Christianity,  Theology/Bible

Andy Stanley’s poison pill for the doctrine of scripture

[UPDATE: The original You Tube video containing Stanley’s remarks has been pulled (see above). Readers who wish to see the video can do so by visiting this site. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post.]

Andy Stanley’s comments on Adam and Eve have been making the rounds since they appeared on yesterday. In short, Stanley affirms the historicity of Adam and Eve, but not because Genesis says so. Rather, he bases his belief on what Jesus says about Adam and Eve. You can listen to the entire discussion above, but here are the relevant excerpts:

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…

Here’s why I believe this actually happened. Not because the Bible says so, but because of the Gospels – Jesus talks about Adam and Eve. And it appears to me that he believed they were actually historical figures. And if he believed they were historical, I believe they were historical because anybody that can predict their own death and resurrection and pull it off – I just believe anything they say.

Let me say first of all that I am genuinely grateful that Stanley affirms the historicity of Adam and Eve. In this day and age, that position is under siege, and I don’t want to minimize the importance of Stanley’s affirmation in this regard.

Nevertheless, there’s a poison pill in his remarks for the doctrine of scripture. The view of scripture that Stanley evinces undermines what evangelicals hold to be the verbal plenary inspiration of scripture.

While it is true that Christ’s accomplishment in the cross and resurrection is the basis of our salvation, it is misleading to say that the “foundation of our faith is not the Scripture.” Our only access to what Christ accomplished for us in history is through Scripture! The message of salvation comes to us in the Bible, apart from which there is no salvation. This is why the apostle Paul can speak of the apostles’ message as the “foundation” of the church (Eph. 2:20). Without their testimony which has been inscripturated for us in the Bible, there is no salvation.

Stanley says that his belief in Adam and Eve is not “because the Bible says so,” but because Jesus says so. The first and most obvious problem with this formulation is the fact that our only knowledge of what Jesus says comes to us from the Bible. There can be no bifurcation between “what the Bible says” and “what Jesus says.” The former gives us the latter.

But it’s also important to see that Jesus’ allusions to Adam and Eve derive from his belief in the authority of the Old Testament. As he assumes the historicity of Adam and Eve, he is at once affirming the total truthfulness and trustworthiness of his Bible—the Old Testament. When asked about the lawfulness of divorce, Jesus responds with “Have you not read…?” (Matt. 19:4). Then he quotes from Moses’ accounts of Adam and Eve as the basis for his belief in the permanence of marriage (Gen. 1:27; 2:24). Elsewhere, Jesus says that anyone who annuls Moses’ testimony will be called “least in the Kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:19). In short, if you were to ask Jesus how he knows Adam and Eve existed, he would say “because the Bible says so.” In this way, Stanley’s view of scripture falls short of Jesus’ view of scripture.

Stanley’s view also falls short of the Bible’s own testimony about itself. We could point to a number of passages in this regard, but perhaps the most conspicuous is 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

In this text, “scripture” refers specifically to the Old Testament, and Paul says that all of it has been breathed-out by God himself. We do not hold to the Dalmatian theory of inspiration—that scripture is inspired in spots. Rather, we hold to its plenary inspiration—which means that every word of the Old Testament is just as reliable and authoritative as any word in the New. And we dare not play one against the other. It is, after all, the Spirit of Christ himself who inspired the Old Testament word (1 Pet. 1:10-11).

There is much more that could be said on what an evangelical doctrine of scripture ought to look like. If you want to read further, then I recommend that you take a look at Timothy Ward’s book. You will find that what I have written here is nothing new. Nevertheless, it seems that too many people are forgetting the basics and that we must reiterate these things over and over again. In an “evangelical” context in which pastors even have trouble remembering, the need is all the greater.


  • Mike Dunger

    I have to admit, when I read a similar excerpt yesterday, I thought (and hoped) that Mr. Stanley’s comments were taken out of context.

    However, let us look at Scripture:

    Exodus 33:11 says that God spoke to Moses face to face.

    In John 6:46, Jesus says that HE is the only One who has ever seen the Father.

    Putting those two verses with 1 Tim 3:16, we arrive at the conclusion that the Pentateuch is a mixture of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit AND the direct words spoken from the mouth of the pre-incarnate Christ.

    That’s more than just a collection of stories, in my theological book.

  • Alistair Robertson

    Thanks Denny. I am constantly saddened by the comments trotted out by leaders people respect which show a less than convincing grasp on old biblical doctrine, and I’m encouraged by your affirmation of it.

  • Scott Lencke

    Denny –

    I once read this comment somewhere: Many evangelicals today believe in Jesus because of the Bible. But historically, the church has believed in the Bible because of Jesus.

    I think it interesting to ponder. Where do our priorities lie?

    You said in your article above: Our only access to what Christ accomplished for us in history is through Scripture! The message of salvation comes to us in the Bible, apart from which there is no salvation. This is why the apostle Paul can speak of the apostles’ message as the “foundation” of the church (Eph. 2:20). Without their testimony which has been inscripturated for us in the Bible, there is no salvation.

    Is our only access to what Christ accomplished through the Bible? I don’t doubt the very important aspect of the revelation of God in Christ through the first apostles that we find in Scripture. But there were teams of people, including non-apostles, spread across the Roman empire making the gospel known, the living gospel, without a leather-bound canon to pass out. And to say without their testimony their is no salvation? Well, yes their testimony is extremely important. But remember their testimony was living & active, first spoken, and being passed on in apostolic foundaton-tradition. And what of things prior to the reformation and printing press? There was still very ample basis for belief in Christ and the gospel. What of those around the world who come in contact with the living Christ outside of Scripture?

    Again, the Scripture is absolutely important! The church historic has always believed so. But I think we make things sound way too simplistic to argue things like – Our only access to what Christ accomplished for us in history is through Scripture! It’s just much more organic than that, how things unfolded, how we got our NT canon. Maybe we need to remember a holistic approach, something like the Wesleyan quadrilateral – scripture, tradition, reason, experience. Scripture can be primary but not only.

  • Garet Robinson

    It is challenging for anyone to draw conclusions from a speaker based on a short clip of a larger conversation. The clip above is only a few moments out of a longer discussion during a recent online preaching conference. During this conference a number of speakers spoke about their approach to preaching in unique environments and to unique groups that aren’t traditional Christians.

    For Andy’s part of the discussion, he was talking about how he approaches preaching to a room full of diverse people. People who are Christian, non-Christian, close to Christ, far from Christ, evangelical, mainline, secularists, or evangelicals. For what its worth, his whole conversation is worth listening to because he makes good points.

    The reality is that in many of our churches there are people who believe in a literal Adam and people who don’t. There are people who believe in verbal plenary inspiration and people who don’t. One of the hardest tasks of a pastor is ministering equally to these diverse groups.

    As we all know believing in verbal plenary inspiration is not required for being an evangelical.

