Bill Hybels was heavily influenced by ...

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by All about Grace, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    While reading the Willow Creek story as written by Lin Hybels, I was reminded that Bill Hybels was heavily influenced by John MacArthur and R.C. Sproul.

    That must rock the boat of the Willow critics.
     
  2. Pastor Larry

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    Why would that rock the baot of Willow critics?
     
  3. Johnv

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    Willow Creek Community Church operates strictly under the leadership of the Reformed Church in America, the oldest continually running protestant denomination in the US. Having heard Bill Hybels speak personally a number of times, I have never heard anything he's said that compromises scripture, evangelical Christianity, or the teachings of the RCA.

    Then again, if critics don't like someone, it won't matter if Jesus himself endorses that person. Critics will still be critics.
     
  4. All about Grace

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    Why would that rock the baot of Willow critics?


    Many MacArthur/Sproul fans are critics of Willow/seeker type seeker churches.
     
  5. All about Grace

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    Having heard Bill Hybels speak personally a number of times, I have never heard anything he's said that compromises scripture, evangelical Christianity, or the teachings of the RCA.


    I agree. I am a Hybels fan.
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    The fact that MacArthur and Sproul are critics of the Willow Creek type churches shows that Hybels was not greatly influenced by them. He may have had some influence, but his direction shows that it was not much, practically speaking.

    I think Hybels has some good stuff. I think he is extremely misguided, but sincere. The gospel I heard presented at Willow Creek was amazingly weak. But I think Hybels has done some good things as well. His book on evangelism (How to Become a Contagious Christian) is typical of Hybel's entire ministry. Some very good stuff, with a lot of junk thrown in. He is very good about studying people; he is very weak about studying Scripture and making good application from what I have read and heard. Several years ago a man named Pritchard did his doctoral work on Willow Creek and wrote a very good book from what I understand. I haven't read it, but several have told it was well done and informative, both good and bad.

    That all being said, I think the influence factor is not really a factor. I have been influenced by Warren and Hybels, but reject much of what they do.
     
  7. All about Grace

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    Hybels was influenced to the point he changed his teaching style to believers. You can dismiss that as trivial if you desire, but I will take the first person account over yours.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    I wasn't saying the influence was trivial. I was saying that Hybel's direction of ministry shows the type of influence that they had on them. He was not greatly influenced in his style of ministry by them, though he may have been influenced in other areas.
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    What doctrine does Hybels teach (NOT talking about the practice of seeker-sensitive, etc with which I vehemently disagree) that is wrong?

    Does he teach a wrong view of salvation? Inspiration?

    Thanks.
     
  10. Joshua Rhodes

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    I've never heard the man speak, but I have read some of his materials (both hardcopy and online) and find his doctrine to be reasonably sound, at least based on what I've read, which in not exhaustive at all.
     
  11. All about Grace

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    He is an evangelical who embraces all the fundamentals.
     
  12. All about Grace

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    Wrong again. The services designed for believers at WC are a direct part of their philosophy of ministry. Seeker-sensitive services are only one element of the overall ministry.

    The teaching philosophy of Hybels was changed by the influence of MacArthur and Sproul (and others). Obviously he does other things differently (as does Mac and Sproul from each other).

    I just find it interesting how many people like to believe that Hybels-types and MacArthur-types are worlds apart. Again the bottom line unites both groups.
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    So far as I know, Hybels is straight on doctrine. I think his soteriological presentations are pretty weak, but that is not due to faulty doctrine, IMO, but rather a faulty philosophy of ministry. He is an egalitarian I believe, which some consider a doctrinal issue I suppose.
     
  14. IveyLeaguer

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    Within the past year, I have heard R.C.Sproul speak regretfully about Bill Hybels ministry, mentioning how sincere Hybels was in the early days about the lost. He is clearly not a part, nor does he approve of seeker-sensitive, Christianity Lite, etc. or the CGM as a whole.

    Here are some quotes from chapter 2 of MacArthur's new book, Hard To Believe, which addresses the seeker-sensitive, market-driven CGM: ....

    "this consumer mindset has invaded Christianity" ...... "if the message is too confrontational, or too judgmental, or too exclusive, scary, unbelievable, hard to understand, or too much anything else for your taste, churches everywhere are eager to adjust that message to make you more comfortable." ...... "it is Christianity for consumers - Christianity Lite, the redirection, watering down, and misinterpretation of the biblical gospel in an attempt to make it more palatable and popular." ...... "The true gospel is a call to self-denial. It is not a call to self-fulfillment." ...... " ... according to (Robert) Schuller, the first thing we have to do is put an end to classical, God-centered theology and replace it with man-centered theology." ...... "it is just this sort of man-centered, self-esteem gospel that eventually became the seeker-friendly movement, which has hijacked so many churches. It's a kind of quasi-Christian narcissism, or selflove, that is characteristic of false teachers, which reminds us, "Dangerous times will come, for men will be lovers of themselves" (see 2 Tim. 3:1-2). Christianity, in the hands of some seeker-sensitive church leaders, has become a "get what you want" rather than a "give up everything" movement. These leaders have prostituted the divine intention of the gospel."

    some seeker-sensitive church leaders - MacArthur doesn't like to call people out by name but it's obvious who the leaders are.

    [ December 20, 2004, 05:44 PM: Message edited by: IveyLeaguer ]
     
  15. Johnv

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    I concur 100%.
     
  16. All about Grace

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    Never suggested Sproul approved of or was a part of seeker-sensitive style methods. Obviously he is not. That was not the point.

    I assume Sproul is not suggesting Hybels is not sincere about the lost. His entire ministry is driven by reaching the lost. To suggest otherwise is simply to speak out of ignorance.

    Thanks for the quote. I own the book as well as over 50+ other MacArthur books. I have read it extensively. MacArthur tends to make some serious categorical mistakes as many of his objective readers will point out. This is simply another case and point. As I have often said, it is much simpler to attack a straw man than reality.

    Perhaps I will point out some of the obvious faulty categorizations in MacArthur's words above.
     
  17. IveyLeaguer

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    I don't know, you'll have to take that up with R.C.. That was a conversation he was having with another theologian. What was important to me was the conversation confirmed things I had already learned and suspected at the time. Personally, I doubt Hybels or Warren are insincere, just misguided.

    I'm not a MacArthur apologetic but my research over the past several years shows he's right about this phenonmenon. This is an issue that is confronting Biblical Christianity head on, and I suspect it will only intensify over the next several years. It will require courage to defend the Biblical gospel and MacArthur is one of the few who has the guts. I think this is one of those issues that will have a direct effect on just about every Christian.

    Personally, I have been through most of the voluminous mountain of evidence that is out there since it wasn't so large when I started. Now the mountain is growing at a rapid rate, as more people see what is going on. This issue is very complex, has many levels and deep roots, and is very tedious as it takes much reading to get to the bottom of it. For me, the issue has been discerned, and I'm glad to get it behind me. God led me into this issue out of the blue, and I know it is valuable knowledge that is going to be useful.

    I now resume the regular habit of keeping up with the many other deceptions that are going on (almost too many to keep up with), as well as events inside and outside the orthodox church - to watch and pray. I have every reason to believe that the sum of all of this is the BIG ONE - the great deception and falling away that will lead to the ecumenical unity that is prophesied in Scripture - and being fulfilled right before our eyes.

    God Bless, All about Grace.
     
  18. El_Guero

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    Could some one point out verifiable points of disagreement?

    God bless
     

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