was a quote by someone else that they posted. Context matters.

  10. in the dozens of messages by Andy that I have listened to (in their entirety) the overall message is that Christ is the answer, and that the Bible is completely reliable. I can see how he might say that trying to convince someone who has not had a life changing encounter with Jesus (in other words, not yet having faith in Him) must by our effort be convinced of the full authority of Scripture, then they can come to Christ… wait a minute guys you have the cart before the horse! I could not truly beleive the Bible until I had a Holy Spirit encounter with the One Who wrote it!

  11. In an exposé like this, I would expect to find detailed citations of the sources of Mr. Stanley’s remarks and/or links to messages in which these remarks appeared. Where are they? If you are going to bring a charge or accusation against someone who is a leader in the church, it is only proper that it be clearly corroborated. Isn’t this what you would expect if someone brought an accusation against you before the body of Christ? You may be spot on in what you are saying, but there is no way to verify what you are saying in absence of specific references to the original sources of these statements.

    1. Amen Thomas! I have asked them to provide citations and even asked if “mariomurilloministries” poster has even listen to Andy’s message and I get no response. In fact, I posted similar requests on their Facebook group and discovered they have removed my posts. It seems that when you try to hold someone accountable and ask for references/citations, they run away…

      I fully expect “mariomurilloministries” to “moderate” this post as well … it appears “mariomurilloministries” can dish it out but not take it… LOL!

      1. Ed, Here are your citations on Andy Stanley. Andy Stanley knows the Bible. As the son of the popular Baptist pastor, Dr. Charles Stanley, he has grown up under Bible teaching and preaching. As a pastor of a very large megachurch, North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, Andy Stanley has spent much time reading and studying the Bible. So, why does it seem that Andy Stanley has a problem with the Bible on so many different levels?

        Over the past few years, Andy Stanley has managed to stay in the light of controversy regarding his positions on key issues of the faith. Is Andy Stanley operating by the old adage, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”? While Stanley may not be seeking bad publicity, the fact is, he has managed to keep controversy stirred up around him in recent years. Exactly where did Andy Stanley go off course? As we examine the controversial statements made by Andy Stanley, there seems to be an undeniable connection between his errors and the manner in which he approaches the Bible.

        Is Verse-by-Verse Preaching Cheating?

        Andy Stanley is not an expository preacher. In an interview with Ed Stetzer in 2009 regarding his book titled, Communicating for a Change, Stetzer asked Stanley about preaching. The question was, “What do you think about preaching verse-by-verse messages through books of the Bible?” Andy Stanley responded, “Guys that preach verse-by-verse through books of the Bible– that is just cheating. It’s cheating because that would be easy, first of all. That isn’t how you grow people. No one in the Scripture modeled that. There’s not one example of that.” It’s quite clear that Stanley isn’t a fan of verse-by-verse preaching, but what does that communicate regarding his overall approach to the Bible?

        Is the Bible Sufficient for Church Growth?

        In 2010, at the pastors’ conference for the Southern Baptist Convention, Andy Stanley appealed to big corporations such as Chick-fil-A and Intel in order to drive home his church growth message to thousands of pastors in attendance. He repeated this phrase, “If you make your church better, they will come and make your church bigger.” His entire sermon was positioned squarely on pragmatism rather than the Word of God. In his sermon, Andy Stanley said, “We’ve created church for church people.” He then scolded church leaders for an unwillingness to make it easier for unchurched people to feel comfortable in our churches.

        Is the Bible Clear on Homosexuality?

        Andy Stanley’s seeker sensitive approach to church growth is perhaps the lightest problem in recent years. In 2012, Stanley was the center of controversy once again with statements (and a lack of statements) regarding the sin of homosexuality. In a sermon he preached titled “When Gracie Met Truthy,” he described a couple in his church that had to be asked to step down from leadership. Two men were engaged in a homosexual relationship, but the reason they were asked to step down was what Stanley called “just good old fashioned adultery.” Stanley explained, “You’re in a sexual relationship with someone else’s husband.” Stanley capitulated on the whole issue calling out the sin of adultery while refusing to call out the sin of homosexuality. Albert Mohler writes:

        The most puzzling and shocking part of the message was the illustration and the account of the homosexual couple, however. The inescapable impression left by the account was that the sin of concern was adultery, but not homosexuality. [1]

        Although Andy Stanley wasn’t clear on the subject of homosexuality, we can be sure that the Bible is abundantly clear. So why does Andy Stanley continue to feel the need to distance himself from a clear and historically orthodox interpretative method of reading and applying the Bible?

        Is the Bible Authoritative?