    There are plenty of fair minded, reasonable, Jesus loving evangelicals who don’t agree with this position and are still evangelicals. We should be a bit more careful in fleshing out these terms. Likewise, I would suggest that Andy’s larger point is being missed primarily because only a segment of his talk is being heard.

    I’m not going to speak for him, as it isn’t appropriate. However, as I pointed out to someone else the other day, Andy is not attempting to speak in pacification of an academic body but talking about how he approaches speaking to highly diverse groups of people who attend his church. He might use different language to describe this approach than certain circles might expect, but the Gospel he does preach begins and ends with the person and work of Jesus Christ. I think we can all be thankful for his commitment therein.

  • Daniel Carnahan

    This short clip is not indicative of what Andy really is trying to say. Andy is challenging the way we talk about the Bible to people who are not Christians. I would encourage you to take some time to find and listen to what he is really saying. This is not his view of the scripture. It’s the way he suggests we might begin to talk about the scripture to an unbelieving world.

  • Jim Bohrer

    Denny, I agree with your overall assessment. It does ultimately undermine the Scripture and even Jesus. He is Who He is regardless of what we believe! The Bible is true no matter which way we approach it. I believe Pastor Andy intends well. But good intentions pave even the road to hell. I have noticed that Andy has been moving toward a Bultmannian approach to Christian theology. And I think it is rather an endemic problem the evangelical church faces when it come to ecclesiology. The modern mega church has placed evangelism and seeker sensitivity at the pinnacle of the church’s purpose, rather than devotion to God. Andy appeals to the emotion of the seeker or timidly committed believer because the church culture has acclimated so much to the surrounding culture that a propositional statement from the Bible would be immediately questioned or rejected. We no longer think theologically. We have trained ourselves to think only pragmatically. Does the Bible work for me? Does the church’s gym work for my family? Rather than, “Have I surrendered my mind, feelings, and body?” Deut. 6:5 has been pared down to the heart and emotion alone, passion man, passion. How do I feel about Jesus determines how I feel about the Bible. Rather than seeking what is true, we examine our feelings to determine truth.

  • Andy

    Hey Denny, your observations actually substantiate my point. We take the Scriptures seriously because Jesus did. First Jesus, then the Scriptures.

    • Jerry Corbaley

      Are you really Andy Stanley? God bless you, brother!

      Jesus did not “pen” Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, right? His Spirit inspired the human writers of the gospels, right? How is the Spirit’s inspiration of Genesis less worthy of faith than the Spiritual inspiration of the four gospels?

    • Tim


      Could you clarify your statement that the Scripture is simply a collection of ancient documents that tells us the story of Jesus?

      1.) Were you intending to make the point that Scripture is not less than a collection of ancient documents that tells us the story of Jesus (with good historical reliability)?

      2.) Did you intend to say that Scripture is no more than a collection of ancient ancient documents that tells us the story of Jesus? (That’s what you seemed to say with the word “simply”.)

      Thanks. I hope that if there’s misstatement or misunderstanding going on, it will be cleared up. And I pray that everyone will read your words with discernment–in the true sense of the word, i.e. rejecting what is bad and holding fast to what is good.

  • Lauren Law

    I appreciate so much your continued discipline of hashing out TRUTH. Surprised by Andy’s statement. Knowing his heart I think we know he intended something stronger…but the world is likely going to jump on what he said…and the sad part is that other Christians who do not want to uphold the Word of God will do so too. Praying that Andy’s statement does NOT become a stumbling block and that God will honor Andy’s “intention” and allow people to hear correctly what was said and not use it as ammunition for further controversy! Thank you, Denny!

  • Randy Burk

    I am appreciative that Andy Stanley affirms the historicity of Adam and Eve.
    However some clarification would be helpful.

    It would be bothersome for me if he is implying there is some wiggle-room about present day controversial topics such as the fall in the garden of Eden or homosexuality because the Lord Jesus Christ did not directly address that…or that the Old Testament texts do not carry as much authority as what Jesus said in the gospels.

    I believe it is important that we remind ourselves of what Peter said in 2 Peter 1 “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

    The Lord Jesus Christ referred to and used Scripture proclaiming Himself as the long awaited and promised Messiah of Isaiah 61 (Luke 4) and in that same chapter quoted Deuteronomy in the wilderness temptation.

    Luke 24:44 The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of the authority of the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms…how they spoke of Him. Are we to only believe in their authority because Jesus said they spoke of Him? Or does Andy Stanley believe it is preferred to only speak of those things that Jesus spoke about and to refer to only those things that the Lord Jesus Christ spoke about?

    We are only the messengers. The Bible is God’s Word. Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

    It is the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit to bear testimony to spiritual truth and the Scriptures. People are lost, in darkness, and dead in their sins and the Holy Spirit is the One who opens hearts, convicts and convinces. (John 16) They have no spiritual apparatus for believing.

    I Peter 3:15 “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;”

    However, no matter what our approach, how we craft or present it, apart from the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit, people will be in darkness and lost.

  • Robert Vaughn

    Denny, you wrote, “Let me say first of all that I am genuinely grateful that Stanley affirms the historicity of Adam and Eve. In this day and age, that position is under siege, and I don’t want to minimize the importance of Stanley’s affirmation in this regard.”

    I agree, but I am fearful that such affirmations actually are wiggling in the wrong direction — toward those who don’t affirm the necessity of an historical Adam & Eve, and away from those who believe their historicity is an inherent part of sound biblical theology.

    Thanks for the direction to and recommendation of Timothy Ward’s book. I’m going to take a look at it.

  • Mike Mileski

    Denny, we should pray that people don’t mine our own sermons / teachings for soundbites like these to pull from their context / purpose and blog responses to. When Rachel Held Evans does this to Piper, we TGC types go ballistic. Your tone was certainly more charitable than hers, but that doesn’t make it right or fair.

    Interestingly, at last month’s TGC conference in Orlando, Drs Mohler and Chapell spent a great deal of time emphasizing the historicity of Adam and Eve. They did it with almost no reference to texts; their approach was the slippery-slope…as in, “If you don’t believe in a historical Adam and Eve, you must believe…and you CAN’T believe… and therefore, we MUST believe in a historical Adam and Eve.” I’d encourage you to hear the talk if you haven’t already. This is sky-is-falling theology. We can do better.

    Btw, as a longstanding member of the TGC tribe, and a strong believer in the historicity of Adam, Eve, an inerrantist, complementarian, etc., etc., we must admit that there is such a thing as bibliolatry. If that’s so, what might it look like, and how might we know if we’re guilty of it?

