Newspaper voices concern over Evangelical Alliance statement -29/11/04
A leading denominational newspaper has voiced its concern over a recent statement from the Evangelical Alliance which publicly chastised Rev Steve Chalke for his views about the cross. An editorial in the Baptist Times suggests that the Evangelical Alliance has "raised the stakes" with its criticism of the Baptist minister, and suggested that there is little point in having the public symposium which the Alliance is organising, if the organisation has already ruled out Steve Chalke's viewpoint.
The controversy began when Steve Chalke's book "The Lost Message of Jesus" provoked outcry from conservative Evangelicals after several pages questioned the idea that God punished his son by sending him to the cross - otherwise known as ëpenal substitutioní. In a statement posted in the press release section of its web site, the Evangelical Alliance said Steve Chalke was "avoiding" the "key biblical texts" from which the idea of penal substitution was derived. The organisation urged him to "think again" and said he had "insufficient appreciation" of the extent to which the idea had shaped Evangelicalism.