Bruxy Cavey has been hard at work these days trying to rid the Scriptures of any sign of the doctrine Penal Substitutionary Atonement. It’s a tough row to hoe, considering the concept of forgiveness of sin by the shedding of blood is one of the most prevalent themes throughout all of Scripture. Right from the very first few chapters of Genesis, all the way through to the end of the book of Revelation, the Scriptures testify to the fact that the shedding of blood, the death of an appropriate substitute on behalf of a sinner is necessary for forgiveness.
So then, how can Cavey deny this reality? What is his work-around? Enter the concept of “divine accommodation”. Cavey claims that the entire concept of blood sacrifice has its origin in false pagan religion. It’s a concept developed by man that God actually hates but acquiesced to and accommodated. According to Cavey the cross of Christ is not God’s giving of himself to propitiate his own wrath and satisfy his own justice on behalf of sinners. No, it’s a symbolic gesture meant to communicate to humanity “you are forgiven” in terms they would understand, but without the reality or actual necessity of Christ’s death for forgiveness.
His attempts to justify this view (most recently presented in this blog post, this blog post, and this sermon ) fall flat, but this particular article is not to refute Cavey’s arguments at length. – there’s another coming that will do that. The goal of this article is to demonstrate that Bruxy Cavey is abusing the valid concept of divine accommodation and applying it in an inappropriate way.
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 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.
Bruxy Cavey recently publisheded a blog series responding to some of the criticism of his view of Scripture. Part 1 on the issue of authority is here.
I’m going to make a few comments in response to Part 1. I’ll not be dismantling this arguments point-by-point, but I hope to blow a big enough hole in the argument as a whole to expose it for what it is. Here are my main criticisms.
This will be my final post reviewing Brian Zahnd’s trip to The Meeting House. We’ll take one final look at some comments made in the “Meeting House Round Table” podcast Zahnd recorded with Bruxy Cavey then I want to move on to some other important things in the weeks to come.
In my last post we were examining comments from Zahnd and Cavey regarding their doctrine of Scripture. We saw that Brian Zahnd sits and communes with spiritual entities which laugh along with him as he rejects the veracity of Scripture (you can’t make this stuff up), and that he is simply embarrassed by what Scripture actually teaches. Continue reading “Bruxy Cavey Interviews Brian Zahnd 2”→
Following Brian Zahnd’s message diatribe at The Meeting House (my review starts here), he stuck around to do a “Meeting House Round Table” podcast with Bruxy Cavey. It was an hour-long interview where Bruxy asked Zahnd and his wife to speak on their view of Scripture, pacifism, and atonement theory.
Here I want to examine what Zahnd and Bruxy say regarding Scripture specifically.
In this post I’ll be bringing attention to Zahnd’s statements regarding continuing personal revelation and how that relates to his rejection of certain parts of Scripture.
This is the fifth part of my review of Brian Zahnd’s teaching at The Meeting House. You can read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. In this series am reviewing Zahnd’s sermon and a Roundtable podcast he participated in during his visit to The Meeting House.
His sermon was called “Bad Idea: The Bible Trumps Jesus” in which he argues for what can only be described as an incoherent view of Scripture. To Zahnd, the Bible is inconsistent, contradictory, and contains erroneous “assumptions” about God. Because of this, he advocates that we interpret all of Scripture through the lens of Jesus. This results in the rejection of any Scripture which doesn’t fit his preexisting view of what he thinks Jesus should be like. We have seen so far that to prove his point, Zahnd handles the Scriptures dishonestly, argues illogically, and does so with a contemptible level of mockery.