    • Lauren Law

      Mike Mileski…I pray that many will continue to “mine” the sermons of every pastor because there’s too much “false theology” being shared out there. One sound bite that is Scripturally inaccurate ruins the whole sermon. That’s exactly what we were warned to watch for in final days. Pastors should be encouraging their church members to STUDY THE WORD…to listen for TRUTH…to hold them accountable for rightly dividing God’s Word. As a 12-yr-old girl I once heard a pastor claim from the pulpit that Jesus never declared He was the Messiah before His resurrection. I wasn’t a Bible scholar…but I’d sure paid attention in Sunday School enough to know that didn’t sound right. So I found the “proof” in the Scriptures…shared it with the pastor…and he quickly stepped back into the pulpit and apologized. I recently heard a young pastor share a story from the OT and then he played out his thoughts as to why it had happened the way it did. If he’d read just two more chapters, he would have learned that he went way down a wrong road with his thoughts. I asked him about it after the sermon, and he said he’d just discovered it the night before and didn’t have time to make the changes to the sermon (gasp)! He KNOWINGLY preached a false message. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE encourage the flock to examine what’s being taught (the Scriptures tell us to do that).

  • Andy Stanley

    Perhaps the confusion stems from the fact that I was suggesting an approach to talking about “The Bible” in a culture that is no longer moved by “The Bible says.” But I do believe the epicenter of the faith is something that actually happened

  • Daryl Little

    So, Andy Stanley doesn’t think it’s important to believe most of Scripture but because some guy in one part of it did some cool dying and rising thing then we know Adam and Eve are real? That’s supposed to be more convincing than believing that Genisis is true?
    I fear that in his zeal to reach those who aren’t convinced, Mr. Stanley has preferred to unintentionally insult their intelligence.

    It is good that he understands that Adam and Eve were real people but I’m having a hard time seeing how this isn’t a very small step away from Peter Enns position that Jesus and Paul were simply wrong on Adam.

    • Denny Burk

      Thanks for the feedback, pastor. I appreciate it. I understand that we need to be wise in how we address different individuals with the gospel. We need to do our best to meet people where they are. My concern is that you seem to be giving up too much in an effort to reach those who don’t share your presuppositions.

      I would never tell an unbeliever that he should believe something on the basis of Jesus’ words and not “because the Bible says so.” That introduces a division between Jesus and scripture that Jesus himself would never accept. It also communicates that scripture is insufficient to communicate authoritatively to an unbeliever.

      Do you see the concern I’m raising here? If I am misrepresenting your intention, then how would you clarify it?

      Also, you wrote that Garet represents your intentions perfectly, yet he writes:

      “As we all know believing in verbal plenary inspiration is not required for being an evangelical.”

      Do you agree with that statement as well?

    • Tim G

      My staff say that in context with your Orange Conference remarks they knew exactly what you meant! They affirm what you have just affirmed here for me yesterday when I asked them.

  • mel mariner (@MelodyMariner)

    What do you know? Turns out I understood the subject right after all. When I am speaking to an unbeliever, liberal Christian that doesn’t believe scripture, or a person from a denomination that only takes part of scripture as literal this is how I approach it. I don’t see how you cannot. Just telling them that you believe because the scripture says so means nothing to them.
    Last week I heard the testimony of an African woman whose mother couldn’t read but told her about God. When she got old enough and she began to read, she would read scripture to her mother. Before that they did not have scripture. They just had the truth of Jesus.

  • Matt Davies

    I strongly believe the that the lost can and should be reached through the presentation of the Gospel as seen in Genesis through Revelation, not simply the red letters. As reaching the lost is not about persuasion but sharing truth. Jesus’s conversation with the rich young ruler and Nicodemus dealt with their unbelief of the Gospel in the Old Testament.

    The first picture of the Gospel as seen in the Garden when God clothed Adam and Eve by the shedding of blood is beautiful.

    Thank you Denny for this conversation it is a very good one to be had.

  • Randy Burk

    Our culture is one that is no longer moved by what the Bible says? There is some truth to that statement. What are we to do?

    We all agree that we have been given a divine mandate…to make disciples. Matthew 28:18-20. The question is how to do that. What strategies are we to use? What is the most effective method in evangelism? What is the most effective way to reach our culture?

    That is what we cannot agree on. We really don’t see one particular method revealed in the Bible. We can get all enamored with the latest strategies, methods of manipulation, marketing, to try to persuade people to believe. The truth is, there is no power in any method. There is no particular persuasion or method that has the power to open the eyes of those spiritually blind. There is no method that has power to give life to the dead.
    It is all in the message. Our message is the gospel…Romans 1:16

    In Luke 16 the Lord Jesus tells of the rich man that died and in hell was tormented. He asks about Lazarus returning from the dead to warn, convince, persuade his brothers so they won’t die in their sins.

    It is an interesting strategy…seemingly a good method.
    To that Jesus says, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them; and if they will not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded.” The Lord Jesus said they have the Scriptures. This is a testimony to the powerful sufficiency of Scripture to overcome unbelief. Not even somebody returning from the dead could convince those who had closed their ears to God’s voice in Scripture. People can only be moved by what the Bible says as the Holy Spirit does the work of persuasion and conviction.

    In fact we have supporting evidence of just that…John 11 with Lazarus being raised from the dead by the Lord Jesus Christ. Some believed in Jesus, however, verse 46 says some did not and reported it to the Pharisees.

    Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”
    To say that we can’t preach and teach the Bible because people won’t believe what it says, is problematic. In the words of our Lord, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded though one return from the dead.”

  • Jeff Kuester

    This discussion confirms the truth that prophets are not without honor except in their own towns and among their families. Christ was likewise continually most misunderstood by the religious. Being first known for our love, and not our adherence to infallibility or anything else, is the sine qua non of a Disciple, the only true mark of a genuine follower. Consequently, I agree with Andy that the best approach is to “lead” with Jesus Christ and his love, as validated and demonstrated by our own love. Taking this point out of context is dishonoring and leads to misunderstanding, which we should all strive to avoid.

  • Keith Kraska

    Whether anyone is “moved” by the proclamation of God’s Word is entirely up to the Holy Spirit, not us. He has chosen that method to reach people (Romans 10: 8-14). It has always been offensive and foolish (1 Cor. 1:17-24), and it is not our job to make it less so. If we do, then it’s not the Gospel we’re sharing.

  • Tim Worley

    It seems possible that Andy Stanley is simply approaching the issue of biblical authority from an inductive perspective, rather than a deductive perspective.

    An deductive perspective proceeds more or less in this manner:

    1) The Bible is God’s authoritative word.
    2) The Bible tells me about the person of Christ
    3) Therefore, on the basis of the Bible’s status as God’s authoritative word, I believe in Christ.

    An inductive approach proceeds more or less in this manner:
    1) The New Testament documents present a sufficiently trustworthy account of the life and teaching of Jesus.
    2) Jesus claimed to be God, and substantiated this claim by His life, teaching and resurrection.
    3) Because Jesus is God, his statements about Scripture are authoritative.
    4) Jesus taught the absolute authority of the Scriptures.
    5) Therefore, the Bible is God’s authoritative word.