        In 2014, Andy Stanley stood on a stage at Exponential, a church-planting conference and communicated to 5,000+ people that they should stop using the phrase “the Bible says” in their sermons. Andy Stanley said, “Don’t say the Bible says. Say the author’s name who wrote the book. Paul said… (by the way he hated Christians, but then wrote this) Give 2-3 sentences about who the author is.” Andy Stanley made his point in print through his book titled, Deep & Wide suggesting that his goal is evangelism and it keeps skeptics engaged. [2] With a goal of keeping skeptics engaged, we must ask an honest question, has he cast a shadow of doubt upon the authority of the Bible?

        Is the Bible True?

        In early 2015, Zondervan released a series of Bible study lessons by Andy Stanley titled Starting Point. You can see the first session on YouTube where Andy Stanley casts doubt upon the trustworthiness and reliability of the Bible in his opening statements. In fact, Andy Stanley went as far as to say, “We went off to college and discovered that even though it [the Bible] was sacred, it wasn’t scientific. Even though it was something to appreciate, it wasn’t necessarily something that was factual. Even though there were stories in here [the Bible] that were inspirational, they weren’t necessarily true.” Sure, it seems that Andy Stanley is playing along with the thought process of what the skeptics actually believe, but he spends more than 50% of his time dealing with such issues leaving him very little time to explain the text of Scripture from Acts. Why must Andy Stanley consistently cast doubt upon the inerrancy of the Bible? Isn’t he a Bible preacher?

        Are Small Churches (like the ones in the Bible) Bad?

        Recently, Andy Stanley hit the news again with statements about small churches. He called out parents who refuse to take their children to megachurches by saying, “If you don’t go to a large church, you are so stinking selfish…and don’t care about your kids.” Keep in mind, many of the churches in the cities that we see appearing in the New Testament are relatively small. Sure, some of these churches experienced great growth, but many of them remained small.

        Andy Stanley sought to explain his point as he retracted the perceived meaning in a subsequent interview with Christianity Today. However, if you listen to the rant in the original sermon, it’s hard to imagine how a preacher could make such statements with profound conviction and not really mean it. What exactly does Andy Stanley think about small churches today? What about the small churches in the Bible?

        Is the Bible a Poor Starting Point?

        On Easter Sunday, Andy Stanley opened his sermon with a statement that was aimed mostly at the unbeliever. He said, “If you said to me one-on-one, ‘Andy, I’m not a Christian, I’m not a Jesus follower, but I’m going to let you take your best shot at convincing me to follow Jesus’ – Here’s what I wouldn’t do. I wouldn’t try to defend the history of the church, because the church has done some really goofy things and there’s some really embarrassing (not just weekends of church history) seasons of church history. And, I wouldn’t try to defend a lot of things that Christians have said or the ways that Christians have treated you….and I wouldn’t try to convince you with the Bible.”

        Stanley went on to explain, he said, “There were thousands and thousands and thousands of Christians before there was a Bible.” He then went on to say, “I would start with the resurrection of Jesus.” Why is it that Andy Stanley seems to distance himself from the Bible? Is it possible to present the resurrection of Jesus without the Bible? Could it be that some other historic account of Jesus’ resurrection carries more authority than the Bible? How would Andy Stanley pull from the evidence of eyewitnesses of Jesus’ resurrection without using the Bible?

        Paul, a man who had seen the risen Jesus, wrote 1 Corinthians 15. Before Paul went to the eyewitnesses and other supporting evidence of Jesus’ resurrection, he started with the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Paul said the following:

        For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, [4] that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.

        Notice that Paul’s starting point is the Bible (as Paul said – the Scriptures). Apparently Andy Stanley and the apostle Paul have very different starting points when it comes to defending the Christian religion. Before appealing to evidence, point to the authority of the written record that was prophesied (Psalm 16) and validated (1 Corinthians 15) in the sacred account of the Scriptures.

        Immediately after stating that he would start with the resurrection of Jesus rather than the Bible in order to convince people of Christianity, Andy Stanley said, “There were tens of thousands of people who believed in the resurrection of Jesus before there was a Bible.” Exactly what does that statement mean? Is that a true statement? Was Psalm 16 considered to be part of Scripture before the resurrection of Christ? What exactly was Paul referencing in 1 Corinthians 15 when he appealed to “the Scriptures”?

        Andy Stanley is a gifted communicator and apparently a good leader. He has a stunning résumé when it comes to church growth and leadership. However, Andy Stanley has positioned himself to the far left in recent days regarding his approach to Scripture and his position on other key Christian doctrines. His method of preaching the Bible has led to his capitulation on biblical doctrines. We can all learn a great lesson from Andy Stanley. As a pastor and leader in the evangelical world, Andy Stanley has been gifted with a platform and a voice, but sadly he has consistently pointed people off course. For that reason, we must beware of Andy Stanley and his ministry. He has demonstrated an inappropriate care for God’s Word and God’s sheep. The person who casts a shadow of doubt upon the Word of God likewise casts a shadow of doubt upon himself.

