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Irresistible

Irresistible

Resisting Irresistible on the Basis of Scripture

November 13, 2018
Irresistible

Review of Irresistible by Ray Simmons

I began reading Andy Stanley’s book, Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World, with some optimism. I am an elder in a church near Atlanta with 400 or so people. North Point Community Church, where Andy Stanley is senior pastor, currently averages 38,000 people in attendance among its six campuses each week in the Atlanta area (Wikipedia). Results Speak! After completing the book (yes, I read the whole thing…) I am in abject horror that such a highly influential person in Evangelical Christianity has rejected essential elements of the Christian Way. Please read on as I describe my experience with his book that produced this horror. Please enjoy the satire in my review. It is not one of my characteristics. I felt it appropriate since Andy Stanley uses this method throughout his book.

 

First Five Chapters. Andy (the name he likes to be called) describes how Israel failed God but God did not fail Israel, and how the Jewish leadership under Rome was powerful and corrupt. After the brief overview of the Old Testament, Andy impressed me with a sharp exegesis on Jesus’ prophesy about the destruction of the Temple. He then switched gears to secular history with the adventure of how Vespasian besieged Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple in AD 70. Good stuff!

Then at the end of chapter 5, the horror began: “God’s covenant with the nation had served its purpose. It was no longer needed. Why? Because something greater than the temple had come. Something that would make the temple, and everything associated with it obsolete. Something new. Something better. Something for the whole world. Ancient Israel was a means to an end. The end had come. The new was just beginning.” (p. 65) What an extreme statement with no basis! Ok Andy. You did it. You have my shocked attention.

 

Chapter Six. Andy seems to passionately despise the Catholic “Church” for convicting William Tyndale of heresy, then strangling and burning him. In Tyndale’s English translation of the New Testament he translated “ekklesia” as “congregation” instead of “church”. Sir Thomas More, Tyndale’s Catholic opponent in England, also condemned a few more of his words. Andy said, “How could that be? It could be because by this time in church history much of what Jesus came to replace had been put back in place. As we will discover throughout our journey together, whenever the church opts to mix old with new, bad things happen. People get hurt.” (p. 78) Andy seems to imply that the Catholic Church executed Tyndale, not because of the Protestant Reformation that engulfed all of Europe, but because Tyndale agreed with Andy. Wow! What power!

 

Chapter Seven. Andy explains what Jesus said at the last supper, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” (p. 83) We have finally arrived. Andy reaches for the New. The following happened because Christians did not understand Andy’s New Covenant:

  1. The fourth century Church abandoned the new covenant after AD 313, when Constantine issued his famous Edict of Milan, which recognized and protected Christianity. (p. 87) They persecuted pagans based on Old Testament Scripture, Deuteronomy 13:6-10. Uh Oh! The “Church” is born, the ekklesia is now a remnant.
  2. The eleventh century Church not only killed “Muslim infidels”, but “thousands of Jews were murdered, and their property confiscated”. (p. 88) Wait! Weren’t the Crusades more complicated than that?
  3. The sixteenth century Church “had drifted so far from the tenets of the new covenant… the result was Protestantism”. “But it’s a mistake to assume our brand of Christianity is free of all old covenant leftovers. It’s not.” (p. 90) Despite the five solas, even Protestants didn’t agree with Andy. Bummer!
  4. “The modern church suffers from its own version of mix-and-match theology and orthopraxy.” (p. 90) (“correctness or orthodoxy of action or practice”.) We don’t do Theology or Church right. Aw Shucks!
  5. Andy considers himself its victim, “Why would I blow up my career by writing this book?” (p. 91) Gotcha!

Wow! Mixing New covenant with Old is really bad! Why? Nothin’ yet. So far just baseless accusations.

 

Chapter Eight. Andy makes more baseless assertions all the way to the end of the chapter, then, Yay! Finally! At the end of chapter 8 Andy gives us something: a definition of an “unconditional covenant”. It’s to Abraham in Genesis 15. Andy gives us significant details on how the unconditional covenant is ceremonially confirmed and what makes it unconditional. (p. 100) Genesis 15:7-17. But he leaves out the covenant’s contents. So, let’s fix that. v. 6 says, “And [Abraham] believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.” Justification by faith in the Old Testament! Surely not. The Covenant contents are before and after; v. 5 says:

“And He [the Lord] brought him [Abraham] outside and said, ‘Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’”

Immediately after the unconditional ceremony, Genesis gives us the rest in Genesis 15:18:

“On that day the Lord made a covenant with [Abraham], saying, ‘To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.’” (I know, I know. I put all the “-ites” in on purpose. Be patient.)