    I personally see validity in both of the approaches above. I think, from the perspective of apologetic method, an inductive approach is often warranted. I’d also argue that this approach can help avoid the Bart Erhman-esque notion that Christianity is a house of cards that rises or falls *purely* on the notion of inerrancy. And the inductive perspective has a solid pedigree. It has been held by a host of solid, conservative, inerrantists, including B. B. Warfield, Daniel Wallace, William Lane Craig (and as far as I’ve discerned, Mark Dever) have argued for inerrancy along the lines of the inductive approach above.

    That said, for the inductivist, I’d also want to ask, “Were Old Testament Jewish believers obligated to accept the authority of the OT Scriptures, prior to the coming of Christ? Or did they only acquire the obligation to embrace Scripture’s authority after Christ came?” So I see strengths and weaknesses in each approach. But *IF* Stanley is simply presenting an inductive argument for biblical authority, I don’t necessarily see that as problematic in itself.

    • Stephen Beck

      I agree with Tim’s comment fully except it seems that Andy Stanley has skipped step 1 and just assumed a trustworthy Jesus Christ.

  • Andrew George MD

    I certainly agree that Jesus teaching reaffirms the authority and infallibility of the Old Testament scripture. One problem with saying that we believe the Old Testament because Jesus did, is that he used the Old Testament to prove who he was (John 5:39). Jesus validates the scriptures AND the scriptures validate Jesus. To deny either is wrong.

    But as for saying that Jesus believed in Adam and Eve because the Old Testament taught about them seems to ignore an extremely important fact: he knew Adam and Eve–he was there!

    • Andrew George MD

      I said that it is wrong to deny that Jesus validates the Scripture or to deny that the Scriptures validate Jesus. I understand Andy Stanley’s desire to reach an audience that may not recognize one of those authorities, but tend to agree with those who fault him for, in the process of doing that, making statements that appear to discount that authority.

      But then I am confronted by the fact that Jesus himself seems to do exactly the same thing. In John 5:31, he says “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true”. Taken out of context, that appears to say Jesus’ word is not authoritative, just as Dr Stanley’s comments appear to say the Old Testament scripture is not authoritative. From where I sit, it appears neither one of them should have said what they did. But clearly I am wrong–at least in Jesus’ case.

  • Micah Manore

    I’m not always in agreement with Andy’s preaching (while still recognizing his obvious gifts as a communicator) but this blog seems like a rather ungenerous interpretation of a one-liner. I’m fairly sure that we all regularly say things that are fodder for those looking to vilify us.

    • Lauren Law

      Micah…you must have read a different blog than I read. Denny compliments Stanley…doesn’t vilify him at all. He does call on him to rightfully divide the Word of truth…that’s the only thing he calls him on. Stanley’s words fall short of the truth about the Scriptures…and another pastor is holding him accountable. We should all be grateful that men of God are holding each other accountable. Denny’s statements are almost as vilifying as your statement “I’m not always in agreement with Stanley’s preaching.”

      • Micah Manore

        Lauren, I’m pretty sure we read the same blog. Maybe vilify is harsh and I’m certainly appreciative of Godly men who keep us all in line. Calling his words, which are potentially taken out of context, a “poison pill for the doctrine of Scripture” is unnecessarily dramatic. I’m very sure, and I think you would agree, from hearing Stanley’s preaching (which again, I don’t always agree with) that Andy does believe in the authority of Scripture and is not in any way attempting to poison it or direct people away from it. I’m just cautioning against be reactionary.

        • Lauren Law

          Micah…ANY step off the straight and narrow should raise alarms. Any “seed” of mistruth distorts the truth. We have to call each other on it…otherwise we let our brothers and sisters continue down a path that will only cause them pain…and will pain the Father. God’s Word MUST be handled carefully…rightfully divided…and we should REACT immediately when things like this threaten to distort the truth. I don’t believe any “false teacher” started out to be a false teacher…they slipped slowly and surely down a slippery slope to a watered-down faith that leads others astray and serves as a stumbling block. Pastors MUST preach the validity of the WHOLE Scripture. The Scriptures of the Old Testament were strong and true long before Jesus came along to validate them. Christ didn’t come to abolish the law…He came to complete it. It’s not an either/or (Christ vs Bible)…it’s an AND. We cannot differentiate between the Truth of Jesus or the Truth of the Scriptures…one is NOT more important than the other. As a matter of fact…the CANNOT be separated. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Jesus IS the Word…he doesn’t just validate it!

          • Micah Manore

            I think you’re proving my point. Pretty sure I never agreed w/ Andy, just cautioning against being reactionary. If you’ve had the luxury of studying the statements in context as Brian Karlik has, then feel free to make conclusions. If we’re honest with ourselves we know that this didn’t go viral because everyone is proceeding with due diligence after studying the statement in context. It went viral because people love a good firefight.

            • Lauren Law

              It went viral because a well-known, well-respected PASTOR intimated that the whole Bible may not be without error. Had a non-known said it, the discussion would have remained private. This is a leader in the faith…stepping into wolves clothing. Do I think he’s doing it intentionally? I do not. But it’s why men of God (and women of God) must take care when handling the Word of God. When Jesus saw the money changers cheating people in God’s House he didn’t “proceed with due diligence”…He called them on their actions. Calling Stanley for his words is not attacking him or entering a “good firefight”…it’s loving him and calling him to be diligent and worthy of his calling.

              • Adam Shields

                But that only makes sense if Jesus never had been to the temple before or that there had never been money changers at the temple before. Both are unlikely. So Jesus as the model, would suggest that this was not a knee jerk reaction but a longer term process.

              • Micah Manore

                Well Lauren, I’ve appreciated the diversion, but I’m going to go back to my authoritative, inerrant and infallible Bible because I get to walk my high school students through John 21 on Sunday. In the mean time, I sincerely hope that you’ve misunderstood Andy’s intent and I really do hope the video becomes available again so the rest of us will get to assess the damage for ourselves.

              • Mel Mariner

                This is not your post?

                “Lauren Law May 31, 2013 at 12:16 am #
                We just need to remember something special about Paul’s writings…he was a brand new Christian in his early writings and he wrote as a brand new Christian. But at the conclusion of his ministry he penned that God was not a respecter of persons…Romans 3:28 shows that he had matured out of the cultural belief that women were inferior to men and concluded, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Anything said to a man applies to a woman…and vice versa. If we’re going to say women cannot speak or teach in the church, we have to then say that men can’t either…and that’s just plain silly. Ultimately…the woman who speaks or teaches in the church does so based on her personal relationship with Christ. The woman who fails to teach or speak because a “man” has instructed her not to do so is not following Christ’s leadership. Male and female were BOTH created in His image and BOTH saved by His Son and BOTH gifted by the Spirit. End of discussion.”

                  • Mel Mariner

                    I’m sorry in my church the teacher is the pastor. Regardless 1 Timothy 2 references women not teaching and links it back to Adam and Eve.

                    • Lauren Law

                      Mel…just curious here…since your referenced I Timothy 2…do you believe salvation comes to women through childbirth? If so, does that mean a woman who is infertile is not saved?

                      Do you find it at all “odd” that Paul makes sure we know that “he” is speaking in these verses and expressing his personal opinion?

