There’s an argument brewing within the Christian church about the foundation of faith.
I was actually obliviously unaware of this argument when I began writing my upcoming study, “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament.” I only became acutely aware of it earlier this week when I heard about a prominent mega-pastor preaching about “unhitching” our faith from the Old Testament.
That was Andy Stanley, the senior pastor of the North Point Community Church in Georgia and the son of the great pastor and teacher Charles Stanley.
It immediately struck me that disconnecting, de-emphasizing, detaching from the Hebrew Scriptures was absurd. But what did Stanley have in mind?
Here’s something he said back in 2013: “The foundation of our faith is not the Scriptures. 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?'”
Apparently, Stanley doesn’t just want Christians to stop relying on the Old Testament as a foundation of their faith, he also wants Christians to stop believing in the credibility of the New Testament. Instead, he suggests, the foundation of our faith should be limited to a single historical event that happened about 2,000 years ago about which we know almost nothing outside of the New Testament accounts.
Does that make any sense?
“I would ask preachers and pastors and student pastors in their communications to get the spotlight off the Bible and back on the Resurrection,” Stanley said in 2016.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe the Resurrection of Jesus is, without question, a foundational pillar of the Gospel of personal salvation, an event of monumental consequence in the annals of the world, a cornerstone of the Christian faith, something that should never be diminished in importance by any believer.
Yet, how does one create and build faith around an event that is prophesied by the Old Testament, which needs to be “unhitched” from our studies, and the New Testament, which cannot be understood fully without the indispensable foundation that comes from the Old?
Isn’t Andy Stanley, and others who take or accept such a position, actually eroding the miraculous evidence the Resurrection not only took place but was necessary in the entire plan of God from Creation?
Isn’t one of the names of Jesus “the Word of God”? (John 1:14) Didn’t the Word of God become flesh through Him? And isn’t all Scripture, Old Testament and New, the literal, inerrant Word of God?
And why did Jesus come into the world? Why did He have to come in the flesh as the Word? Why did He have to die for the sins of the world and rise again?
These are important questions to the foundation of our faith as Christians, and the answers cannot and should not be reduced or oversimplified by discarding three-quarters of the Word of God from Genesis through Malachi. That would make the job of the evangelist and the disciple so much harder, would it not?
Apparently, Stanley and others are uncomfortable with the Hebrew Scriptures. Perhaps they think they have worn out their welcome, have been invalidated by science and academia or that they are no longer relevant following Jesus’ work on the cross.
What I discovered in my work on “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament” is just the opposite – that what Jesus accomplished is bolstered by the Hebrew Scriptures that testify to Him and His message. It’s the same message. In fact, as the Word made flesh, Jesus was ultimately the author of those Scriptures, not to mention the Creator of the world. (John 1:3)
Finding the Gospel in all 39 books of the Hebrew Scriptures has undergirded my faith, making it unshakeable. And I believe it will for anyone who reads my new book and uses it as a study guide to all 66 books of the Bible. That’s what happens when you realize the Bible is one fully integrated miraculous message, one supernaturally stitched together story, one perfect and wholly consistent in theme and essence.
Find out how you can support the upcoming release of “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament” as a new resource for spreading the Good News to the uttermost parts of the Earth, as Jesus commanded.
Here are just a few of the ways:
- You can make non-tax-deductible contributions in amounts from $3 to $5,000 online in the WND Superstore. For contributions of $100 or more, donors will receive an “Advance VIP Reader Copy” signed by the author and an early e-book copy.
- You can make a tax-deductible contribution online through the Gospel for All Nations ministry. By special arrangement with Gospel for All Nations, tax-deductible donations can be made in any amount.
- More information about the book and the campaign is available at OldTestamentGospel.com and by writing to Joseph Farah at [email protected]