Bible

Unhitch from the Old Testament?

Problem

unhitched wagon
Photo by Stephen Hui on Unsplash

There was quite a kerfuffle awhile back. Pastor Andy Stanley said that when people have trouble accepting God/Christianity, “the Old Testament is usually the culprit.” His proposed solution was that we should “unhitch” from the Old Testament. I cringe every time I hear that. I can’t imagine myself looking the Lord in the face and saying, “Hey, perfect, all-knowing Creator, you messed up with that book of yours. It’s a problem!”

Yikes.

What are we gonna do with the Bible’s own statements, including ones made by Jesus himself, about the Old Testament? Like these (and there are tons more!):

  • Psalm 119:97-100, 127—David’s love of God’s Word because it gave him wisdom, understanding, insight
  • Romans 15:4—those past writings were preserved to teach us
  • 1 Corinthians 10:11— the Old Testament equals examples and warnings
  • 2 Timothy 3:16, 17—ALL Scripture is profitable …

And how do we dismiss the fact that Jesus’ three responses to Satan during the temptation (Matthew 4) were all quotes from Deuteronomy?

Solution

So let’s back up. Instead of accusing the Lord’s Word, why not more accurately state that people’s misconceptions about the Old Testament can be problematic? Surely someone as famous as Pastor Stanley has advisers around him who could have helped him with a bit of editing.

My proposed solution is that we believers should get to know the Scripture better. Then we can do a more efficient job of helping friends understand it—including those parts that are often misunderstood or misrepresented.

And perhaps we should ask our ministers (and maybe Pastor Stanley’s flock could ask him?) to do a sermon series on “The Top 10 Supposed Problems in the Old Testament.”

Others have written at length on Pastor Stanley’s stance of unhitching from the Old Testament. This article and this one  trigger some thought-provoking questions.

 

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1 thought on “Unhitch from the Old Testament?

  1. Thank you.
    These leaders are held to a higher standard since they lead–or mislead–huge numbers of trusting folks. If he hasn’t, Stanley should repent and apologize. Then clean slate.

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