Steve Chalke is a name that is familiar to many evangelicals in the UK. He has been, for many years, a prominent figure in the ‘evangelical’ church. He made his profession of faith at the age of 14, served as an assistance pastor for four years in Tonbridge Baptist Church in Kent and founded a Christian Charity called Oasis which works in the areas of homelessness, human trafficking and education. They currently are responsible for 15 secondary schools and 26 primary schools in England.
Chalke has taken a stand against prominent atheists like Polly Toynbee who see Christian involvement in education or the public sector as a grave threat. When you listen to what he has to say on these subjects he is absolutely on the money.
The problem is that Steve Chalke has, progressively, moved away from actual biblical truth.
- In 2004 he challenged the understanding of the death of Christ on the cross as a sacrifice to satisfy the wrath of God – penal substitution infamously describing that understanding as, “cosmic child abuse”, because it would involve God the Father abusing God the Son for something he didn’t do.
- In 2013, he endorsed gay marriage.
But the issue we responding to this evening is more fundamental than any of these: his position on the Bible, because, in 2014, Steve Chalke released a 12 page document entitled, ironically enough, “Restoring Confidence in the Bible” which presents an understanding of Scripture that is very distinct from the evangelical position.