    2. Thomas here are your citations:
      Andy Stanley knows the Bible. As the son of the popular Baptist pastor, Dr. Charles Stanley, he has grown up under Bible teaching and preaching. As a pastor of a very large megachurch, North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, Andy Stanley has spent much time reading and studying the Bible. So, why does it seem that Andy Stanley has a problem with the Bible on so many different levels?

      Over the past few years, Andy Stanley has managed to stay in the light of controversy regarding his positions on key issues of the faith. Is Andy Stanley operating by the old adage, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”? While Stanley may not be seeking bad publicity, the fact is, he has managed to keep controversy stirred up around him in recent years. Exactly where did Andy Stanley go off course? As we examine the controversial statements made by Andy Stanley, there seems to be an undeniable connection between his errors and the manner in which he approaches the Bible.

      Is Verse-by-Verse Preaching Cheating?

      Andy Stanley is not an expository preacher. In an interview with Ed Stetzer in 2009 regarding his book titled, Communicating for a Change, Stetzer asked Stanley about preaching. The question was, “What do you think about preaching verse-by-verse messages through books of the Bible?” Andy Stanley responded, “Guys that preach verse-by-verse through books of the Bible– that is just cheating. It’s cheating because that would be easy, first of all. That isn’t how you grow people. No one in the Scripture modeled that. There’s not one example of that.” It’s quite clear that Stanley isn’t a fan of verse-by-verse preaching, but what does that communicate regarding his overall approach to the Bible?

      Is the Bible Sufficient for Church Growth?

      In 2010, at the pastors’ conference for the Southern Baptist Convention, Andy Stanley appealed to big corporations such as Chick-fil-A and Intel in order to drive home his church growth message to thousands of pastors in attendance. He repeated this phrase, “If you make your church better, they will come and make your church bigger.” His entire sermon was positioned squarely on pragmatism rather than the Word of God. In his sermon, Andy Stanley said, “We’ve created church for church people.” He then scolded church leaders for an unwillingness to make it easier for unchurched people to feel comfortable in our churches.

      Is the Bible Clear on Homosexuality?

      Andy Stanley’s seeker sensitive approach to church growth is perhaps the lightest problem in recent years. In 2012, Stanley was the center of controversy once again with statements (and a lack of statements) regarding the sin of homosexuality. In a sermon he preached titled “When Gracie Met Truthy,” he described a couple in his church that had to be asked to step down from leadership. Two men were engaged in a homosexual relationship, but the reason they were asked to step down was what Stanley called “just good old fashioned adultery.” Stanley explained, “You’re in a sexual relationship with someone else’s husband.” Stanley capitulated on the whole issue calling out the sin of adultery while refusing to call out the sin of homosexuality. Albert Mohler writes:

      The most puzzling and shocking part of the message was the illustration and the account of the homosexual couple, however. The inescapable impression left by the account was that the sin of concern was adultery, but not homosexuality. [1]

      Although Andy Stanley wasn’t clear on the subject of homosexuality, we can be sure that the Bible is abundantly clear. So why does Andy Stanley continue to feel the need to distance himself from a clear and historically orthodox interpretative method of reading and applying the Bible?

      Is the Bible Authoritative?

      In 2014, Andy Stanley stood on a stage at Exponential, a church-planting conference and communicated to 5,000+ people that they should stop using the phrase “the Bible says” in their sermons. Andy Stanley said, “Don’t say the Bible says. Say the author’s name who wrote the book. Paul said… (by the way he hated Christians, but then wrote this) Give 2-3 sentences about who the author is.” Andy Stanley made his point in print through his book titled, Deep & Wide suggesting that his goal is evangelism and it keeps skeptics engaged. [2] With a goal of keeping skeptics engaged, we must ask an honest question, has he cast a shadow of doubt upon the authority of the Bible?

      Is the Bible True?

      In early 2015, Zondervan released a series of Bible study lessons by Andy Stanley titled Starting Point. You can see the first session on YouTube where Andy Stanley casts doubt upon the trustworthiness and reliability of the Bible in his opening statements. In fact, Andy Stanley went as far as to say, “We went off to college and discovered that even though it [the Bible] was sacred, it wasn’t scientific. Even though it was something to appreciate, it wasn’t necessarily something that was factual. Even though there were stories in here [the Bible] that were inspirational, they weren’t necessarily true.” Sure, it seems that Andy Stanley is playing along with the thought process of what the skeptics actually believe, but he spends more than 50% of his time dealing with such issues leaving him very little time to explain the text of Scripture from Acts. Why must Andy Stanley consistently cast doubt upon the inerrancy of the Bible? Isn’t he a Bible preacher?

      Are Small Churches (like the ones in the Bible) Bad?

