Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear recently engaged author and North Point Ministries founder Andy Stanley in a dialogue over Stanley’s recent book Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World. Greear found some parts of the book "disturbing."
An overall contention between the two was Stanley’s argument in the book that Christians should stop treating the Old Testament as applicable to their faith and lives.
Stanley wrote in Irresistible that Christians have "an uncomfortable history and habit of selectively rebranding aspects of God's covenant with Israel and smuggling them into the ekklesia of Jesus."
“Careless mixing and matching of old and new covenant values and imperatives make the current version of our faith unnecessarily resistible,” stated Stanley.
While praising Stanley as "one of the best communicators in America" and "one of our generation’s most effective evangelists," Greear decided to post a review of the book due to some of the concerns he had.
He wanted to have a "public conversation" with Stanley to ensure that he treats Stanley and his work fairly. With that, he posted an email exchange between himself and Stanley on Outreach Magazine’s website earlier this month regarding his initial review of Irresistible, Stanley’s feedback on the review, and further correspondence debating certain points.
The dialogue was divided into three parts. The first part was the initial correspondence and Greear’s initial review. The second part was Stanley’s first response to the review and Greear’s reply. The third part consisted of additional responses, including final words from both pastors.
Here are four highlights from the dialogue between J.D. Greear and Andy Stanley. They include points of agreement, questions over the value of the Bible to Christians past and present, and whether Stanley’s views on the Bible are similar to 19th century German higher criticism.