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Apologetics is supposed to be a defense of the faith. It is for some, however, an apology for the faith, an "I'm sorry" Christianity goes against your reason, your science, your desire, or your purpose but just maybe you ought to pause before ditching it entirely... We need defenders of the faith who will engage the skeptics, agnostics, and atheists of the world. We do not need apologists who agree that Christianity does not seem plausible or reasonable or relevant in our scientific world but believe anyway.
Andy Stanley has been a phenomenon since he was a little boy. The son of famous Southern Baptist pastor and onetime denomination leader Charles Stanley, he has had an on and off again relationship with his dad, his dad's theology, and his dad's church. It led to a very public split and Andy starting his own mega franchise (without the Southern Baptist logo). His dad was and is a fairly predictable and reliable Southern Baptist. Andy, not so much so. In fact, Andy has determined to craft a Christianity in which Scripture and the Virgin Birth, among other things, need not be impediments for those who find Scripture not credible and the Virgin Birth, well, kooky. Therein lies the rub.
“So I need you to listen really, really carefully and the reason is this: Perhaps you were taught, as I was taught, ‘Jesus loves me. This I know’ – and let’s all finish it together – ‘for the Bible tells me so.’ This is where our trouble began. . . ” so preached Andy in August of this year. It was followed up by a Dec. 4 Christmas themed sermon in which he reached, among other things “In fact, you should know that Christianity doesn’t hinge on the truth or even the stories around the birth of Jesus. It really hinges on the resurrection of Jesus.”
I understand what Stanley is trying to do but he is not doing his skeptical hearers any favor. Peeling back layers of the faith to get at the core of what must be believed is never a process that has an ending point…
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