Things I Wish Andy Stanley Wouldn’t Say

The Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission (ERLC) national conference kicked off yesterday and the theme of the conference is how to engage culture effectively with the Gospel. Dr. Russell Moore sat with Pastor Andy Stanley to discuss leadership, preaching and cultural engagement. 

In their conversation Pastor Andy Stanley speaking to pastors said “I would tell pastors to get the spotlight off the Bible and back on the resurrection.” As you can imagine Pastor Andy Stanley’s statement sent shockwaves throughout the twitter sphere. When I heard it I cringed a little and when ERLC releases the conference video I plan on relistening to their convertsation. But as I sat and contemplated what I heard of the conversation, I must say, Pastor Andy Stanley’s statement puts forth a false dichotomy. 

The Bible and the ressurection of Christ are not at odds with each other. The Bible is the spotlight a “lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). What is the Bible spotlighting? The life, death and ressurection of Jesus Christ. We would have no idea of the ressurection of Jesus without Spirit inspired writers informing us of the historical event.

One day when Jesus was engaging the religious culture of his day he said, 

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. – John 5:39-40

Jesus was pointing out that the Old Testament Scriptures, which they studied profusely, bore witness to Christ. The Bible wasn’t at fault for their lack of recognition of truth it was their refusal to come. Jesus pointed out it was their hearts, which refused to come, as the reason they didn’t find life in Christ. So if you follow the thread in the passage, accepting Christ leads to life, but the only way we know about that life is through the Scriptures. The Bible and Jesus Christ are forever linked, you can’t come to Christ without the Gospel which the Scriptures proclaim and you will not understand the Scriptures without Jesus Christ. 

We must engage culture with the Gospel, which we find in the Bible. The content of our message is immutable, but how we engage the culture is crucial to being effective Gospel witnesses in the 21st century. Peter exhorts us to engage the culture with gentleness and respect. 

In the past our methods of engaging people with the Gospel have been cringe worthy. Instead of being Gospel people witnessing with gentleness and respect we have repelled people by our witness. I don’t know how many times I have heard “God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.” Do we actually believe a comment like that will actually bring the LGBQT community to the table to discuss the Gospel. What about referring to those of another race as “those people” or racial slurs, do we really believe we are speaking with gentleness and respect? In our increasingly pluralistic and diverse society we must be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. The Gospel is offensive do not add to the offense by how you engage the culture. 

You can livestream the conference which kicks off at 8:30 am on Friday. 

Until Next Time 

Solo Deo Gloria

The Early Bird Gets The Link 

The Early Bird Gets The Link is a daily roundup of interesting and thought provoking articles, videos, or audio clips.
Millennials Don’t Want Your Sex for Now. Here’s Why

The next generation inhabits a sexually charged landscape though surprising new research suggests a cooling down

Help Me Teach the Bible: Rosaria Butterfield on Teaching with Openness, Unhindered

Worth listening to.

Remember Their Names

How can you help family members of public figures like pastors, politicians, entertainers, and other community leaders?

Calvinism, Hyper-Calvinism, and World Missions

In his most famous work, The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation, Andrew Fuller piles text upon text in which unbelievers are addressed with the duty to believe. These are his final court of appeal against the High Calvinists, who use their professed logic to move from biblical premises to unbiblical conclusions.

7 Dangers of Embracing Mere Therapeutic Forgiveness

Brauns does a phenomenal job of showing the difference between biblical forgiveness and what he terms therapeutic forgiveness.

The Early Bird Gets The Link 

The Romans 12:2 Approach to Knowing God’s Will
We all desire to know God’s will, this article speaks to that desire and has links to resources for further studying. 

BLOCKED! Engaging False Teachers on Social Media

All that said, what is our motivation? What is the posture of our hearts as we purposely seek to be blocked on social media by a false teacher? Are we responding out of vengeance? Are we addressing these false teachers as a way to playfully mock those seemingly condemned?

How to Live with the Unappeasable Unbeliever

So what do you do? What do you do when someone absolutely refuses to live in peace with you—at least so long as you are hanging on to biblical truth?

Meet a Reformed Arminian

“Reformed Arminian.” Such a phrase seems an oxymoron along the lines of jumbo shrimp, heated ice, or left-wing conservative.

Help Me Teach the Bible: Rosaria Butterfield on Teaching with Openness, Unhindered

Worth Listening to.

How Donald Trump Divided and Conquered the Religious Right

It’s time for me to sit down for a nice meal of crow.

The Early Bird Gets The Link

The Early Bird Gets The Link is a daily roundup of interesting and thought provoking articles, videos, or audio clips.
How Sould We Speak to Our Culture About Sex?

