The Elephant Room

Discussion in 'General discussions' started by Jeff Burns, Sep 21, 2011.

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  1. Jeff Burns

    Jeff Burns Puritan Board Freshman

    Anyone here familiar with James MacDonald's Elephant Room conference? Last year's conference was billed as follows:

    "The Elephant Room will feature blunt conversations between seven influential pastors who share a common love for the gospel but take differing approaches to ministry. No keynotes. No canned messages. The purpose of the Elephant Room is to model loving confrontation and gracious disagreement that honors relationship and allows diversity of opinion but stands without compromise on the revealed word of God. As Proverbs 27:17 instructs us that iron sharpens iron, so we want to sharpen each other for effective ministry. You’ll be stretched and challenged in your convictions while gaining practical insights from a variety of pastoral perspectives."

    Last year's speaker lineup was Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald, Steven Furtick, David Platt, Matt Chandler, Greg Laurie, and Perry Noble.

    I was saddened that the folks who put this on think the only difference between Furtick/Noble and Driscoll/MacDonald/Chandler is methodilogical. Furtick and Noble are leading many people astray in the Carolinas, and it's truly sad to see it happen.

    That said, the Elephant Room Round 2 has just been announced. Only 3 speakers scheduled so far: Driscoll, MacDonald, and Mark Dever. Now I'm really concerned... Dever has a considerably good track record as well as a nicely tuned "discern-o-meter." But this seems like he's just trying to step on a syncretistic land mine. I don't know if there will be any out and out heretics there this year, but I just don't understand why Dever thinks it's a good idea to associate himself and his ministry with this type of event.

  2. ryanhamre

    ryanhamre Puritan Board Freshman

  3. FenderPriest

    FenderPriest Puritan Board Junior

    Speaking at a conference doesn't mean a man endorses the conference leaders' or standing on any/all issues. It's not how conferences work. It'd be inappropriate to say Dever speaks at ER-Conference, the host believes/does X, therefore, Dever endorses/doesn't care about X. If anything, my guess is that McDonald appreciates things Dever has to say, Dever sees an opportunity to help and influence, and receives the invite as such: an opportunity to help, influence, and hopefully sharpen brothers in the faith.

    As for TD Jakes... I don't know.
  4. Jeff Burns

    Jeff Burns Puritan Board Freshman

    Wow... That's troubling to say the least.
  5. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    The problem is that according to the description given, these people share a common love for the Gospel. But is their Gospel in common? By appearing there, according to the conference description, you give the inevitable impression that there is no difference between you and Furtick or Jakes when it comes to the substance of the Gospel. But how far out does a person have to be before you start denying that you preach the same Gospel?
  6. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    Hopefully Dever (or anyone for that matter) calls Jakes to task on his denial of the Trinity and his propagation of the prosperity gospel.
  7. Jeff Burns

    Jeff Burns Puritan Board Freshman

    I hope that is the case as well. But I've been around evangelicalism enough to know that while you can hope for the best, don't expect your hopes to pan out. Unless Dever is willing to openly call folks like TD Jakes to repentance for teaching out right heresy and leading many people astray with his prospertiy gospel, and is also willing to do the same for whoever the next sub-orthodox speaker is, I really don't see the wisdom in even joining yourself to this type of event. Look at this video for a good dose of what it looked like when Dever was trying to speak to other brothers on a simple issue. He tries to appeal to scripture, they drown him out and throw out meaningless arguments until he just has to shrug as if to say "Well, I tried..." I doubt if this conference will afford a more meaningful platform for discussion (and rebuke).

    ---------- Post added at 01:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:35 PM ----------

    Exactly. That's what I was trying to get at in the first post...
  8. FenderPriest

    FenderPriest Puritan Board Junior

    If the comments on the announcement mean anything, I think his denial of the Trinity will come up.
  9. Rufus

    Rufus Puritan Board Junior

    I'm sure it will be brought up. I would imagine that Matt Chandler of Mark Driscoll would too.
  10. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Junior

    This is going to cause a stink. I hope Dever withdraws his participation from this conference. It would give the impression that differences concerning something as essential as the Trinity are but a secondary and incidental issue among participants with equally valid view-points. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
  11. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Sounds like a good thing to miss.
  12. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    Really? I'm actually interested in watching it now!
  13. Zach

    Zach Puritan Board Junior

    I want to hear Matt Chandler call him "a prosperity gospel clown".
  14. ryanhamre

    ryanhamre Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm curious to see what Dever is going to say/do or of Jakes is going to be confronted. While those putting on "The Elephant Room" are showing us 1 by 1 who is going to be on there, there was no suprise to Dever that Jakes was going to be on... there really had to have been a full list shared between all the individuals involved prior to the agreement to be on the show.