                      How do you justify silent women in this verse with men and women being “equal” in Galatians 3:28 (written near the end of his life)?

                    • Mel Mariner

                      Are you saying scripture isn’t inerrant? You think Paul made another boo-boo there?

                    • Lauren Law

                      I believe the Scriptures ARE inerrant and when something like this appears, it is prudent to examine the rest of the book and study the Scriptures to understand how two such statements could be made. I’d like to know if YOU think Paul made a “boo-boo”. Are women “allowed” to speak and teach in the church today…or are they sinning?

        • Brian Karlik

          MIcah, Did you actually listen to Pastor Stanley’s words? They were clearly not taken out of context.

          • Micah Manore

            Obviously I could not have watched the whole thing, as you mentioned, its no longer up. I have no recourse but to trust your analysis. I’m neither agreeing or disagreeing w/ Andy’s words, just hoping we can proceed with due diligence in regards to a man who we know to be brother who clearly loves Jesus and wants to be a faithful witness to the Kingdom of God.

            • Brian Karlik

              Micah, I appreciate your response. I do not believe anybody is questioning Andy love for the Lord or desire to witness, just the public comments of a professional leader on a vital issue in Christian ministry.

        • Mel Mariner

          Besides it is titled poison pill for the doctrine of scripture. And the blog that it links to does not have a very nice following.

    • Brian Karlik

      Micah, I saw a 3 minute portion of this interview on RocketPreaching a couple of days ago. (Watched it twice, actually.) Unfortunately it is no longer available for public viewing. This is not a situation of commenting on a one-liner. Andy Stanley freely spoke on the issue for the entire 3 minutes, repeating his claim that his faith does not rest on a infallible Bible, but (in contrast) on the comments of a historical event-Jesus. The irony, of course, is that Jesus’ words only come to us through the Bible. And if that Bible is not infallible we have no good reason to believe that we have Jesus’ actual statements about Adam and Eve, or anything for that matter.

      • Mel Mariner

        I don’t understand why you are hammering on this. You know that Andy Stanley believes the Bible to be inerrant. You know that was an interview situation.

        Whenever I have moments where I struggle in my faith I go back to Isaiah 53. The whole rest of the bible can disappear for me because it isn’t the part that reassures me. Is that the wrong answer? Is my faith nullified because I didn’t say something else in just the right way?

        If someone believes the whole and complete gospel but doesn’t take the garden story literal does that keep them out of the book of life?

        • Lauren Law

          Mel…Stanley’s statement shows that he does NOT believe the whole Bible to be “inerrant”. That’s why we examine our thoughts…examine what we hear…as instructed IN THE SCRIPTURES. We can like him…love him…love his style…love his preaching…but he still has to be held accountable if he teaches something contrary to the Scriptures. His words are frustrating Christians…what in the world are they saying to unbelievers?

          • Mel Mariner

            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.

            This is from his church website. The reason that it went viral is because of the “discernment” blogs which are the equivalent of Christian cannibalism. What does that say to the world? Not too long ago all the Christian bigwigs were applauding Challies’ chew-out on their behavior. But now we are all back here acting like they are the moral majority.

  • Brian Karlik

    For Pastor Stanley, In the same comments on Adam and Eve you said something to the effect of, “…two naked people running around in a garden…Who can believe that?” (please correct me if I am wrong.) With that said, what do you mean when you state that you believe in Adam and Eve because Jesus did? Do you think he is to be included in those who would be (are) incredulous at the details of the Adam and Eve accounts in Genesis?

  • Chris Rosebrough (@piratechristian)

    Andy Stanley’s clarification regarding the statements he made in which he takes open shots at the Inerrancy of scripture are neither helpful nor do they remove the offense of what he said. Here is his statement again:

    >>Perhaps the confusion stems from the fact that I was suggesting an approach to talking about “The Bible” in a culture that is no longer moved by “The Bible says.” But I do believe the epicenter of the faith is something that actually happened<<

    Here are just a few of the problems I still have after Stanley's clarification.

    1. Stanley made these statements and took the shots he took at Biblical Inerrancy in the context of an online event in which the primary audience was comprised of church leaders not the world or the culture at large. Therefore, since his audience was made up of Christians not unbelievers or scoffers or critics of Christianity there is no reason or warrant for taking shots at Biblical Inerrancy in that context (nor is there a context in which it is ever okay for a Christian pastor to do this). Instead, it is the perfect audience in which to boldly affirm Biblical Inerrancy and encourage church leaders to do the same.

    2. The leaders who were listening to Stanley's advice are going to primarily discuss Genesis, Adam & Eve, etc. in the context of their own church services not in the context of street preaching or academic debate. Therefore, that is all the more reason why they should have heard a bold affirmation of Biblical Inerrancy and the historicity of the entire Bible and have been encouraged to boldly proclaim these truths of the Christian faith. After all, if we can't or won't affirm, proclaim and defend Biblical Inerrancy in our churches then when and where are we exactly supposed to do that? Pastors do not disciple effectively by hiding or denying or remaining silent in church about Christianity's core doctrines and beliefs but instead by boldly teaching and confessing and defending them in church so that the people of God are deeply grounded in the Word and equipped to tackle whatever the devil and the world throws at us.

    Christian Apologetics is NOT about apologizing to the world about what scripture says and/or coddling unbelievers and saying its okay if they don't want to believe what's in the Bible. Instead, it is about taking every thought captive and making them obedient to Christ as 2 Corinthians 10:4–5 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ”

    3. It is not enough for Andy Stanley to say that he believes "the epicenter of the faith is something that actually happened" (Note how vague and ambiguous this statement is). Since he is a Christian Pastor he has the duty to not only believe what scripture says and what it says about itself. BUT is tasked with the duties of the pastoral office which means that he is duty bound by scripture to preach, proclaim and defend the truths of scripture so that those whom he shepherds will also believe what scripture says and be able to explain why.

    This issue exposes the core flaw in the seeker-driven churches understanding of the duties of the pastor. The seeker-driven church model believes that churches exist FOR unbelievers and Stanley's statements show that he primarily believes he is speaking to unbelievers not believers when he teaches in church. This is a grave error and contrary to what scripture clearly says regarding whom pastors serve. Two passages will suffice to make this point:

    “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.” (Acts 20:28–31)

    “So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.” (1 Peter 5:1–4)

    Neither of these passages make any sense if the primary audience IN the church is unbelievers. Pastors exist to serve the body of Christ.

    There is more that I could say, but I think I've made a few points that I believe will help make a difference as we weigh what Stanley said and the implications it has for the church at large.

    • Bill Trimm

      Have you ever said anything wrong, as a leader, a worker, son, father, etc, or are you perfect. I’m not a scholar, teacher, preacher, just a person who TRIES to be a follower of Jesus, and last I knew we are all sinners. means we all screw up from time to time, which means a person, preacher, teacher, leader, etc will also mess up. no one is perfect, and we shouldn’t perceive something to be real, when it may not be. look at the man’s whole body of work, as evidence to what he believes, instead of one sound byte. don’t mistake perception for reality. as Don Johnson says, look at ALL the evidence.