      Recently, Andy Stanley hit the news again with statements about small churches. He called out parents who refuse to take their children to megachurches by saying, “If you don’t go to a large church, you are so stinking selfish…and don’t care about your kids.” Keep in mind, many of the churches in the cities that we see appearing in the New Testament are relatively small. Sure, some of these churches experienced great growth, but many of them remained small.

      Andy Stanley sought to explain his point as he retracted the perceived meaning in a subsequent interview with Christianity Today. However, if you listen to the rant in the original sermon, it’s hard to imagine how a preacher could make such statements with profound conviction and not really mean it. What exactly does Andy Stanley think about small churches today? What about the small churches in the Bible?

      Is the Bible a Poor Starting Point?

      On Easter Sunday, Andy Stanley opened his sermon with a statement that was aimed mostly at the unbeliever. He said, “If you said to me one-on-one, ‘Andy, I’m not a Christian, I’m not a Jesus follower, but I’m going to let you take your best shot at convincing me to follow Jesus’ – Here’s what I wouldn’t do. I wouldn’t try to defend the history of the church, because the church has done some really goofy things and there’s some really embarrassing (not just weekends of church history) seasons of church history. And, I wouldn’t try to defend a lot of things that Christians have said or the ways that Christians have treated you….and I wouldn’t try to convince you with the Bible.”

      Stanley went on to explain, he said, “There were thousands and thousands and thousands of Christians before there was a Bible.” He then went on to say, “I would start with the resurrection of Jesus.” Why is it that Andy Stanley seems to distance himself from the Bible? Is it possible to present the resurrection of Jesus without the Bible? Could it be that some other historic account of Jesus’ resurrection carries more authority than the Bible? How would Andy Stanley pull from the evidence of eyewitnesses of Jesus’ resurrection without using the Bible?

      Paul, a man who had seen the risen Jesus, wrote 1 Corinthians 15. Before Paul went to the eyewitnesses and other supporting evidence of Jesus’ resurrection, he started with the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Paul said the following:

      For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, [4] that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.

      Notice that Paul’s starting point is the Bible (as Paul said – the Scriptures). Apparently Andy Stanley and the apostle Paul have very different starting points when it comes to defending the Christian religion. Before appealing to evidence, point to the authority of the written record that was prophesied (Psalm 16) and validated (1 Corinthians 15) in the sacred account of the Scriptures.

      Immediately after stating that he would start with the resurrection of Jesus rather than the Bible in order to convince people of Christianity, Andy Stanley said, “There were tens of thousands of people who believed in the resurrection of Jesus before there was a Bible.” Exactly what does that statement mean? Is that a true statement? Was Psalm 16 considered to be part of Scripture before the resurrection of Christ? What exactly was Paul referencing in 1 Corinthians 15 when he appealed to “the Scriptures”?

      Andy Stanley is a gifted communicator and apparently a good leader. He has a stunning résumé when it comes to church growth and leadership. However, Andy Stanley has positioned himself to the far left in recent days regarding his approach to Scripture and his position on other key Christian doctrines. His method of preaching the Bible has led to his capitulation on biblical doctrines. We can all learn a great lesson from Andy Stanley. As a pastor and leader in the evangelical world, Andy Stanley has been gifted with a platform and a voice, but sadly he has consistently pointed people off course. For that reason, we must beware of Andy Stanley and his ministry. He has demonstrated an inappropriate care for God’s Word and God’s sheep. The person who casts a shadow of doubt upon the Word of God likewise casts a shadow of doubt upon himself.

      1. Brother Murillo, I have listened to The video and read most of what has been written here. there is one answer for all of this biblically speaking the first one is Matthew 24: 37-39 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
        People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. Pastor there’s simple nothing that will change what other people say or don’t say about the word of God these things must come.
        It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

        Matt 7:22-23 (Many will say to me) in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
        Mr. Stanley better get it right or get out of the ministry.
        God has not called us to self rightousness trusting in our own ability and reasonings. If we glory in anything we are to glory only in the cross. Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
        People must understand that one day they will stand before almighty God and give an account of their discounting the word of God.
        It is understandably Madness to come against God’s word in anyway shape or form. And that is what I call (seeker sensitive). He should be preaching Christ and him crucified. instead of psychoanalyzing the validity of the word of God.

        This is Steven James
        and now You know the rest of the story
        Good day …

  12. Born and raised in the northeast of the United States, it was there were the foundation of Christianity was laid. Hundredths of years later, the great schools that trained men in the scriptures are now apostate. Such one school is Princeton Seminary. I had a very quick encounter there taking a summer course. Without delay I dropped out immediately, the school has become the enemy of Jesus Christ and the holy scriptures.
    How does this relay to Andy Stanley? Andy is on the same road that brought these schools down.

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