Andy Stanley is a pastor of one of the largest churches in America and author of the new book, “Irresistable: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World.”
He has also, on several recent occasions, become a lightning rod of controversy among conservative evangelicals.
In May, Stanley sparked criticism when he suggested in a sermon series that Christians need to “un-hitch” their faith from the Old Testament. In a recent sermon series on the New Testament book of Acts, he said that he believes the Old Testament is “divinely inspired” but should not be “the go-to source regarding any behavior in the church.” To support this point, he talked about how the earliest Apostles created a distinction between the Gospel of Jesus and the law of Moses.
“[Early] Church leaders unhitched the church from the worldview, value system, and regulations of the Jewish scriptures,” said Stanley. “Peter, James, Paul elected to unhitch the Christian faith from their Jewish scriptures, and my friends, we must as well.”
His comments made me curious in light of my own new book, “Learning to Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words are Vanishing — And How We Can Revive Them.” In my book, I demonstrate that sacred speech and spiritual conversations are dying in America. The only way to save the vocabulary of faith, I argue, is to reimagine many of these words and what they should mean for us. (Indeed, this is the way that Christian language and all language survives.)
To explore these ideas, I’ve launched my new “Seekers and Speakers” podcast. Each week, I’m speaking with the most interesting and influential religious leaders I know and asking them to reimagine a single sacred word.
In Episode 1, I speak with Andy Stanley about how he is reimagining the word “scripture” and decide if you think his vision for this word is helpful or not.