James White on the discernment gap

James White, director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, author of over 20 books, professor, accomplished debater and apologist, has posted another pertinent article, this time addressing how the defenders of the Elephant Room fiasco are ‘showing a lack of passion for God’s honor and glory’. White writes:

Reading the commentary on the Elephant Room 2 events, and in particular, the alleged rehabilitation (repentance?) of TD Jakes has truly been brought me sadness. Sure, I know that very few Evangelicals, even scholars, have much experience with modalists and Oneness advocates, but still, the general ease with which many have been taken in by such a shallow and brief discussion does not speak well of the depth of understanding of many today. It also speaks loudly to the fact that many in Evangelicalism disconnect the honor and glory of God from the truth He has revealed about Himself. That is, they do not see that to worship and honor God demands from us our utmost effort to accurately hear and to follow what He has revealed about Himself, primarily in Jesus Christ, and the holy Scriptures. To take lightly God’s self-revelation is an affront to the divine majesty, and would not be the action of a heart that is consumed with passion for its Lord.

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Elephant Room 2 claims first Acts 29 casualty

Chad Vegas, lead pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Bakersfield, has spoken out about why he left Acts 29, a church-planting network founded by Mark Driscoll:

I knew Mark was the primary voice for Acts 29 and that I was not comfortable with how some of his comments represented the network. I also knew Mark and many of the other brothers are faithful ministers of the gospel, disagreements aside.

I remember listening in anticipation as Mark rattled off a series of affirmations. I was waiting for that moment right after the affirmations in which he would ask, “So, do you denounce modalism and prosperity teaching? Are you prepared to change your church’s doctrinal statement, disassociate from modalist organizations, and denounce any and all modalist and prosperity teaching you have participated in?” That moment never came. Instead, Mark smiled, shook Jakes’ hand, and said, “awesome.” I was stunned. I know Mark is smart enough to know that heretics will often affirm what you affirm and the real test is in whether they will deny what you deny. I wondered why Mark didn’t go there.

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Voddie Baucham names the elephant in the room

Voddie Baucham, pastor of Grace Family Baptist Church, has explained why he declined to participate in the Elephant Room 2, and why he did not speak as expected at James MacDonald’s Harvest Men’s Conference.

Buacham offers a thoughtful and intelligent analysis of the problem with T.D. Jakes’ invitation to the Elephant Room, showing how it was a ‘lose-lose for evangelicalism’:

Bishop Jakes is an example of the worst the black church has to offer.

One of the goals of ER2 was to address the issue of “racial” unity. Thus, Bishop Jakes was there (at least in part) as a representative of the “black church.” In light of the aforementioned issues, I was disinclined to participate in such an event. You see, Jakes was an invited guest; an invited ‘black’ guest. If he were mistreated, he had the race card; if he was accepted, he had entree into a new audience. It was a win-win for Jakes, and a lose-lose for evangelicalism. Obviously, he was not going to spout unadulterated modalism. Nor was he going to repudiate his roots (remember, this is his “heritage,” both ethnically and theologically). He had a perfect opportunity to find a middle ground and show “humility” in an environment that would be portrayed as “hostile” even though hostility was forbidden in light of the unwritten rules surrounding his blackness. Thus, his opponents had to choose between outright defeat and pyrrhic victory.

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Elephant Room 2: Uh, this is embarrassing…

This compilation, courtesy of Wretched Radio, shows Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald rebuking the false prosperity gospel preached by T.D. Jakes. What changed, guys?

My thanks to Apprising Ministries for bringing this to my attention.

Further reading:

Elephant Room 2: Bryan Crawford Loritts and the emergence of pachydermism

In a piece entitled, ‘Reformed Crowd Asked to Repent for Attacking TD Jakes’, the Christian Post reports that Elephant Room attendee, Bryan Crawford Loritts, is ‘asking the Reformed community to “repent” of their harsh criticism and one-sided attacks on Bishop T.D. Jakes in regards to his beliefs about the Godhead’.

The Post reports:

To the adjunct professor at Crichton College, those “gospel centered” people elevated love for doctrine over love for people. His words for them were this: “Your conduct is out of step with the gospel,” referring to Apostle Paul’s words to Peter in Galatians 2 when he avoided the Gentiles only when he was around the Jews.

Loritts has apparently failed to understand that it is because we love people – including T.D. Jakes himself – that we want to be sure that they are neither inadvertently trusting in a non-Trinitarian god of their own imagination, nor being deceived by a false prosperity gospel, such as the one Jakes preaches. Loritts uncharitably judges the inward thoughts and intents of his opponents.

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