    I hope the non-trinitarianism gets hit hard.
  15. FenderPriest

    FenderPriest Puritan Board Junior

    And interesting post on Jakes' doctrine of the Trinity (with audio interview): Is T.D. Jakes Now Trinitarian? Seems most people are doing a sideways dog head to this.
  16. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    From James McDonald's post

    There are some major, major problems in this quotation and they are not because of T.D. Jakes.
  17. ryanhamre

    ryanhamre Puritan Board Freshman

    There's also this one from MacDonald-

    Sounds very McLaren'esque... very much a "Generous Orthodoxy".
  18. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    I'd never heard of MacDonald before this Elephant room stuff. I quickly learned I do not care for him.
  19. Fly Caster

    Fly Caster Puritan Board Sophomore

    This is the second disturbing thing that I've seen from MacDonald this week. The first was this Indefensible Defense of Perry Noble. Now this.

    I used to hear him some a few years ago and he seemed like a Greg Laurie with a bit more depth. Having become more soldily Reformed over the years myself-- on one hand I rejoice that Reformed thought is having a wider impact on the mass of American Evangelicalim, and on the other hand I see an urgent need for us, as Reformed, to come out from some of this mess and be distinctly seperate.
  20. john_Mark

    john_Mark Puritan Board Freshman

    Recent words from Jakes on the Trinity.

    FYI, I replied to MacDonald by quoting Jakes own words on the Trinity and his continued association with Oneness folks. You can read it here:
    TD Jakes: Association Lacking Discernment?.

    I'm not sure how these guys don't see a problem.
  21. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Some of it is that we've been trained to belittle the separatist logic used by fundamentalists - even when it is logical.

    Some of it is that we are biblicists with little appreciation for dogmatic concerns.

    And some of it is that attempts to gain influence or curry favor really are a slippery slope: if one compromise seemed to have a good payoff, your incentive to resist the next one is that much reduced.
  22. Phil D.

    Phil D. Puritan Board Sophomore

  23. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

  24. JP Wallace

    JP Wallace Puritan Board Sophomore

    I'm with Andres

    "I quickly learned I do not care for him."

    I learned that when I watched the interview he and Driscoll did with Dever where he was just obnoxiously rude to Dever. But it was this week that capped it all off - the nonsense about Noble and most of all his disdain for the historic confessions, creeds and statements of the Church of Jesus Christ.

    "I do not trace my beliefs to credal statements that seek clarity on things the Bible clouds with mystery. I do not require T.D. Jakes or anyone else to define the details of Trinitarianism the way that I might.''

    It's all there; an explicit historic snobbery, and an explicit postmodern relativism. So there we have the so-called modern reformed movement - ''make up your own orthodoxy, express how you want - don't matter too much, after all we're all brothers.''

    Dr. Trueman's piece linked above is SO good - a must read.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
  25. ryanhamre

    ryanhamre Puritan Board Freshman

  26. Jeff Burns

    Jeff Burns Puritan Board Freshman

  27. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    I think it is positive that they have adjusted the information so that it no longer says they are only inviting brethren or people who are agreed on the gospel.

    Such change, of course, can be merely cosmetic: in other words, not a result of actually changing views due to listening to the critics, but merely eliminating a weakness that made it harder to spin or backpedal. But what the true nature of the change is will become fully apparent in due time.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  28. Jeff Burns

    Jeff Burns Puritan Board Freshman

    Well the bloggers over at Reformation 21 are really laying it on thick, and I for one have found it to be rather hilarious. Enjoy these posts, if you like.

    Carl Trueman announces he and some of his buddies will be getting together to discuss quantum theory for anyone who would care to join in and listen.

    Rodney Trotter announces an up comming name change for his ministry, as well as a new conference he's going to put on in the near future, and goes ahead and preemptively silences any of his detractors.
  29. Phil D.

    Phil D. Puritan Board Sophomore

    Reformed Baptist pastor Thabiti Anyabwile has come out with a spot-on, heavy hitting critique of Jake's participation in this forum. Here's a quick line from it: "This isn’t on the scale of Piper inviting Warren. This is more akin to Augustine inviting Muhammad."

    Read the full article on The Gospel Coalition website: Collateral Damage in the Invitation of T.D. Jakes to the Elephant Room
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