Bruxy Cavey Importing American Lies 1: Brian Zahnd at The Meeting House

ZahndBadIdeaHeader

The Meeting House, where Bruxy Cavey is Teaching Pastor, recently concluded a series called “Bad Ideas” in which Cavey and others spoke out against concepts that they say corrupt the true message of Christ. One of the guests in this series was Brian Zahnd. He was there to speak on the “bad idea” that the Bible trumps Jesus.

While I normally would stick to critiquing Bruxy Cavey, this message was delivered at The Meeting House with Bruxy Cavey’s hearty endorsement. This is the kind of teaching that Bruxy Cavey, BIC Canada, and The Meeting House are bringing in. I think it’s relevant.

I am going to review Zahnd’s message and a Roundtable Podcast he did with Cavey over the next few posts. I intend to demonstrate that any Christian who takes the Scripture as the authoritative word of God and desires to handle it correctly has no reason to give Brian Zahnd any credibility as a responsible Bible teacher at all.

Before I begin reviewing Zahnd’s message I need to admit something. In listening to Zahnd and writing this response I found myself getting more passionate that I normally do. That may come out in this review. The reason for this is that Zahnd is a mocker. Most contemptible is the way he boldly mocks Scripture throughout this message. He has no fear whatsoever in mocking the very words of God.

In this first post I am just going to give you a general overview of Zahnd’s main point of his sermon. I will also point out one thing I have already addressed in Bruxy Cavey’s teaching that Zahnd repeats. In subsequent posts I will address some specifics.

The Gist

The gist of Zahnd’s message is that We cannot use Scripture to “trump Jesus”. He correctly believes that Jesus is the perfect revelation of God, but erroneously believes that the rest of Scripture is contradictory, inconsistent, and contains erroneous “assumptions” (Zahnd’s word) about God. Because of this he says it is actually sinful to use the entirety of Scripture to inform our view of God. Instead, we need to use Jesus as an interpretive lens through which we understand the rest of Scripture. For Zahnd, that means the rejection of Scripture which does not fit within his view of what he thinks Jesus ought to be like. Zahnd holds fast to a particular view of Jesus that is impervious to Scriptural correction because any text which would refute his view is deemed less authoritative, or even mistaken, an “assumption”, not factual. Rather arbitarily, he has chosen certain texts of Scripture to be authoritative over others. To Zahnd, it “doesn’t matter” (his words again) what Scripture says or doesn’t say. Zahnd’s Jesus trumps Scripture.

This view is the same as Bruxy Cavey’s, which is the whole reason Brian Zahnd is speaking at The Meeting House.

I would agree that the Bible does not trump Jesus, but for completely different reasons than Brian Zahnd or Bruxy Cavey. The Bible does not trump Jesus, but neither does Jesus trump the Bible, because they are perfectly consistent with each other. Jesus is the author of Scripture, and so everything it says is in harmony with the person of Christ and carries all of his authority.

As we will see, the basis for Zahnd’s position is a mishandling of Scripture and illogical reasoning. Though he says it “doesn’t matter” what Scripture says, in Zahnd’s case it would appear he also doesn’t know what Scripture says!

Same Old Twist

Zahnd starts off his message by reading Mark’s account of the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain. He uses it the exact same way Bruxy Cavey has to pit the authority of Christ against the authority of Scripture. I refuted that teaching here and demonstrated that Cavey’s view, and now Zahnd’s, is very different than the Apostle Peter’s own interpretation of that same event as he recorded it in Scripture. You can read it for a more thorough treatment.

Essentially, Zahnd uses this text, as Cavey has, to teach that we should just listen to Jesus, and that the rest of Scripture takes a back seat in terms of authority and reliability in revealing God. This text is used by Zahnd in this message to justify disregarding Scripture that he thinks is inconsistent with Jesus. He mocks and condemns the position that says “every verse of the Bible carries equal authority, where every verse of the Bible will be regarded as having the same capacity for revelation regarding who God is”. Of course, Peter was witness to the whole event of Christ’s transfiguration and wrote of it in his epistle that the testimony of the Scriptures is more sure testimony than witnessing the transfigured Jesus and hearing the voice of the Father from heaven. Not only that, Peter directly contradicts Cavey and Zahnd’s view regarding the nature of Scripture.

