Friday, June 7, 2013

The Bible: Foundation of our faith or collection of ancient documents?

I don't normally pay attention to what is going on in the world of television preachers. But Andy Stanley has caused quite a stir on the internet over some comments he made about the historicity of Adam and Eve. 

I am not going to unpack everything Stanley said since this is a topic that has been trodden over more than once and in the end I disagree with his hermeneutic here. If you want to hear what he said go here and scroll to the bottom of the page to see the video clip.

What got me interested was not what Andy Stanley said, but those who responded to him. Denny Burk suggested the Stanley has somehow introduced a "Poison Pill" for the doctrine of scripture. Since then both Scot McKnight and Michael Bird have responded to Burk. 

What I find intriguing about Stanley's stance here is how he describes the Bible. 

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…

I think he gets it right, but I suspect the pyres will be burning him for sometime to come. What do you think about his take on the Bible?


  1. I tend to agree with Andy, but I think it's also helpful to consider what Andy is suggesting in this talk.

    The talk is not about whether Adam and Eve are historical (which Andy says he believes). This talk is about how to approach teaching the Bible to people who will not accept "What I'm telling you is true because the Bible says so, and the Bible is always true". That won't fly for most people who are not already Christians.

    I think it's helpful to dispel the idea that if you aren't convinced of every thing in the Bible you can't become a Christian and start the journey. I think that's a poor approach.

    Anyways, I think I agree with Andy as far as his position on this. The Bible is historical documents that we believe God inspired divinely, but they are still historical documents. It's not a monolithic book that was all written by one guy over a couple of years!

  2. I think it's the most dangerous thought going. No human could possibly have a clue who Christ is, what He accomplished or that He is resurrected w/o the biblical narrative.

    It replaced the eyewitnesses.

    This denigration of the value of the bible is extremely dangerous and if it succeeded, it wouldn't take a generation before we'd have another 100 different Jesus' to worship just as the early church had to navigate through due to the gnostics and Jesus warned of .

    OF COURSE our faith is based on Jesus of Nazareth of the bible, problem with Stanley's view is we wouldn't have a clue WHICH Jesus to worship w/o the bible.

  3. He's getting warm!!! Just take it one step further-- beyond historical anecdotes about Jesus of Nazareth to the living Christ --to the light of the world that shines so brilliantly within the soul of each and every one of us! Closer than your jugular vein, I tell you--nearer than hands and feet! :)