      • Stephen Beck

        Bill, I don’t know you, but I am familiar with Chris and on a daily basis he studies the contemporary church, especially its seeker-sensitive and emergent branches. Few have analyzed Andy Stanley’s ministry and the effect he is having on the American church at large as much as Chris.

        • Bill Trimm

          I’m not saying he doesn’t. The comment was for all, not just Mr. R. I did not intend to come across as attacking him, if it appeared so. I’m only intending to warn everyone that is commenting. It is to become over zealous, prideful, and pompous, when we point out others faults. We need to remember our own faults and sins when we confront some one on what they said or did. Does that make sense?

  • Ken Temple

    Hi Denny,
    Is Timothy Ward’s book the new Evangelical standard work of a defense of Inerrancy and Inspiration of the Bible?

    Is it better than the one edited by Norman Geisler with many different Evangelicals contributing, Inerrancy ? (Zondervan, 1980) That is the one I have used since seminary (1983-1988) and is one of the best and most important books on my shelf.

    I have not heard of Ward before, so this is interesting to me.

  • Glenn Carrin

    The Scriptures cannot be broken, even before Jesus said the Scriptures cannot be broken.

    So many people wonder when the world-church is gonna begin while they’re sitting in it.

  • Sandra Bowmam

    Stanley’s statement just proves how easily and confidently believers get off-track. The Bible IS the only plumb line for statements of faith and doctrine. In my opinion, we shouldn’t ever say that we believe something and follow it with “not because the Bible said it.” Where is the logic in that line of thinking?

    • Scott Lencke

      Again, we don’t need to create a dichotomy/tension between Christ & Scripture. But we do need to keep the most important in the forefront. I think the church is properly referred to as ‘Christians’ because we remember who takes precedence.

      For those who want to say -‘Well, we wouldn’t know what we know about Jesus if not for Scripture.’ – I think it’s way too simplified, missing the organic nature of our Christ-based faith & how we came to have a canon of Scripture. There was no finalised, codified NT canon for a couple of centuries. But the knowledge of Christ spread rapidly at the preaching of the gospel/kerygma, the verbal proclamation of the living word. And no one really had a ‘personal copy’ for the first 1500 years after Christ, but there was a continued knowledge & seeking of Christ. Not to mention that our knowledge of Christ comes through something more holistic like the Wesleyan quadrilateral. Scripture becomes primary, but never ‘only’.

      And remember, the early apostles & leaders met the living Christ, encountered him, and that event opened their eyes to what the Hebrew Scriptures were teaching about him. THEN they used the Hebrew OT Scriptures to testify to Christ (which actually continued after he left). So one, mainly Christ, takes precedence. It was always:

      Christ -> Scripture -> Christ

      I’m sure we could roll our eyes at such thoughts, but we can many times make short statements that can disregard how things have actually played out over 2000 years. I don’t want to denigrate Scripture AT ALL, and I don’t think Stanley wanted to either (taking a few minute clip out of a larger setting). I love Scripture deeply. But we get off track, I think, when we argue in ways that make it sound that Scripture takes precedence over Christ, rather than vice versa.

      • Lauren Law

        Scott…your discourse excludes the fact that the Word of Christ did not only spread through the “preaching”…but also through the original letters that were passed from church to church. The Word is the Word…and anything or anyone that portends that the Word is less or more important than Christ does not understand that Christ IS the Word. They cannot be separated! The written Word existed BEFORE Christ…Christ existed before the written Word! How can that be? IT JUST IS! We have to stop trying to separate them and say that one can exist without the other. The day we all agree that both ARE and that both are inerrant and infallible…then we’ll display the Oneness Christ prayed for all of us!

        • Terry Galloway

          IT JUST IS! I have been doing the Gideon study by Priscilla Shirer where she states that only 28% of “Christians” believe in the Bible literally. I am in that group based on experiencing Jesus IS the Word. Priscilla also talks about how our weapons are God’s weapons which Jesus Himself used to rebuke Satan. There are those in the literal group that have experienced Jesus speaking to His sheep just as He says “my sheep know my voice”. Priscilla has two great books on Preparing to Hear God’s Voice and Discerning the Voice of God.

          I entered the war (just like Gideon) in God’s timing when He woke me up at 1am and put on my mind the words–“Go check your husband’s phone”. I dialed the last number and my best friend from church that I prayed with every Sunday said “hey honey, how you doin?” I hung up the phone and woke my deacon husband up and in his grogginess (just like Gideon facing the Midianites) he told me that he had been sleeping with both of us for 2.5 years. God had given him many gracious times to repent, but he liked living the double life.

          Then my battle also began in the church. It is a very long story, but God brought me to my own repentance and being born again even though I had been in the church all my life (having gotten baptized at 12). I found out then that the battle in the Baptist church about the inerrancy of the Scripture had me on the wrong side. I grew up in Atlanta’s “moderate” Baptist church with Dr. Bill Self. He was always fighting against Charles Stanley. After six months of keeping my husband’s affair secret we finally told Dr. Self what had been going on in his church. Dr Self told my husband that he could remain a deacon!! It turned out that several of the pastors knew about it all along and many in the choir knew that it was going on too. There was NO CALL to repentance. After being born again, the Holy Spirit revealed how much false teaching I had been under all my life (at this point I was 45). It was 9 months after God first speaking to me that I repented and received the Holy Spirit. Then four months later, Dr Self was preaching on Matthew 7 about building on the solid rock and firm foundation and the Holy Spirit said (in my mind), “Go be baptized”. Dr. Self would not baptize me and just announced to the church that I was rededicating my life. I told everyone in the line that I was a changed person and that Jesus was alive. Dr. Self wrote me a short note telling me to leave the church. Yes, I got “excommunicated” from the church for becoming spiritual while my adulterous, rich, politically prominent husband got to remain a deacon.

          I went to Andy’s church. I was called in by the Director of Community Groups for a two and a half hour interview about whether I could be in a small group or not since there was something wrong with me that I heard from God so much. They ended up asking for my psychological records from my Christian counselor who refused them. Then they told me that I could be in a trial group where they would be watching me. In God’s sovereignty, the group was studying Priscilla’s two studies about hearing God’s voice. I was the only one hearing. They were getting frustrated with me. One day the leader (who went to Bible college) said,, “I am so forgiven today that I can go have an affair”!! I was the only one in the group to tell her that she was wrong– that forgiven people don’t deliberately and presumptuously enter into sin. Shortly after that, God said to my spirit “you are done”.

