Reposted from the Reformation 21 blog…
Why Andy Stanley? Well, a friend recently asked my opinion of Andy Stanley’s incoherent, seeker-mad anti-Christianity (okay, that’s not how he put it). I referred this article to him, plus a couple of other links BEFORE sharing my own thoughts.
I will spare you my thoughts, but they are available on request! To my friend, thanks for asking!
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
Article byMay 2013
For this month’s column, I thought I would offer a few reflections on Andy Stanley’s recent book, Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend. Here’s a classic passage which represents in miniature an entire universe of erroneous thinking.
People are far more interested in what works than what’s true. I hate to burst your bubble, but virtually nobody in your church is on a truth quest. Including your spouse. They are on happiness quests. As long as you are dishing out truth with no here’s the difference it will make tacked on the end, you will be perceived as irrelevant by most of the people in your church, student ministry, or home Bible study. You may be spot-on theologically, like the teachers of the law in Jesus’ day, but you will not be perceived as one who teaches with authority. Worse, nobody is going to want to listen to you.
Now, that may be discouraging. Especially the fact that you are one of the few who is actually on a quest for truth. And, yes, it is unfortunate that people aren’t more like you in that regard. But that’s the way it is. It’s pointless to resist. If you try, you will end up with a little congregation of truth seekers who consider themselves superior to all the other Christians in the community. But at the end of the day, you won’t make an iota of difference in this world. And your kids…more than likely your kids, are going to confuse your church with the church and once they are out of your house, they probably won’t visit the church house. Then one day they will show up in a church like mine and want to get baptized again because they won’t be sure the first one took. And I’ll be happy to pastor your kids. But I would rather you face the reality of the world we live in and adjust your sails. Culture is like the wind. You can’t stop it. You shouldn’t spit in it. But, if like a good sailor you will adjust your sails, you can harness the winds of culture to take your audience where they need to go. If people are more interested in being happy, then play to that. Jesus did (Kindle 1216-1234).
To be sure, as grateful as I am to the Rev. Stanley for the offer to pastor my children and for providing me with fascinating insights into the philosophical convictions of my long-suffering wife, I cannot help but see this as a remarkably naïve piece of muddled thinking.
Read the rest of the article here.
For more on Andy Stanley, I highly recommend any of the releated programs on PIrate Christian Radio’s Fighting for the Faith. Just type in ‘Andy Stanley’ and away you go. Stick around for the rest of the program too. You will be amazed at what you learn.