In a recent sermon, Andy Stanley of North Point Church made the argument that the Christian faith rests on a person, Jesus, and a historical event, the Resurrection, not on the Bible (here). Pastor Stanley said, “I would ask preachers and pastors and student pastors in their communications to get the spotlight off the Bible and back on the resurrection.” Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, disagrees and responded with a strong rebuke.
Evangelical Christianity has a big problem, says Andy Stanley, and that problem is a reliance on the Bible that is both unwarranted and unhelpful. In a recent message delivered at North Point Community Church and posted online, Stanley identifies the evangelical impulse to turn to the Bible in our defense and presentation of Christianity as a huge blunder that must be corrected.
Some years ago, in light of another message Stanley preached at North Point, I argued that his apologetic ambition was, as we saw with Protestant liberalism a century ago, a road that will lead to disaster. No doubt, many Christians might be surprised to see an apologetic ambition identified as an entry point for theological liberalism, but this has held constant since Friedrich Schleiermacher, the father of modern theological liberalism, issued his book, On Religion: Speeches to its Cultured Despisers in 1799.