Andy Stanley Responds to His Critics (Again)

Atlanta pastor Andy Stanley manages to stir up controversy every now and then, most recently with a sermon given earlier in 2018, about “unhitching” our faith from the Old Testament. Pastor Stanley was interviewed by apologist Dr. Michael Brown, on the Line of Fire radio program, where he was given the opportunity to respond to critics.

I may not totally jive with every statement Andy Stanley makes in his preaching, but I am totally on-board with his apologetics strategy. In sum, the message of the Christian faith, is driven first and foremost by an event, and not a text. We begin not with a perfect Bible, but rather, with the evidence of the Resurrection of Jesus. Some of the friends in my church call this the “Easter Effect,” whereby almost the entire Roman Empire, in the first centuries of the church, was converted to Christianity on the basis of the claim of the Risen Jesus. We get our understanding of the Bible’s authority from the Risen Jesus, and not vice-versa.

For if Jesus never rose from the dead, our confidence in the Bible means absolutely nothing. But because Jesus did rise from the dead, the Bible comes to us as God’s Word, and means everything to the follower of Jesus.

In other words, it is not enough to say, “the Bible says it, I believe, and that settles it.” Rather, “I believe the Bible, because it is true.” There is a big difference.

Give it a listen, and let me know what you think. Do you think I am wrong about this? Is Andy Stanley on target, or is he veering off the mark? Veracity has covered Andy Stanley before on several occasions (#1, #2, #3). The audio starts about 20 seconds in.

About Clarke Morledge

Clarke Morledge -- Computer Network Engineer, College of William and Mary... I hiked the Mount of the Holy Cross, one of the famous Colorado Fourteeners, with some friends in July, 2012. My buddy, Mike Scott, snapped this photo of me on the summit. View all posts by Clarke Morledge

3 responses to “Andy Stanley Responds to His Critics (Again)

  • Clarke Morledge

    I am not going to post again on this topic, as I think Veracity has thoroughly covered the controversy over Andy Stanley’s “unhitching” Christianity from the Old Testament statements. If you view the Michael Brown dialogue with Stanley above, I think that resolves a lot of issues, while showing where Stanley has made some missteps in how he sometimes frames his arguments.

    But Stanley has come out with a new book, Irresistible, and it appears that the controversy continues:

    Not having read the book, I really do not know if his critics have set up straw men arguments or not:

    Stanley responds to critics here:

    Whether or not Stanley says this or that, is not really my concern. He isn’t my pastor. And frankly, his book is basically a popular level restatement of what evidentialist apologists have been saying for at least twenty years, so this is not anything new. As with any popular level book with a strong thesis, misunderstandings are bound to happen.

    However, I do think the issues he raises are important ones. Like or dislike Stanley, he is challenging the assumption that all we need to do is to say “the Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it.” That approach does not cut it in a post-Christian culture. Perhaps you can improve upon Stanley’s solution. But the situation he is addressing is simply unavoidable. Nevertheless, the “Easter Effect” is irresistible.


    • Clarke Morledge

      Ah, on second thought….. I finally finished reading Andy Stanley’s book, Irresistible, and it is worth commenting on. Expect a book review forthcoming on Veracity.


  • Clarke Morledge

    Two completely different takes on Andy Stanley’s somewhat cryptic take on sexuality morality with respect to gay/lesbian concerns.

    Remnant Radio, a YouTube channel that I keep up with some of the time, believes that Andy Stanley is now a false teacher:

    Hemant Mehta, an outspoken atheist blogger, is not buying Andy Stanley’s more open posture to the gay/lesbian community. In Mehta’s view, Andy Stanley is simply the same ole evangelical Christian bigotry, but this time with a smile:

    What do you think?


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