How can this be!? Andy says the old conditional covenant with Moses was about “Ancient Israel”, including the People, the Land, the Laws, the Kings, and the Temple. Clearly, the unconditional covenant with Abraham has the People and the Land in it. God counted Abraham’s believing Him about the unconditional covenant, containing People and Land, as righteousness (quoted in Romans 4:3, Galatians 3:6, and James 2:3). Andy, how about justification by faith? Has it been fulfilled and no longer applies to us?

We get more detail regarding the unconditional covenant with Abraham in Genesis 17:3-8,

“Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, ‘Behold, my covenant is with you… And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.’”

Doesn’t “Everlasting” mean eternal, without end? Here, two things are everlasting, (1) the covenant with Abraham and his offspring, (2) the possession of the land. Let’s see… that means People and Land. Genius!

 

Uh oh Andy! You messed up big time. Your main thesis cites an unconditional covenant in contrast with the conditional Mosaic covenant, where God promised Abraham unconditionally, to take land away from a bunch of People-ites and give it to Israel-ites forever. Do I sense a little disagreement with God about how He kept His unconditional and eternal covenant promise with Abraham and Israel? Since the unconditional covenant contains land and people, why do you include that in the Mosaic covenant? This is a critical, argument defeating error.

 

So far, Andy has given us an amazing mass of unsupported assertions and the critical error leaving out the contradiction in the contents of the Abrahamic covenant. Here is what Andy suggests we tell our children: “The Bible is a book organized around two covenants: one between God and ancient Israel and one between God and you! Focus on the second one. The covenant between God and Israel is obsolete. Read it for historical context and inspiration. But don’t try any of that stuff at home!” So much for “everlasting”. Andy, why tell our children about only two covenants? There are perhaps seven distinct covenants in the Bible, traditionally labeled: Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Return (Deuteronomy 29-30), Davidic, and New. You write nothing on how to deal with five of these. Instead, you simply declare the Mosaic covenant over and done with. Your bellicose arguments are not persuasive.

 

Andy’s thesis fails the standards of even a valid explanation about the covenants. Because it is so radical, the burden of proof is on him. So, his thesis must be the best explanation, or it fails. So far, it completely fails.

 

Short Chapter Nine. Near the end of the chapter, Andy asserts, “Judaism, as prescribed by Moses at Mount Sinai, ceased to exist. To use Jesus’ term, it “disappeared.” As Jesus predicted,13 God’s covenant with Israel was no longer needed. It had been fulfilled and replaced with a better covenant. A new covenant.” (p.111) In the scriptures named under note 13, all that disappears is the Temple, not Israel. Remember, Israel is more than just the Mosaic covenant. Even if every element of that covenant ceased to exist, Israel remains. Andy, What do you mean by “Judaism” anyway? Are you trying to make something besides Israeli Jews the culprit?

 

Scripture teaches moral laws Andy thinks “disappeared”. Jesus affirmed one in Mark 7:9-13,

And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother’; and, Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)— then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

If Jesus affirms a moral law vs. “tradition” in the Mosaic covenant, calling it “the word of God”, why shouldn’t we? There are numerous examples of these affirmations in the gospels and in the epistles.

 

Andy is way not done yet. Let’s dig in.

Chapter Ten. The Great Commission, Saul’s conversion, Peter’s vision, The Jerusalem council and letter.

