2018: Book #40
I just finished, “Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World,” by Andy Stanley. I must say that I was deeply disappointed by this book. These are a few of the more disturbing statements…
“If you grew up attending a conservative Bible-believing church, the ENTIRE Bible was authoritative, not just the New Testament – all sixty-six books. Consequently, from day one, many of us were unintentionally encouraged to mismatch and blend Old Testament concepts and values with New.”
“The Bible is all God’s Word…to somebody. But it’s not all God’s word to everybody.”
“Why do we insist on equating Jesus’ new covenant with the fulfilled-and now-absolute old covenant? Doing so makes our apologetic, our approach to sharing and defending our faith, far more complicated than it needs to be. Most evangelicals feel the need to defend the entire Bible, including God’s temporary covenant with Israel, in order to defend Christianity.”
“Jesus treated the Hebrew Scriptures as authoritative. Paul insisted they were God-breathed. Peter believed Jewish writers were carried along by the Holy. But they never claimed their faith was based on the integrity of the documents themselves.”
“So, just accept the fact that everything in Exodus through Malachi, while fascinating, is not binding. It’s not your covenant.”
There’s more…so much more to be nervous about.
You’re off the reservation. You make the point that the Ten Commandments don’t apply to Christians. Really?
The story of Jesus begins in the Old Testament. That Old Covenant, which is hard and difficult to defend, was used by God to bring the world a Messiah. Jesus didn’t happen in a vacuum. The story of redemption has a history. It happened for a reason.
The Ten Commandments do apply to us. They reveal to us the nature and character of God. They help us understand His holiness.
In another comment, you insinuate that perhaps parts of the Old Testament are not inspired. Stop. Stop it.
You also make the point that our faith isn’t based on the Bible, but it’s based on the resurrection of Jesus. Therefore, we should “unhitch” our faith from a book and put our faith in Jesus. I get it, but allow me to be clear–Jesus is revealed to us in the Gospels.
Those gospels are part of the Bible. Therefore, I must trust the Bible to be true. If the Bible isn’t true, then how can I trust the story of Jesus to be true? How can I trust the resurrection actually happened if the documents of the Bible are in question?
Finally, you want a new standard of morality. Instead of basing morality on the Bible, you want to define it on the ethic of love. I get it. Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” He also said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind….” I get it, but the love of God is revealed in the Bible. God has shown us what love is in the very pages you wish for us to ignore. Our morality is to be defined by the love of God. I agree. Yet and still, the only way I know what kind of love being talked about is to read the documents He inspired.
Bottom line, this is a dangerous book. It’s a very dangerous book.
I’d ask you not buy it. In fact, just avoid it altogether.
Allow me to affirm this truth: salvation is by Jesus alone. There is no moisture of the Old Covenant to be saved. However–and let me be clear–that doesn’t mean we rip the Old Testament from our Bibles and ignore it.
Stanley is a great communicator.
He’s not a good theologian.
I can’t recommend this book.
Zero out of 5 stars on this one.
That’s book #40 for 2018.
12 more to go to reach 52 by the end of the year.
Remember, all leaders are readers.
If you want to be a better leader…be a reader.