This is a book discussion of Andy Stanley’s book ‘Irresistible’ prompted by @tabby68, @O_wretched_man, @Lakshmismehta and @andrew.bulin . There have been some accusations against the book and we would like to take the time to hear what Andy Stanley is really trying to say and to offer thoughtful, gracious critique. Below is a podcast interview with Andy Stanley you may find helpful as well as the original post that started the discussion.
To participate - read along with us and share your thoughts and opinions My thoughts are here hopefully to prompt discussion - so please do join in with your observations / thoughts so that we can all benefit from your perspective. May the Lord Jesus guide our discussion.
Big Idea: Israel abandoned God and God left the temple and the nation. But God had not forgotten His promise to Abraham. A Messiah would come, a descendant of David, as prophesied by Isaiah, and be a light to the nations.
After King David life things went south - Solomon’s son was an incompetent ruler and the nation was divided. After a succession of mostly bad kings both the northern kingdom, Israel, and the southern kingdom, Judah, were ransacked and the inhabitants sent into exile. God had left the temple and the nation. 70 years after Judah’s exile Cyrus allowed them to return to Jerusalem and they rebuilt the temple, but God never inhabited it as He had before. Instead, God was planning something much bigger as the prophet Isaiah had foretold - a Messiah would come who would bless the nations and fulfill God’s promise to Abraham in spite of Israel’s faithlessness. God would no longer dwell in temples, which He never needed in the first place. He would take up residence in a Galilean carpenter and shake the world.
A good transition chapter as Stanley moves from the history of the nation of Israel to the life of the Messiah.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.1 Not gonna happen. Once again, this was an era of conquest, plunder, and enslavement. Nobody was trying to be a “light” to anybody. Nobody was trying to save anybody other than themselves. After Isaiah died, Judah, the Southern Kingdom, was invaded by Babylon.
Best we can tell, he never moved in. He never “inhabited” the renovated temple. Spoiler alert: God never inhabited Herod’s renovated edition either. Apparently, God was done with temples.
In spite of everything they had done to dishonor his name, God was committed to fulfilling his covenant with Abraham. Israel would be a means to his end. The world would, in fact, be blessed through them.
Once God had everything and everyone in place . . . God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. When no one expected it. When most had given up hope. As the Roman Republic transitioned to empire . . . God moved.
God would visit the temple one last time. But not as a cloud. This time he would show up as a Galilean day laborer turned rabbi. A rabbi who would start a fire neither empire nor temple would extinguish. And in the end, as promised, all the nations of the world would be blessed.