An Old Treasure: Defending the OT from Andy Stanley

            No one is completely right about everything, but how much error can a teacher hold and still be worth learning from?  Sadly, such a question must be asked regarding Charles Stanley’s son, Andy Stanley (Sr. Pastor of Northpoint Community Church). 

            Between February of 2016 and mid-August of 2018 (through sermon series, podcasts, and interviews) Stanley has made many startling claims:  1) pastors need to stop saying ‘the Bible says’ because the Bible is not an authority, 2) the Bible did not exist in the era of the church (there was no Old Testament), 3) the Old Testament has nothing to do with Jesus or the church, 4) the Old Testament is too hard to defend, 5) he believes Jesus did not believe in the historicity of the Old Testament, and 6) church today need to become unhitched from the Old Testament. 

            Is Andy Stanley correct in his claims?  Is the Old Testament (OT) useless, false, and irrelevant to the modern church?  Or, is Stanley wrong and the Old Testament is the very breath of God and vital to the mission and foundation of Christianity?  I vote for the later… 


            After Alexander the Great conquered the known world, Greek became the common language.  Around 180BC, the Jewish leaders took the completed OT and translated it into Greek and called it the Septuagint.  So Andy was factually wrong:  the OT did exist in both Jesus’ time and the early church. 

            Jesus Himself said the OT points to Him (John 5:39).  In fact, the main way we know Jesus is the Messiah is how Jesus fulfills 100% of the messianic prophecies in the OT.  Andy was again wrong. 

            The Bible is an authority as it is inspired by God and profitable for correction, rebuking, teaching, and training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16).  Repeatedly Jesus, Matthew, Luke, Peter, and Paul wrote claiming the Scripture to be an authority (see also Luke 16:16 and 16:29; John 5:46-47; Matthew 5:17-19 and 19:4; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; and the list can go on and on). 

            Jesus also believed the OT to be historical and factual, because He cited it as the basis and foundation regarding marriage (Matt 19:4), the basis for His death and resurrection (Matt 12:40), the reason for His ministry (John 3), and Jesus said it pointed toward understanding the end times (Matt 24:37-39). 


            My hope is we can all begin to not only discern between true and false teachings, but also realize the importance and relevance of the OT in everyday life.  Yes, some of the miracles of the OT are amazing…but so too are the miracles of the New Testament…and so too are the miracles of enemies of Jesus being saved, washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor 6:11).  God is an amazing God, and He chose to give us His revelation in written form.  We would be wise to hear it, learn it, and grow in it.