Tim Keller, Russell Moore and Kevin DeYoung discuss the topic. 

Wait to Date Until You Can Marry

The spiritual war for our hearts is real, and the stakes are high, so it’s critical to ask why we think we should date in the first place. Why did I have a girlfriend when I was twelve (and thirteen, and fourteen, and even eighteen)?

Is Not Voting an Option for Christians?

If the early church in the Roman empire had possessed the right to vote, would casting a ballot for Nero have been a God honoring choice? What about his rival Gaius Calpurnius Piso, who most would argue wasn’t as evil as Nero but was an adulterer and conspirator? The early church, despite their lack of rights, did not seem overly concerned who sat on the Roman throne, instead choosing to invest in Kingdom work that would last regardless of who was in charge of the empire. It leads me to think we might prioritize the same way.

Should We Help Believers Escape Persecution?

Do our churches, our sending agencies, and our organizations that study persecution know when to leave Joseph in Egypt? Despite our affection for Joseph, do we understand that ultimately Joseph belongs to God, and that God can do with him whatever he desires? Is it possible for us to become emotionally, psychologically, physically, and spiritually strong enough to know when to leave “our Joseph” with God in a seemingly dangerous place?

Prayer is Joining a Conversation Already in Progress

Prayer – amazingly, gloriously – is when we join a conversation already in progress.

Life Hacking Gone Wrong: The Story of Benjamin Franklin

This interview with Thomas Kidd by Tony Reinke is worth listening to. 

The Early Bird Gets The Link

The Early Bird Gets The Link is a daily roundup of interesting and thought provoking articles, videos, or audio clips.

The Feminization of Christianity

This series by the Art of Manliness has definitely been interesting. “Welcome back to our series on the relationship between Christianity and masculinity, which aims to explore the historical and cultural factors that have made women statistically more likely to be committed to the religion than men.”

Given Deborah, Jael, and Judith, Why Shouldn’t Women Serve in Combat?

Here are three different views concerning women in combat. 

Simon Goulart’s Path to Joy

John Piper isn’t kidding when he says that he didn’t make this Christian hedonism stuff up. There is a rich history of “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him”. 

6 Observations about Leading Children to Jesus

There is no greater honor as a pastor than to lead someone to trust in Jesus. When it comes to the children in our churches, this honor is a great responsibility. Here are 6 observations about talking with children regarding faith in Jesus Christ.

10 Ways to Lie About Addiction

Fragmentation: One helpful way to think of deception within addiction is fragmentation; telling parts (i.e., fragments) of your story as if they were the whole story and expecting others to respond accordingly.

The Gospel According to ‘Stranger Things’

I must admit I enjoyed the Netflix original Stranger Things. Here is one writers take on seeing the Gospel in Stranger Things. 

Live Life With The End In Mind

Remember those Allstate commercials, “life comes at you fast” and they show some tragic event to your home or car. The reason those commercials work is because it’s true. Life comes fast and furious, we are faced with trials & temptations of all kinds. Peter said this, 

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. -(1 Peter 1:6-7)

In This Rejoice

Peter told his audience and he tells us to rejoice in this and the this he is referring to is the grace you have received through the death and ressurection of Jesus. He was explaining to them God’s great mercy toward those who believe and this is an overview,

  • God has caused you be born again to a living hope
  • He has taken a sinner and has made him an heir with and inheritance in heaven
  • God guards and keeps you until Christ comes back. 

Peter says when life comes at you fast rejoice in Christ past work and your present salvation.

Testing of Your Faith

Peter also reminds us that when life comes at us fast, it is not surprising or purposeless. Every situation that comes to our life, is first approved by God. Although the trial and temptation may surprise us, it is not a surprise to God. Although it may be tough, God uses every situation to test and mature us, to grow up in our salvation. So Peter says to focus on Christ past work and your present salvation and remember though it may get rough, God is using the trials and temptations to grow you up in your salvation. 

Live Life With The End In Mind

Finally, Peter tells them us to live life now with the end in mind. Notice what he says, that the testing may result in praise, honor and glory, when, at the revelation of Jesus Christ. So when we are going through life and life comes at us fast Peter says live life with the end in mind. If you jump down a few lines Peter says,

set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 1:13

He is exhorting us to set our hope on future grace. The hope the Bible talks about isn’t a simple wish, like we use the word hope today. Biblical hope is the assurance that what God promises will come to pass. When God issues a promise you can take that check to the bank and cash it, it will happen. So when life comes at you fast remember Christ past work, your present salvation, God uses life’s situation to mature you and remember future grace and live life with the end in mind.  

Until Next Time 

Solo Deo Gloria