  1. Regarding the Great Commission, Andy says, “Jesus wrapped up his final words by instructing his followers to center their teaching on his commandments, not those other ones.” (p. 113) There Andy goes again, making a distinction without a difference. Jesus, the Son of God, participated in creating the moral commands throughout the Torah with God the Father. God the Father gave them to Moses. Andy, Given His moral law affirmations, why can’t you accept that Jesus gave them to his disciples during his human life on earth. Rather than excludes it, the, “all things I have commanded” includes it.
  2. Regarding Saul’s conversion, Andy says, “So the disciples remained in the predominantly Jewish populated regions of Judea and Galilee. Consequently, the gospel intended for all nations took on a uniquely Jewish flavor. The old began infringing on the new. Something needed to be done.” (p. 114) Huh? The old infringing on the new? Zero, zilch, zip, nada, no evidence for this statement! In Acts 1:8 Jesus says, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” This is the exact order through Acts 12. In Acts 13, Paul and Barnabas began the “to the end of the earth” phase. Andy, didn’t you learn in seminary that eisegesis is a no-no?
  3. Regarding Peter’s vision, Andy says, “They couldn’t get it through their hearts and heads that Jesus had completely—once and for all, stick a fork in it, put down your pencil, exit the plane, tip the waiter—fulfilled the old covenant. It was over.” (p. 119) Hey Andy, could it be possible, heaven forbid, that Peter’s vision is simply an extension of what he told the high priest in Acts 5:31, “God exalted him [Christ] at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.”? Compare that with 11:18, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.” Peter is saying that salvation is not about the sacrificial and ceremonial law. Peter saw “common and unclean” food. Andy, please find some way to disprove the differences between, sacrificial, ceremonial, and moral laws.
  4. Regarding “sexual immorality” in the Church Council letter described in Acts 15:20, Andy says, “Is it realistic to think these Gentiles knew the Levitical law so well that the mere mention of ‘sexual immorality’ immediately brought to mind the entire list of prohibitions outlined in Leviticus? I don’t think so. That assumes too much.” (p. 129) Andy, you assume way too much. Well educated Paul and Barnabas, their teachers, knew the Torah intimately including the meaning of “sexual immorality” in Leviticus. I effortlessly assume they taught it to the Gentiles.
  5. Another regarding the letter, Andy says, “the Council’s letter signaled a permanent break with the Jewish Scriptures as the foundation for orthopraxy”. (p. 130) There he goes again… another absolute declaration without even one argument that the letter extends beyond sacrificial and ceremonial laws. The letter even affirms the moral law about “sexual immorality”; decisive evidence against Andy’s overstatements.

 

Chapter Eleven. Andy’s First Point. Romans and Galatians exegesis. More difficult. It’s Theology.

  1. Regarding Romans 7:4, “you also have died to the law through the body of Christ” Andy says, “According to Paul, Jesus followers are dead to the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments have no authority over you. None.” (p. 136) As in this whole section of the book attacking the Old Testament, Andy’s explanation is out of context and overstated. The result is a mega-error. Let’s fix that.

      What Paul Said Before Romans 7:4.

      What is the Topic Paul was discussing?  The topic is Romans 7:1-3. A woman’s husband died. By his death, she was free to marry and belong to another man. Paul makes a very simple statement: “a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage.” The law’s authority on marriage and adultery, did not vanish. It simply no longer applied to her.

      When Paul says, “you have died to” or “you are dead to”, what does he mean? Paul explained “dead to sin” very clearly in Romans 6:11-12, “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.” Christ died to sin and we died with him. The power of sin no longer applies. Also, our power not to obey our body’s passion is a result of being dead to sin. Paul defined “sin” and “righteousness” in 6:19, “…just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.”  Paul defines righteousness as the opposite of lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness, so righteousness is lawfulness. Stated simply, we keep the moral law because it is “right” and choosing against it is “sin”. Paul explained the penalty for sin in 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Christ paid the penalty of death for sin, so the it no longer applies to us.

So, “Dead to” means that an aspect of something no longer applies to me.

      What Paul Said After Romans 7:4.

      What did the moral law do? Romans 7:5-6, “… our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.” And in 8:1-2, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” These give us some aspects of the moral law: To arouse our sinful passions. To define sin and command right. To condemn us with guilt when we sin. To set death as the penalty for that guilt.

      What aspects of the moral law no longer apply? Here is the list from Romans: Its power to arouse sinful passions. Its penalty for sin. Its condemnation when we sin.

      We have arrived. What does “you also have died to the law” mean?

Condemnation by the moral law no longer applies. Why? Because Christ, through his body, took on himself its condemnation for our sin. We are dead to the law’s condemnation because we are “in Christ”, who paid the penalty of our condemnation. Christ won! The law’s power to arouse sin, condemnation, and penalty are gone. But the moral law still defines sin and commands right. God’s purpose for the moral law to expose our sin by defining it, still applies. Come on, Andy! “The Ten Commandments have no authority over you. None.” You didn’t get that from God. Why do you hate God’s moral law so much that you would bend so low against it?

  1. Regarding Galatians 1:6, “different gospel”, Andy says, “Paul calls the blended covenant model a ‘perversion.’” (p. 141) Whoa! Nowhere is Paul talking about “a blended covenant model”. Eisegesis!
  2. Regarding Galatians 3:24, “the law was our guardian until Christ came”, Andy says, “With the inauguration of the new covenant, the old covenant lost its authority.” (p. 143) Paul explained it in 3:8-10, “Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”

Paul teaches that the purpose of the law is not to “give life” but to imprison “everything under sin.” The law does this in three progressive steps: (1) it defines sin, (2) it declares guilt for sin, and (3) it provides continual sacrifices and ceremonies, pointing to the Messiah, to “cover” the guilt. When Christ came, only item (3) changed. Christ offered the final sacrifice for our sin and saves us through faith in Him.