          I had always heard that the Bible was ALIVE, but the first time I sat with a Bible and asked God to show me what to open to, I opened to 1 Corinthians 5 Sexual Sin in the Church. I had to try to fathom how God could control my fingers. I know from meeting with Andy twice asking him to do discipline on my MEMBER husband that Andy doesn’t have a “fear of the Lord”. He flippantly said to me that he wouldn’t do it; he is probably wrong, but that he is wrong all the time and there is grace for that. I was called a whistle-blower for calling Buckhead Church to expose my husband going to that church while separated and pretending he was free to date. I was blown away that they didn’t care about protecting the women sheep!!

          The problem is rampant in the church today. Anything goes and as long as we confess it, we are good to go. There is no “go and sin no more”, no honor the marriage bed, no wrath of God against the disobedient — John 3:36, no Romans 6, no 1 John 3 about who is really a child of the devil and a child of God, no our deeds are filthy rags, no “a voice behind will say this is the way, walk in it”, no “I will put a tender, responsive heart that will desire to obey Me”. The Bible itself testifies to it being without error.

          Just like the Way of the Master is coming out with a new God vs Evolution movie–Ray Comfort has it nailed down– “Some are angry because evolution is their doorway to all sorts of sinful delights — because if there’s no God and no moral accountability, anything goes,” he said. “So this movie is a huge threat to them.” I believe the church is infected by counterfeit Chrisitans who are really wolves in sheep’s cloting (Chip Ingram calls them that). Way of the Master calls them false converts. They aren’t just tares because of
          Jude 4=
          For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

  • Ken Temple

    Another problem is that every unbeliever had hatred and enmity toward God, even if they will not admit it. (Romans 5:6-11 and 8:5-7 – we were enemies, ungodly, sinners, with minds that were at enmity with God; and unable to come to Christ until the Lord opened our hearts to believe. Acts 16:14; John 6:44)

    To try and say Jesus is softer or more attractive or a better first step with unbelievers is not true. Sometimes in Evangelism, Jesus is attractive to unbelievers at the beginning, until we mention the passages that they don’t like – about their sin and hell. He is the one who spoke the most blood-curdling truth of the Bible – that “hell is the place where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched” – Mark 9:47-48

    That Jesus affirms Genesis and the OT as God’s word (“have you not read what God says to you” – Matthew 19:1-6 and 22:19) is an extra encouraging truth to Christians as to the truth of Genesis – Jesus affirmed the “creator” (alluding to Genesis 1:1) and “He made them male and female” (alluding to Genesis 1:26-28 and 5:2) and “male and female” and “the two shall become one flesh” (5:2 and 2:24) means that Jesus did say something about homosexuality – it means by affirming the Genesis account and the creator and creation; Jesus condemned homosexuality as sin and unnatural, and there is no such thing as “same sex marriage” – He affirmed that it was only Adam and Eve who were created first for marriage – NOT “Adam and Steve”.

    We are still waiting for Andy Stanley to answer the questions that many people still have on his illustration that he gave about the homosexuals from the series “When Gracie met Truthy”. The lack of clarity is still there.

    • Ken Temple

      oops; typo – should have been:

      Another problem is that every unbeliever has hatred and enmity toward God, even if they will not admit it. (Romans 5:6-11 and 8:5-7 . . .

    • Mel Mariner

      If this is the actual issue then that is what should be discussed-homosexuality.

      Trying to find other things to hang him on is a distraction from the truth. The truth is big and bold and obvious. Nitpicking how someone explains the inerrancy of the bible is silly and petty. It makes the speakers of truth look questionable.

  • Lauren Law

    Acts 17:11 says: “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” The SCRIPTURES encourage us to examine what preachers say…to see if it’s true. Those of “noble character” will do so. Holding a pastor accountable for his teaching and preaching is not “judgmental”…is not “seeing the speck” in someone’s eye. We have a responsibility to examine what’s said and make sure it’s true.

    • Scott Lencke

      Lauren –

      Acts 17:11 is not teaching they were very suspicious of what Paul (and Silas), so they had to make sure that it was back up by Scripture. They received the preaching/kerygma with excited eagerness and they were stirred to look & see these things lying within the Scripture text. No suspicious checking in Scripture. Eager reception of the preaching that led to study Scripture.

      I think this article is worth reading (though I expect it to challenge) –

      • Lauren Law

        Scott…I believe the things that Andy Stanley preaches are received eagerly too…and I pray he’s stirring people to study the Scriptures. But his very statement would almost make Scripture study seem unnecessary if our faith is not contingent on the Scriptures but only on the historical Jesus. Jesus didn’t speak a different message to the people than He did to the religious people…why do we feel the need to do so?

        • Mel Mariner

          What he said wasn’t untrue. Jesus did confirm the historicity of Adam and Eve. This is like the stupid chicken or the egg scenario. It’s just a chance to blast a brother without any positive outcome.

          Andy Stanley studies the scriptures. He preaches to know the scriptures. His church site confirms it.

          This is just like the Piper and Job thing. People are ignoring the totality of what someone teaches to split hairs. It is just so unedifying.

  • Bill Griffin

    “And remember, the early apostles & leaders met the living Christ, encountered him, and that event opened their eyes to what the Hebrew Scriptures were teaching about him. THEN they used the Hebrew OT Scriptures to testify to Christ (which actually continued after he left).”

    Is this statement not contrary to Scripture? Was it not Jesus who opened the scripture to them?

  • John Lyman

    This makes great discussion at the coffee house are maybe in one your classes but in the real world we need to reach people. I have heard first hand accounts of people coming to know Jesus through dreams and other methods that do not include the bible. Think of all the new converts in the middle east who don’t have easy access to the bible but yet they still believe.

    To me the most important thing is to put your faith in Jesus Christ and then let the holy spirt work with you in developing your faith.

    All this is one persons theology disagreeing with another persons theology and how do we mere men & women knows who is right?

    I would also encourage people to at listen to the clip at ihearblog before replying as the author has taken only the parts that prove his point – but then again we live in a sound bite world and some times the sound bites make for a better story then the whole story.

    Also, what did people do for bibles before 1545?

    • Lauren Law

      Before 1545 they listened to the priests read the handwritten copies of the Word…and that’s how they learned Who Jesus was…and believed in Him. Without the Word they could know of God because creation witnesses to Him…but it is the Word that reveals Who historical Jesus is!

  • Paula Wardlaw

    How are these remarks different from saying that the Law has been set aside? Is it okay to disregard the Sabbath on the 7th day, the festivals of the Lord, and the laws concerning our neighbor’s property but not okay to disregard the historicity of Adam and Eve? If it’s okay to disregard certain commandments in Scripture, could someone not go further and disregard its historicity?

  • Michael Metts

    It is both the person of Jesus and Scripture that inform Christian faith. The incarnated Son of God, as the person Jesus of Nazareth, was received in history and attested by written eye-witnesses, those who were his disciples and apostles. This written history was superintended by the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).

    To point out that you could have one without the other is irrational. The apostles labored to crystallize the appropriate and correct tradition reception in the form of early hymns and proto-creedal statements such as those found in Matt. 26, 28; Col. 1; Phil. 2; 1 Cor. 15; 1 Tim. 3, etc.