I take Peter’s side over Zahnd’s.

Same Dumpster, Hotter Firedumpsterfirecrop

Zahnd’s message is just a whole bunch of the same stuff Bruxy Cavey has been teaching for years at The Meeting House. Cavey loves Zahnd and, as far as I can tell, gets some of his teaching from him. Zahnd, though, is far more outwardly brazen and in-your-face than Cavey. To me, it’s better because this makes his errors far more obvious. As we will see in the rest of this review, his mockery and bravado is insufficient to cover his irrational, illogical, incoherent argumentation nor his ignorance, misrepresentation, and offensive abuse of Scripture.

Grab some marshmallows and stay tuned for part 2… (it is now posted)

4 thoughts on “Bruxy Cavey Importing American Lies 1: Brian Zahnd at The Meeting House

  1. The disciples break the sabbath by eating wheat in a field. Jesus says why it’s ok for the law to be overruled. That is Jesus trumping scripture. Why does the sacrificial system no longer operate? Because Jesus brought about the new covenant.

    Now there is a bias that can come in when interpreting Jesus. Conservatives like Mark Driscoll want Jesus to be hyper masculine and so complain that Jesus is overly feminized. But this is a guy who weeps, who sides with prostitutes instead of opting for status from the powerful. These are not typical hyper masculine stereotypes.

    On the other hand the meeting house dislikes Hyper Masculine Jesus™ and perhaps wants Jesus to be non confrontational. So we get “Acceptance≠Agreement.” And in some scenarios that can be helpful. But in others it invites confusion. Particularly when in order to make a person feel accepted the areas of disagreement with their ideas are hidden. Revelation 2 appears to be Jesus speaking after the new covenant has been revealed. He is writing to the churches, “You have this in your favour: You hate the practices of the Nicolations, which I also hate.”

    Jesus is actually the best of all that is masculine and all that is feminine. When wanting him to only be one of those, that’s when we get into error. We have our personality and want Jesus to affirm us rather than challenge or rebuke us. But he affirms and challenges everyone. No one can turn him into a stick to hit other people with if they are being honest. Particularly in these subjective areas.

    Are Zand and Bruxy mocking God? That is a stretch. If Jesus himself chooses to override old covenant ideas, then they are aligning with Jesus. Which as you say is consistent. But in fact that consistency is only of character. The context is not consistent. Neither are the tactics. That should be self evident as God in the new covenant does not call believers to go around attacking those who threaten us. Yet he did give that command to the Jewish people in specific limited circumstances. Is it mocking God to point out that limitation rather than extending it onwards? Clearly not.

    By grace you as saved. So. You could give a little more to your brothers. I hear too that they have responded to your comments in the past and you have failed to post their responses. So that too indicates an authoritarian quality, pride which is not consistent with the humility of the man who did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped.

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    1. Jesus did not trump Scripture. All the the examples you gave Jesus did in perfect accord with Scriptures.
      Also, there is only one guy who ever responded to me with anything more than an insult who’s comments I did not approve. I had my own reasons for that, which had to do with his behaviour when I didn’t approve them fast enough for his taste. Other than that, the only comments that do not get approved are ones that are purely meant to be insulting, but even some of those have been approved. Neither Cavey nor Zahnd has ever responded to me here so I don’t know who told you they had, but it’s not true.

      On the other hand, the only time I ever posted a question in the comments of Cavey’s blog, he deleted it. A screen shot of that will be in an upcoming post here.

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  2. (ah, I see this was posted automatically. Forgive me the presumption I made and accused you on the basis of. It appears you could well be innocent of it. Though I do encourage you to speak with Bruxy even on camera as he may have a stronger defence than you let on. And if your critique is valid, I encourage you to point it out gently as we are commanded. Thanks! )

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    1. No problem. Normally my comment are posted pending moderation. Not sure how that setting got changed. As long as comments are on topic and substantive they get posted. Thanks.
      I’d love to see Cavey in a formal public debate on either his doctrine of Scripture, Penal Substitution, or the “Third Way” approach to homosexual sin.

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