  1. Regarding Galatians 5:1-15, “circumcision”. Andy says, “The moment anyone attempts to smuggle anything old into the new, the new becomes old. And the smuggler is obligated to embrace all of the old. The smuggler is obligated to slit animal throats and stone adulterers. The smuggler is obligated to marry his daughter off to the teenage idiot that steals her virginity.” (p. 143) Here he goes again… no distinction between civil, sacrificial and moral laws.

Civil: gone before Christ. Sacrificial: fulfilled. Moral: remains.

  1. Assassination of King David. Andy says, “David was barbaric and violent. He raided and looted villages and murdered all the inhabitants to cover his tracks. But he loved God’s law. David saw no conflict between God’s law and what we consider cold-blooded, racially motivated murder.” (p. 146) My jaw dropped in surprised horror. God called David, “a man after my heart” Acts 13:22. Every one of David’s attacks that year or so he was living with the Philistines, was against people-ites named in the Abrahamic covenant. David was the anointed King of Israel. What about today’s Israel? What about Israel’s land and people? They have had to fight several wars since 1948 independence and are in constant low-level war with the surrounding Islamic nations. How different was that from what David did? On my trip to Israel, I was amazed by how many Israeli people are inspired by King David. Andy, have you never read Psalm 51 and used it as a pattern of confession on your knees before God? I have.
  2. Paul’s Rejection of “the dual covenant model”. Andy says, “the legalism, hypocrisy, self-righteousness, and exclusivity that characterized ancient Judaism would eventually seep into and erode the beauty, simplicity, and appeal of the ekklesia of Jesus.” (p. 146) Then he tells a story about a church-going, racist father from rural Georgia. Andy, do you really believe this white, racist father is against his daughter’s marrying a black man because he disagrees with your position on moral law?

 

Chapters Twelve and Thirteen. Andy is on a roll… off the cliff! “Better Covenant” in Hebrews. Go for it!

  1. Regarding the better covenant, Hebrews 8, Andy says, “The author of Hebrews says the new covenant rendered the old and everything associated with it obsolete.” and “One author of the Bible is calling the work of another author of the Bible obsolete and outdated.” (p. 153) Oh Andy, Andy… not again.

The main theme of Hebrews is set forth in 1:8-9, “But of the Son [Jesus] he says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.’” This quotes Psalm 45:6-7. There is no doubt that the author’s “righteousness” and “wickedness” is the moral law defined in the TaNaKh (Hebrew Scriptures, including Moses), to his Hebrew audience. So, here we go again; Andy takes Hebrews 8:13 out of context… First, Andy leaves out 8:1-2, “Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man.” Whoa!? We have a “high priest… in heaven”? We have a “minister… in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man”? Andy’s thesis says that high priests, tents and holy places were abolished. Hebrews disagrees. It says the earthly ones were, but not the heavenly ones.

Second, the author of Hebrews further down explains what he means by “obsolete and old” in Hebrews 9:24-28, “For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he [Christ] would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” The author is clearly not talking about “everything associated with” the Mosaic covenant such as the land, people or the moral law. He is talking about the Messiah bringing an end to the sacrificial and ceremonial laws that were “copies” of the reality in heaven. These copies were to continue until the Messiah finished it with his one-time sacrifice of himself in the real holy place in heaven. This “copy,” the sacrificial and ceremonial law is what is old and obsolete.

Andy, Hebrews is “hard to explain” (5:11), but to take what is clear in Hebrews, only with a little effort, and misinterpret it with such outlandish eisegesis, “the old and everything associated with it,” makes me start questioning your motives. Are you after truth or something else?

 

  1. Andy summarizes the remainder of his chapter twelve through chapter thirteen by this comment, “Christianity has a compelling, verifiable, historical story to tell. But the moment we anchor our story to an old covenant narrative and worldview, we lose our case in the marketplace.” (p. 158) So here it is. Andy revealed his motive: Surrender to culture, have the Bible say what it does not, and make Christ’s ekklesia into what is attractive in your community. For what? To make it easier to compete in the marketplace of ideas. Oh Andy, I empathize with your desires to be “attractional”, but PLEASE, do not compete at this cost.

 

Chapter Fifteen. Andy’s Second Point. He gets to the BIG one: a single command that replaces all of God’s revealed law. The law’s obsolescence has relieved us of its authority, so we need a replacement. He quotes John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” Andy says, “Jesus didn’t issue his new command as an additional commandment to the existing list of commands. Jesus issued his new commandment as a replacement for everything in the existing list. Including the Big Ten.” (p. 196) What a bold and unproven “everything” claim! Without God’s moral law, Andy’s substitute dings empty and hollow. Sin and righteousness evaporate into a soft unreality.  Objective morality flushed down the toilet. “Good and Evil” become undefinable and unknowable. Let’s take this to its logical conclusion.