    This is why I find wisdom in the reflections of Don Carson on why the boot of “either/or” logic is usually found on the other foot (i.e., the neorthodox foot, protestant liberal foot, or, despite the protests of Olson, the post-conservative foot). One is far more likely to find both/and theology in conservative evangelical camps, a theology that includes both person and word.

  • Mitchell Sikich


    I have followed Andy Stanley for three years now, after coming out of the Charismatic Church for having a bad as well as very disturbing church experience.

    Watch out for the Charismaniac’s I am sorry to confess.

    Sitting under Andy’s teachings of scripture have been comforting in many areas and has been a gift to me and my family. Some, if not many churches, can be a dangerous place to wander into, as not only Christ but the scriptures simply declare and warn us of a great apostasy with false teachers/wolves at the helm.

    I am aware of emergent, seeker sensitive teachings as well, and are on a spiritual journey.
    If we abandon the objective truth of scripture and are left with subjective truth, how will we ever discern if we have fallen for another Jesus, another spirit, or another gospel, or have become a part of the apparent group of deceived “Christians” who Christ will ultimately reject for not knowing Him, found in Matthew 7:21-23? We must know that we know the Christ of scripture.

    I am not ready to throw Andy under the bus for his statement which can be perceived to be creating a division or cast doubt on the inerrancy of scripture, which I hope or wouldn’t believe to be his intention.

    I believe you cannot create a division between the Bible and Christ as somehow mysteriously they are one and the same as Christ declared He was and is the Word which has always existed, and became flesh, suffered and died paying the ultimate price for humanity, and has resurrected to judge and reign forevermore!

  • Terry Galloway

    Unfortunately Andy has preached false teaching in many cases. I have met many people who have asked him to do discipline for other members following 1Corinthians 5 and Matthew 18 but Andy refused. He has preached several times on 1our Corinthians 5 saying it is not his job including a message titled Judgment Call.

    He has preached on the parable of the talents and after reading the Word that “the worthless servant will be put into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” Andy put his hands out to the congregation and said don’t worry “that doesn’t mean hell!”

    Andy started preaching the book of Acts but skipped chapter 5. He had William P Young come speak about The Shack at the church at night. That book says that Jesus was wrong when He said “my God, my God why have you forsaken me” and that Papa never left Jesus. That is saying that Jesus told a lie from the cross and wasn’t sinless. And claiming it is fiction when using the name of Jesus that (there is power in His name) is no excuse.

    Andy also talked about how wonderful Joel Osteen is during a message and how great it is that he shares the gospel in almost every message. We know that Joel’s message isn’t the true gospel but prosperity gospel. My own teenaged son listened to Andy share the gospel and said that it was lacking. Andy preaches the watered down, man-centered, easy believism, antinomian gospel.

    Repentance isn’t preached like Jesus preached. Matthew 7:21-23 in would never be preached. Wolves are welcomed into the church. It reminds me of Jude 4. Read it– using the grace of Jesus as a license to sin.

    For years I prayed hard for Andy but I had to leave the church when I found out they had baptized my husband’s mistress /adulteress (I was unbiblically divorced). Her video testimony was clear that she had not been converted and they did not make it clear to her that she needed to repent of premarital sex. She got married to myq husband (ex only in the eyes of the state )and the next weekend which was Easter weekend 2012to with a rehearsal dinner party on Good Friday! My husband said Andy gave him permission to remarry. I had met with Andy twice asking him to do discipline to my husband for the good of my family to get him to repent but Andy refused. Andy then preached on Matt 5:32 telling what God says about divorce and remarriage bur then Andy said that if they had waited 2 years from the divorce remarriage was okay. People actually believe that following Andy’s time table makes sin not a sin! !! Andy presumes on grace and believes presumptuous sin is okay to God. No Romans 66 or 1 John 3 for him. No all our deeds are filthy rags. He asked me if I truly believed God was angry with my ex-husband/admitted adulterer. God had me say “God is angry with the wicked every day”.

    Sadly no one is looking at the seriousness of his teaching for the children. It is sin against the children to not discipline these sexually immoral parents and certainly sn to redefine what God says. He never changes!!

    to do discipline to my husband for the good of my

  • Drew Tillman

    You cannot separate Christ and the scriptures for He is the Word! To do away with the Scriptures is to do away with Christ! The argument that it starts with Christ and then the scriptures is not accurate or complete. “In the beginning was the Word.” In other words, the scripures were in the beginning because they are the very words of Christ. So, to separate these two as Stanley and some others have on this blog is wrong. They are one of the same!

  • Karen Stapp

    My family and I have been attending one of Andy Stanley’s campuses and even though the kids programs are great, I get the horrible sense that something is very wrong. A lot of what he preaches makes logical sense, but there is something “off” and I can’t put my finger on it. Thanks for helping me with this issue. I attended this particular sermon and all kinds of red flags are going up for me. On the one hand, I am trying to be understanding about the fact that Pastor Stanley wants to make his church and his message “seeker friendly”, however, this particular message about new seekers to disregard the Bible sent me through the roof. No one else in the church seemed to have a problem with it. I believe Pastor Stanley’s heart is in the right place. I am starting to question whether becoming culturally relevant is the best way to minister Christ to a hurting world.


    Andy is a great teacher, and over the years, I have heard hundreds of sermons from him. The way I see it, many people love to jump on Andy and end up splitting hairs because they already have some sort of beef with him and are just out there looking. But I will tell you one thing for sure…….You take all of the scripture and remove that one event of the death and resurrection of Christ, and you have nothing. That is the one and only thing that holds it all up. So, for that reason, all of us true believers have to point to that one event as the reason for our faith.

    • Terry

      Actually that one event was all about love. Without love we are nothing. Without being born again and having the indwelling Holy Spirit we are unable to love Christ or love others. Unfortunately, we cannot control who is given the Spirit and who is not– refer to John 17. Andy started out well, but he has gotten way of base with “Christianization” instead of loving the Lord first and loving others. Case in point, when he preached When Gracie me Truthy, he was totally unloving to the women married to the homosexual men and even worse, unloving of the children involved. He said it was great that the kids and all of the sinners were one big happy family sitting in church and the “new microcosm of the church. He wasn’t even loving of the men to pretend that God will not punish their immorality. That isn’t loving anyone to not call them to repentance. Psalm 1 has a lot to say about who believers are supposed to hang with. Andy refuses to be a good church that does treat the Bible with respect even doing the hard things (which are truly loving) of Matthew 18 and 1 Corinthians 5. Andy was preaching through Acts and had to skip chapter 5 because he refuses to tell people the truth that God hates lying. God is love and hate. Andy has corrupted the gospel to make God out to a gift dispenser instead of telling people about the truth of His character.

      God doesn’t allow cowards into heaven (Rev 21). He calls believers to stand up for Jesus against the culture of using Jesus as a license to sin (Jude 4). That is truly loving, to warn people, because Jesus warned. Jesus talked about hell more than heaven.

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