This is my response to Bruxy Cavey’s second article in his series, Radical Christians & the Word of God, speaking to his view of Scripture. His article focuses on scriptural inerrancy. My response to his first article on authority is here.
This article has been on the back burner for quite a while. I only recently had an opportunity to finish it.
A number of months ago, Bruxy Cavey wrote a series of articles as a response to public criticism he has been receiving. In reading these articles I realized that they are not written with the purpose of answering the serious concerns that have been voiced regarding his doctrine of Scripture. No, those concerns are not even acknowledged. Instead, Cavey is doubling down on his position, repeating the same bad arguments that have been refuted already, and misrepresenting the controversy as a whole.
Here is my response to Bruxy Cavey’s article, “Radical Christians & the Word of God (Part 2 of 3): Inerrancy”. I’m going to interact with Cavey’s arguments against Scriptural Inerrancy as well as his examples of what he sees as Scriptural errors. It’s a long article, but I wanted to demonstrate in detail just how poor Cavey’s case is here.
Bruxy Cavey recently made the claim that Scripture does not refer to itself as the Word of God. He and other leaders in his denomination are also on record claiming that Scripture doesn’t teach it’s own inerrancy. In this post I am going to tackle these two separate, but inextricably linked issues. Cavey and his friends are just wrong about what Scripture claims for itself.
Recently I wrote an article titled “Another Gospel: Three Ways Bruxy Cavey’s Teaching Denies Christ’s Fulfillment of the Law” in which I made the claim that Jesus did not contradict the law of God in the Sermon on the Mount. I claimed further that to say Jesus contradicted or broke the law is to contradict Jesus’ own teaching. A Jesus who was not completely obedient to God’s law cannot save anyone. Bruxy Cavey teaches that Jesus did contradict the law of God in that sermon, broke the law himself, and taught others to break the law, effectively rendering Cavey’s Jesus a sinner who cannot save any other sinner.
In that article I said that if you actually compare the words of Jesus when he says “You have heard it said” to the laws he cites, you will see that Jesus’ teaching is fully consistent with the law. So, how does Cavey insist otherwise?
Shortly after publishing that article I listened to Part 6 of Cavey’s current series “The Death and Life of God“. During the Q&A session at the end of the message, a question is asked which is directly relevant to his error I addressed in the article. I found Cavey’s answer rather illuminating in terms of demonstrating why he thinks Jesus contradicted and changed the law.
I am convinced that Cavey’s argumentation is entirely void of substance, so let’s take a look.
In some recent material put out by Bruxy Cavey (see here and here), he claims that he agrees with, or “aligns with” the doctrine of inerrancy. That may take some people off guard considering Cavey’s documented history of refuting both the word and concept of inerrancy (partially documented here and here and here). So, what is going on here?
In this post I will hopefully shed some light on what I see Bruxy Cavey doing in his attempts to appear to affirm scriptural inerrancy from the record of his own teaching
In my article “Bad Hermeneutics in a Tattoo” I interacted with Bruxy Cavey’s article “The Good News in a Tattoo“. I demonstrated that Cavey’s understanding of both Leviticus 19:28 and Hebrews 8:13 that led him to get his tattoo is simply bad. I quoted Dr. James White in that article and credited him for helping me to understand Leviticus 19:28 much better.
Well, yesterday Dr. White briefly addressed the article and offered some insights into Cavey’s overarching understanding of Scripture. Here is the video where he addresses the article and Cavey’s understanding of Leviticus 19:28. The relevant section begins at the 1 hour 15 minute mark.
Cavey deliberately takes “role distance” from the stereotype of a right-wing evangelical pastor, using satire to deconstruct the mores of North American evangelical culture and create an “alienating effect”in his audience.The negatively oriented opening acts create a space in which a new script can be constructed, and I demonstrate next Cavey’s two core romantic narratives that champion “relationship, not religion”—a script that is to be enacted through their weekday Home Churches.Not all attendees are caught up in this dramatic web to the same degree, however, as attendees select elements from it for their own purposes, some embracing and identifying with the whole script, while others take pieces from it to arrange into a more eclectic religious life.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”
Matthew 5:17-18, ESV
Fundamental to the Christian faith and a constant theme throughout the New Testament is that Jesus Christ fulfilled God’s law on behalf of sinners. This fact is absolutely essential to the gospel. A “gospel” which denies Christ’s fulfillment of the law is not the Christian gospel, but another gospel. Unfortunately there are professing Christians, including Pastors and other leaders, who deny Christ’s fulfillment of the law.
Of course, you are not going to hear too many professing Christians come out and explicitly reject the notion that Christ fulfilled the law. If they were to do that, their error would be exposed rather quickly. Instead, their denial is implicit in their teaching.
This is the case with Bruxy Cavey. If you asked Cavey directly whether Jesus fulfilled the law he would probably answer in the affirmative. But what good is mere formal affirmation of this truth if in the rest of his teaching he directly contradicts his affirmation? Here are three specific teachings espoused by Bruxy Cavey that fundamentally deny Jesus Christ’s fulfillment of God’s law.
In Bruxy Cavey’s article The Good News in a Tattoo, Cavey explains his decision to get the Bible reference “Leviticus 19:28” tattooed down his forearm. His explanation basically amounts to a dismissal of the Old Testament law on the grounds that Jesus makes it obsolete. In his estimation, this tattoo is an announcement of and testimony to the good news of Jesus forever printed in his very own flesh. It’s a conversation starter in evangelistic endeavours.
In this article I’m not interested in nit-picking Cavey’s decision to get a tattoo. In fact, I honestly couldn’t care less about that. Instead, I am going to demonstrate the mishandling of Scripture that led Cavey to get the tattoo, and that gives the tattoo meaning to him. I am going to explain why Cavey’s tattoo is actually a permanent monument to bad hermeneutics and a poor, even careless understanding of Scripture.
A few months ago under the TGC Canada banner, Pastor Paul Carter of First Baptist Church in Orillia, Ontario undertook an interview series with Bruxy Cavey with the stated purpose of seeking clarity from Cavey on a few of his teachings (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Analysis and Recommendations). Following the first article of the series I wrote this article to communicate some of my concerns with the goal of setting the record straight with someone I consider to be a brother. Chief among my concerns were that clarity was not being reached at all, and that Carter had simply not done his homework. All of my interaction with Pastor Carter up to this point had been cordial and respectful, and I thought that maybe I could demonstrate the weaknesses I saw, having researched and studied the teachings of Bruxy Cavey for a couple of years myself. I sent him the article that I had written, received from him a quick bit of feedback in the form of a DM on Twitter (also respectful), then immediately found myself blocked by him on all social media. That’s fine with me, it’s his prerogative to decide who he will interact with on social media. No big deal. The problem with being blocked from interacting with him on a personal level is that in order to air the issues I see, I have to do it in a much more public way. Hence, this post.
Paul Carter teamed up with Bruxy Cavey over at The Gospel Coalition Canada and wrotethis blog, the first of three in a series seeking clarity on Bruxy Cavey’s views.
Carter and TGC Canada have advised that we hold off on final judgment of this series until the three interview articles and their final analysis are published. I’m not sure what that analysis will include since the preamble to this article simply says they will publish their own position on the authority of Scripture and the atonement of Christ. That’s fair enough, but I also think it is fair to give analysis of this series along the way since there is going to be a large time gap between the articles, especially between this one and TGC Canada’s final analysis.