Irresistible Book Discussion: Conclusion - Let's Live the Love of Christ and Communicate His Truth Meaningfully

(SeanO) #1

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 :slight_smile: 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.

Why wrap up early?

I have decided to wrap up this book study - for myself at least, because I have read enough to know the major ways in which I disagree with Andy Stanley. And I do not see any benefit in regurgitating those repeatedly in a review of every additional chapter. I also want to avoid a spirit of criticism.

I appreciate Stanley’s ministry so much. I disagree with his hermeneutic regarding the Old Testament. I think that is the bottom line. The last two sections of the book focus on loving others by communicating Christ clearly and living out our faith - being the hands and feet of Jesus.

I encourage you guys to continue discussing if you want to, but for me, I think I’ve read enough to both know my opinion and to be ready to move onward and forward.

Thank you each for taking this journey with me - it’s been a blast! I hope that this process has been helpful :slight_smile:

Conclusion

Big Idea: God’s Kingdom overcomes by the love and sacrifice of the saints - let’s shine His light - let’s count the cost - let’s take up our cross.

Good Things

The story about the cross in the Roman Coliseum was very moving. If we combine that with the way the Christians served those suffering from the plague rather than fleeing, we begin to understand why Christianity spread so rapidly in a world that was filled with violence. Jesus really did turn the world upside down.

Critique

I think my previous posts include sufficient critique - I disagree with the way Stanley confuses the misuse of the OT with the OT itself. That, to me, is the core issue - one of hermeneutics. But I do not think Stanley has compromised the Gospel.

Quotes

Every generation of believers must be prepared to explain their decision to follow Jesus in their generation to their generation out of concern for their generation.

There was a time when the Bible says was reason enough. And while it may still be reason enough for you, it’s no reason at all for a significant percentage of the population.

For almost four centuries, the Roman Coliseum was a place where death, strength, and brutality were celebrated.

Hanging in the archway of the emperor’s gate is an enormous wooden cross.

Here were two symbols representing two kingdoms. The kingdom of this world and the kingdom of God. And in the end, the kingdom of God in Christ prevailed. The Roman Empire is no more. The Coliseum is a tourist attraction.

So why doesn’t everybody in America go to church? Perhaps it’s because our modern version of faith is easy to resist and thus easy to dismiss. Perhaps it’s because we’re too caught up in what’s in it for us rather than what love requires of us.

7 Likes
(Tabitha Gallman) #2

@SeanO, whew, I totally agree. Thank you so much Sean for taking so much of your time to read and review with us this book. You are an awesome leader and are so very genuine.

My husband always asks me if this is your day job, because I always tell him “Sean said this, or Sean shared this reference”. I told him I didn’t think this was your job, but if it is I hope you are compensated well for your time. (I’m guessing you are just being a good steward of your gifts.)

Thanks again Sean! :slightly_smiling_face:

4 Likes
(SeanO) #3

@tabby68 Haha - no, it’s not my job, but my compensation is my confident expectation that Christ is exalted and people edified through our discussions :slight_smile: I am an engineer by trade and have plenty of fruitful labor to keep me occupied - my job is a great blessing. I really like the people I work with and the projects I get to work on. So thankful for all that God provides!

7 Likes
(Darlene Medford) #4

Will this group be starting a new book?

2 Likes
(SeanO) #5

@darlene We are planning to do so - keep an eye out for new posts in the Book Studies category and feel free to come along once it gets rolling.

1 Like
(Darlene Medford) #6

Okay - thanks I will watch for it.

1 Like
(Andrew Bulin) #7

Thank you so much for all your dedication and work on this book, @SeanO!

I wish I was more on top of things, but to be open and honest, I found it difficult to reply and was rather hesitant because I could do nothing but criticize. I was left thinking at times, “Where do I even begin?”

I would say that Andy Stanley may be acting with a sincere heart to reach people with the Gospel, but I have to respectfully say he is also sincerely wrong when it comes to his interpretation of the Old Testament. And I think we’ve beaten that dead horse over and over. I do like the direction with living as Christ, being His hands and feet, and feel that this is really the attitude Andy would like us to take.

With regard to his treatment of the Bible, I have to turn to scripture to settle this in my heart. It reinforces what Paul told his young protégés, Timothy and Titus:

2 Timothy 4:3-5 NASB
[3] For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, [4] and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. [5] But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Titus 2:6-8 NASB
[6] Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; [7] in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, [8] sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.

In love, I have to disagree with Andy and caution anyone who chooses to interpret the Old Testament in this way. This is why it is important as Christians (and apologists) to be prepared to understand and interpret the Bible correctly. It’s not something that we have to apologize for on God’s behalf. There is integrity and truth in the biblical text, and I believe that:

2 Timothy 3:16 NASB
[16] All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

6 Likes
(SeanO) #8

@andrew.bulin I agree completely that Stanley’s interpretation is incorrect and that we have discussed the issues at great length. So glad you’ve been along for the journey and hope to see you in our next book discussion :slight_smile:

4 Likes
(ThomasHeld) #9

@SeanO @andrew.bulin @tabby68 @psalm151ls @O_wretched_man @Jimmy_Sellers @Stephen_Wuest @srh4141

Hi Everyone,

Andrew has summed-up my thoughts completely and I agree with the rest of his post. There’s really no need to add more.

One observation: Our Eastern Orthodox Brothers and Sisters in Christ greatly revere the OT - this book argues against the very Word of God they celebrate - and we should celebrate, too.

Here’s a link that maybe helpful. God bless.

http://www.abideinchrist.com/messages/christoldtestament.html