I would love to love the Elephant Room, I really would. Elephant Room?, you say. Never heard of it. Well, in a nutshell, the Elephant Room is meant to be sort of a roundtable discussion group for Christian brainiacs. The first Elephant Room was held March 2011, and the one I'm discussing here is the upcoming Elephant Room 2, which is scheduled to be held January 2012. Elephant Room 2 is facilitated by two members of The Gospel Coalition, a group that, according to its website, is committed to the purity of the gospel. Seriously, what's not to like about that? Coming out of the vapidness of the seeker sensitive, "doctrine lite" model of church, as I did, I was primed to love something like the Elephant Room. So what's the problem? Well, there is the ongoing issue of Mark Driscoll (who is one of the facilitators), but besides that, look at who one of the keynote speakers will be:
That's right, the very popular T.D. Jakes. What's wrong with that? Well, T.D. Jakes holds to the Oneness Pentecostal view, which is a heresy that denies the biblical view of the Trinity. From T.D. Jakes' website for his church (The Potter's House):
Yes, the doctrine of the Trinity is deep theological waters, but Christian leaders must line up with Scripture in this area (which is a foundational belief of orthodox Christianity), because not to do so is to wander into heresy, and take others there with you.
"Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment." James 3:1Elephant Room 2 might seem like a great idea in theory, but don't forget, Communism also has a way of looking good on paper but playing itself out in disastrous ways when implemented in real life. And remember, as bad as Communism is, it can only kill men's bodies, not their souls. A wrong understanding of the Trinity (as in Oneness Pentacostalism) can damn souls eternally.
What will happen in Elephant Room 2? Will T.D. Jakes be confronted with truth and exhorted to repent from his heretical views? Will he then go to his many, many followers in humble sorrow over representing God wrongly, and teach his followers the truth about the Trinity? Or will there be a carefully nuanced discussion that will be allowed to stand, unchallenged, and which does not clarify the proper view of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit?
We'll have to tune in and see.
Why Is Oneness Pentecostalism Heresy? Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (There are 30 segments in total in this excellent series, but 1-10 is a good start, and the rest can be found on YouTube)
James MacDonald Digs Deeper Hole For the Elephant Room
T.D. Jakes' Modalism is Just the Tip of the Iceberg
James MacDonald, T.D. Jakes and Postmodern Obfuscation
Oneness-Pentecostals vs. Christians
Is Nicene Christianity That Important? An historical-ecumenical note
Mark Driscoll and Pornographic Divination
Who Should I Contact At The Gospel Coalition If I Have Concerns?