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Pastor and writer Andy Stanley recently sat down for an interview with podcasters and writer Michael Brown to further explain and discuss a sermon in which he suggested Christian “unhitch” themselves from the Old Testament. Afterward, Brown wrote a lengthy response called, “No, Andy Stanley, We Should Not Unhitch Ourselves From the Old Testament”

It’s a fascinating, and gracious, discussion about theology. In it, Stanley also explains why he prefers to not use the terminology “The Bible says …”

Once upon a time that was very effective in our country. Those days are long gone. But unfortunately, church leaders still want to leverage “the Bible says,” which is great for people who take the Bible seriously. [That’s] not my audience. I’m trying to recapture the imagination of people, adults and students who’ve left because of what else is in the Bible or because everyone is one click away from information or misinformation about the Bible.

Stanley also spoke with RELEVANT following some criticism online, and talked about the sermon, the importance of context and how to engage with scripture.

 

I approach a message series like a single sermon. I don’t try to cover everything in 35 minutes. I’m not that good. So, if you want to criticize my approach to preaching, fine. I would love to talk about that. But don’t criticize a statement in a sermon if you aren’t willing to spend the time necessary to appreciate the context. 

 All that to say, there are some folks who did not understand the point I was making. And for those who follow me on Twitter and who asked for clarification, I gave it. Over and over. Which I actually enjoy. I tell leaders all the time: Be a student, not a critic. Be curious.

 

We are working hard to engage with our post-Christian culture. We will not get it right every time. We will make mistakes. But we will not circle the wagons, pray for revival and hope Jesus comes soon to rescue us. It’s not about us. What’s at stake, what drives us, is the faith of the next generation. A generation that unlike previous generations is just a click away from infinite misinformation about our faith, the Bible and the Church. Years ago I embraced a new approach to preaching…how I talk about sin, faith, discipleship and the Bible in light of my concern for what is happening in our culture. My critics should be more curious. 

(h/t: Christian Post)