Around the Interweb

MacDonald, Jakes & the Elephant in the Room

Tim Challies offers a terrific response to the hubbub surrounding James MacDonald’s curious decision to invite T.D. Jakes to the upcoming Elephant Room event:

Just yesterday MacDonald wrote, “I am excited to welcome Bishop Jakes to the Elephant Room and hear him articulate his own convictions on this and other essential matters.” As I think about round 2 of the Elephant Room, here is what I want to know: Will T.D. Jakes be challenged very specifically on what he believes about the Trinity? Will this be the elephant in the room when he sits there with MacDonald and whoever else? Will these men be willing to ask him very difficult, very nuanced, very penetrating questions? And if he finally says, “Yes, I am a modalist” will they then be willing to tell him, “You are a heretic; you are not a Christian”? If he proves himself to be a modalist, will MacDonald then remove him from the event? Will all of this happen not to burn him at the stake, but for the sake of his own soul and for the sake of those who follow him? Souls are at stake here!

Read the rest.

The “Religious People” Boogeyman

Jared Wilson offers this interesting piece on another person whose actions have been causing a stink recently—Perry Noble:

Pastors who invoke the “religious people” boogeyman are really just trying to offend people outside their church. This might be good for laughs and applause, good red meat for the congregation, good for camaraderie, but it is also profoundly stupid. If you make decisions at your church out of a desire to thumb your nose at people at other churches, you need to get a life.

Read the rest.

Also Worth Reading

Theology: The Trinity: A Necessary Doctrine

Worship: How to Make an Appropriately Loud, Joyful Noise

In Case You Missed It

Book Review: The King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight

An excerpt from Awaiting a Savior: No Command Can Inspire the Openhanded Lifestyle

Charles Spurgeon: We are Waiting till We shall be Manifested as the Children of God

Book Review: Innocent Blood by John Ensor

Leadership and the Successful Local Church

J.C. Ryle: Love is the Grand Secret of True Obedience

Get new content delivered to your inbox!

  • Sean Chandler

    I guess I don’t understand all the controversy surrounding T.D. Jakes at the Elephant Room because the entire point of the event is to get people together who disagree to discuss their differences. This seems to be the one event James McDonald could throw and it makes sense to invite a closet modalist pastor who preaches prosperity.  

    I don’t understand judging the invitation. Wait to see what they do with the opportunity the invitation creates, and then you can start making judgments.

    • Aaron Armstrong

      I get the concern (maybe not the way some have been expressing it) in that the entire thing smacks of folly. 

      With a concept like the Elephant Room, it makes total sense to have folks from all over the map—to a point. Put a heavy-duty “seeker” guy up against the hard-core reformed guy, the charismatic against the cessationist, MacArthur against Driscoll… any of that makes perfect sense, because while they have some significant differences, they agree on essentials (in theory). 

      The last time, they came down pretty hard (rightly I think) on Perry Noble for the Highway to Hell debacle; and while there was strong disagreement on his tactics, no one is suggesting that he’s not a believer. 

      I’m not sure it’s wise to give a platform to anyone who holds to not debatable but demonstrably false doctrine (such as prosperity theology or modalism), though. It strikes me as either a set-up to smash a person or inadvertently endorsing a false teacher (if indeed Jakes is a modalist). I would hope that people would lose their minds to the same degree if it were a Joel Osteen or Joyce Meyer (two strong proponents of the health and wealth gospel) who’d been invited to the event.

      Maybe I’m missing the point on the whole purpose though?

      • Sean Chandler

        I guess I see the Elephant Room as the opportunity to see the conversations which take place behind the scenes. In the article you linked, the person mentioned how the event is by Christian leaders of Christian leaders for Christian leaders.  I just don’t feel that just because that’s what the event was last time it has to be that this time.  As long as at the event the people is treated like what they are, I don’t have a problem with them inviting anyone.  

        If they avoid talking about prosperity and the trinity, they’re clearly missing the elephant in the elephant room.  If they address those issues head on (and it’s not like T.D. Jakes won’t know it’s coming), I don’t understand why it’s a bad thing.  Why would it be bad for Mark Driscoll to sit down with T.D. Jakes and have an honest discussion about the prosperity gospel?

        I don’t want them to endorse prosperity or modalism, but I’m super-interested to see a conversation involving this group of guys.  I’m very interested in someone asking Furtick about his meet up with Joel Osteen a couple years ago.