Saturday, September 24, 2016

Andy Stanley, Frank Turek, and Bad Theology

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Andy Stanley has been disappointing some people, and causing quite a few to be alarmed by his opposition to the authority of Scripture. (Note: Do not be confused. Charles Stanley is his father, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and heard on In Touch Ministries. I've found most of his teachings to be doctrinally sound, and he upholds the inerrancy and authority of the Bible.) Unfortunately, megachurch director Andy Stanley has been saying things that are destructive to the truth, including recommending the false teaching of theistic evolution.


Megachurch leader Andy Stanley has been getting into trouble over his denial of the authority of Scripture. He has also had some very dubious defenders. Here is some information to help bring the issues into focus.
Gray wolf image credit: US National Park Service
While shooting from the hip can be a good thing, someone claiming the title of pastor should reign himself in. Stanley was disrespectful of small churches, then apologized later. In another instance, "What did he just say?", Stanley may have used a very bad word in a sermon. When the segment was legally posted on YouTube according to Fair Use provisions, his organization filed a take-down order and then edited out the questionable area. Making corrections in a Weblog post or article is one thing, but this looks like they're trying to hide a bad blunder.

For quite some time, Bible-believing theologians have been giving warnings about Andy Stanley. Back in May 2012, Albert Mohler noticed Stanley's tacit approval of homosexuality. Moving forward a few years, I'm more familiar with Chris "Fighting for the Faith" Rosebrough's podcasts about Stanley. Early in 2016, Rosebrough examined a sermon about the so-called "Temple Model" and a rewriting church history. He also reviewed the "Atheist 2.0" message, and others that you can search for on the site.

Andy's antics have been attracting the attention of others. Apologist Frank Turek, author of the book Stealing from God. (Ironic, because he says that atheists have to stand on the Christian worldview because theirs fails, which is what Cornelius Van Til and Dr. Greg Bahnsen said long ago. Who is stealing from whom?) Turek's bad theology and weak apologetic methods were the impetus of his defense of Andy Stanley, which was addressed by Dr. James White in devastating (albeit lengthy) detail on The Dividing Line. You can watch the video or find the link to the download here, the good stuff begins at the 12 minute 55 second mark. (If it helps, here is a link to the YouTube post of the same item, I instructed it to begin at the pertinent section.) There are several other video/audio links at Dr. White's Alpha and Omega Ministries site where he discusses Stanley's false teaching.

Most of what I've posted has been multimedia. For those who do not have time or interest but prefer to read, here is a very good article:
Andy Stanley has a church network of over 30,000 people in the Atlanta area, and his church was rated the fastest-growing in America in 2014 and 2015. Recently, he has been criticized by many evangelicals for saying that we need to take the focus off the Bible and put it on the Resurrection, because he claims that gives us a firmer foundation for our faith. As Stanley put it: “We believe Jesus rose from the dead not because the Bible says so. It is way better than that! Christianity does not hang by the thread of ‘The Bible told me so’.” And: “The original version [of Christianity], the pre-Bible version, was defensible, it was endurable, it was persecutable, it was fearless, it was compassionate, and it was compelling,” but he claims “it is next to impossible to defend the entire Bible”.
To read the rest, click on "Pastor Andy Stanley says the Bible is too hard to defend". We can pray for Stanley's repentance and submission to the Word of God.