Andy Stanley vs Jeff Durbin debate on "unbelievable"

And Jesus says the word of God is the Bible, so I’m afraid it isn’t quite that simple…

For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ he is not to ‘honor his father’’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.

Not to mention, it is a bit more complicated even than that. So says the Bible…

  • (* At that time I stood between the LORD and you to declare to you the word of the LORD, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain.) (Deut 5:5 NIV)

  • Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God. (Josh 3:9 NIV)

  • But this word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God: (1 Kings 12:22 NIV)

  • He was the one who restored the boundaries of Israel from Lebo Hamath to the Sea of the Arabah, in accordance with the word of the LORD, the God of Israel, spoken through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher. (2 Kings 14:25 NIV)

  • That night the word of God came to Nathan, saying: (1 Chr 17:3 NIV)

  • Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered around me because of this unfaithfulness of the exiles. And I sat there appalled until the evening sacrifice. (Ezra 9:4 NIV)

  • then hear the word of the LORD, O remnant of Judah. This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you are determined to go to Egypt and you do go to settle there, (Jer 42:15 NIV)

  • Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’’” (Matt 4:4 NIV)

  • “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. (Luke 8:11 NIV)

  • He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:28 NIV)

  • If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture cannot be broken. (John 10:35 NIV)

  • So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. (Acts 6:2 NIV)

  • ¶ So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7 NIV)

  • So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God. (Acts 18:11 NIV)

  • Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. (2 Cor 4:2 NIV)

  • Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Eph 6:17 NIV)

  • And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe. (1 Th 2:13 NIV)

  • In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! (Heb 5:12 NIV)

  • ¶ I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. (Rev 1:9 NIV)

By “the Bible,” are you referring the the 66 books that we Protestants in the west understand to be the scriptural canon, some of the texts of which were not yet written when Jesus walked the earth?

You know what’s really, really, really frustrating? When people quote Ephesians 6:17 to support the argument that “word of God” means “the Bible” or scripture. Like, seriously, how the heck? The verse does not explicitly say scripture. It’s a completely circular to use that to support your contention! And so many people do that!

That verse notwithstanding, every single other verse you mentioned does not specifically mention scripture. When “the word of God” is coming to people, either directly or through someone else, it is not a written text.

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Shall I assume you’re conceding that “word of God” in the Bible does not in fact simply mean “Jesus”? (which was the only point in all the references I made, by the way.)


Agreed that the vast majority of times the phrase is used does not refer to Scripture, but to the message from God (not Jesus, per se)… But I would call your attention again to the first reference I noted, that Jesus is accusing the Jews of nullifying part of the written law for the sake of their tradition… and he refers to said written law they were trying to nullify as “the word of God.”

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Ah, okay.

So let me clarify. The highest revelation of God is Jesus; he is the highest example of the “Word of God.” By being the “Word of God,” he does not disqualify other examples or…iterations (?) of God’s message.

I thought you were arguing for “the Word of God is Scripture, not Jesus.”

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Andy is a great pastor. I have attended his church more than a dozen years. He is doing a great work for the kingdom of God.

He is publicly as willing to disagree with some tenets of evangelicalism as I am, such as inerrancy, but he is impacting the lives of thousands and bringing them to a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.


Yeah - and most of our discussion around here was what you might suspect - a mix of supportive enthusiasts and critics. I particularly resonate with Stanley’s efforts to poke at “Biblicism” (I don’t remember if he uses that exact label) - but he really hammered it home how the Bible was a product of [or came after] the church and not vice versa. I didn’t mean to presume that you should necessarily be interested in all the noise made about him in yet another forum somewhere. But like you said … as time or interest may allow.

52 posts were split to a new topic: Should “Bible” = “Word of God”

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Should “Bible” = “Word of God”?

Of course there would have been no Bible without the resurrection!

The Apostles were hiding, distraught, and had given up. The resurrection changed everything!

I heard those sermons at North Point. They were compelling, insightful, and true.

Well said.

I have heard almost all his messages in the past 13 years, seen his dedication, and more.

His life is a great example of a person dedicated to the work of the Lord.

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I am happy (and not surprised) to hear that! I’ve enjoyed listening to a lot of his sermons posted online, and I’ve learned much, and always felt edified and better informed after each one.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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