Where do these fallacious assertions end? Well, I propose that Andy is proposing a “Love Machine,” The Miracles (1975). Watch it Here, you will Love it. Let’s call this Love Machine “Love As Jesus Loved,” LAJL. Hey Andy, let’s make some LAJL pins, shirts, hats, and bumper stickers. Who knows, we could get rich. LAJL stuff might really take off! “Love Machine”, with slight modifications, will be our theme song. Imagine… the worship room is dark. Laser lights pulse with the music. See the spot lights, fog machines, and 3D hologram on stage in the campus assemblies. Really good musicians with a worship leader create amazing feelings of warmth, love, and passion in the gathering’s hearts. See the community groups of all kinds, men’s, women’s, singles, mixed singles, married with and without children, empty nesters, LGBTQ singles and families, pimps and prostitutes, sex traffickers, mixed age pedophiles, maybe even some BDSM’s. Ok… maybe I went a bit too far… but maybe not. We must love all people as Jesus loves, right? Imagine… there is nothing in this mindset to stop a perilous drift away from our Holy, Loving, True and Righteous God.

 

Chapters Sixteen through Nineteen. Andy defines Love. He gives a very eloquent presentation about love and one another commands in the New Testament. Of course, within all that talk on love, I feel strongly his uh… dislike for me. How awful I am to believe that the moral law points out my sins and makes me feel guilty! Ugh! But I will lay all that aside to see how Andy offers to put his one command into practice, to make us into his Love Machine. Andy comes up with a few memorizable lines to aid us. I picked some:

 

  1. “<Blank> one another.” (Careful!) Andy’s list of “One-Another” commands. (Chapters 16-17)
  2. Uncertainty: “WHEN UNSURE OF WHAT TO SAY OR DO, ASK WHAT LOVE REQUIRES OF YOU.” (p. 234)
  3. Why did you do that? “That’s what love requires of me because that’s what’s best for them.” (p. 236)
  4. A premarital sex rhyme: “If it’s not good for him, it’s a sin. If it’s not good for her, defer.” (p.241)
  5. First Sin definition: “It’s sin because it harms people made in the image of God for whom Christ died.” (p. 241)
  6. Next Sin definition: “If it’s not good for them, it’s sin.” (p. 242)
  7. What if I’m not sure what love requires? “God’s Spirit will always nudge us in the direction of kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. When in doubt, max those out.” (p. 242)
  8. Faith vs. Love: “Great love trumps great faith.” (p. 244)
  9. Guilt in Giving: “If we give to gain, we won’t gain anything anyway.” (p. 245)
  10. Andy’s Summary Statement: “To love the way Jesus called us to love requires a complete break with the inspired but retired, beautiful but obsolete, old covenant. As long as we continue mixing old with new, we will never be free to love as we have been called to love.” (p. 245)

 

These selected quotes are hereby ordained the Ten Andy LAJL Suggestions to Become a Love Machine; the essence of the New Covenant. Well… what do you think? Are they better than the Ten Commandments? As delightful as Psalm 1? Wiser and more beautiful than Proverbs 4? Or the woman of Proverbs 31:10-31?

 

Chapter Twenty. Dealing with uncertainty about how to LAJL, Andy says, “So while I’m not always sure what to believe, and while my views on a variety of things continue to mature and change, I almost always know what love requires of me. So, do you.” (p. 259) Andy, how do you know I know, Mr. Mindreader? Hmm? Well, I don’t know. I am always trying to figure it out. What is good, better, and best? Hey, I have all these conflicting desires, gifts, strengths, and callings and they’re not always jiving? How could I possibly know, without the moral law, what love requires? Well, my poor, ignorant self. Boo-hoo. My Andy Love Machine, left without power or data, sputters.

 

Conclusion.

In the final section of his book, Andy says, “When it comes to stumbling blocks to faith, the Old Testament is right up there at the top of the list.” (p. 280) With Andy so influential in the Evangelical community, I am horrified and my heart breaks. Where will this lead so many churches around the world? Has Andy joined the, “I desire, I choose, I am” personal-identity crowd? I sincerely love Andy and his Dad, Pastor Charles Stanley. I feel like they’re my many-years media bros. Has Andy become a Love Machine heretic? The horror I feel, having read this book, causes me to desperately pray that Andy will back away from the cliff’s edge. But I can’t seem to hope that he hasn’t already jumped. Andy, come back.

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