The second round of the Elephant Room has come and gone. But as avid blog readers know, the debate surrounding the wisdom or folly of the event continues. This one may have bigger ramifications that most quick-a-minute Christian controversies.
I won't recap all the posts out there. Justin Taylor, as usual, has a good round up of the events and a sharp analysis. Thabiti's post from several months ago was courageous and worth reading again, as is Voddie's piece from a few days ago. D.A. Carson is working on some reflections for later this week. Be sure to look for those too.
Hesitations more >>
WASHINGTON – President Obama took a markedly more political tone in his address at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning than he did at the same event last year.
The president talked about his public policy stances, including barring health insurance companies from rejecting people with pre-existing conditions and reducing tax breaks for the wealthy, hand-in-hand with his faith, often citing snippets of popular Bible verses.
"[S]o when I talk about our financial institutions playing by the same rules as folks on Main Street…or making sure that unscrupulous lenders aren't taking advantage of the most vulnerable among us, I do so because I genuinely believe it will make the economy strong for everybody," Obama said. more >>
Voddie Baucham, Pastor of Preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas, has released a blog post in which he explains why he turned down an invitation to participate in the second round of The Elephant Room, held Jan. 25, and left another conference hosted by James MacDonald without fulfilling his speaking duties.
The Elephant Room, a theological roundtable featuring blunt conversations among seven influential pastors, generated a noted level of controversy due to the invitation of Bishop T.D. Jakes, founder and senior pastor of The Potter's House in Dallas, to participate in the discussions. Jakes has been accused of heresy by some in the Christian community for his affiliation with modalism, which explains the Godhead in non-Trinitarian terms.
Modalism, a 3rd-century teaching accredited to theologian Sabellius, purports that the members of the Trinity are not three distinct, eternally co-existing persons, but that instead God, a singular spirit, manifests Himself at different times in three modes – a doctrine espoused by Oneness Apostolic Pentecostal and United Pentecostal Church International denominations. more >>
Lead pastor and author 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.
Having personally attended this year's Elephant Room featuring speakers like Jakes, Mark Driscoll, Steven Furtick and his father Crawford Loritts, the younger Loritts found the assaults directed toward The Potter's House senior pastor unwarranted and unbiblical.
"If you have attacked Bishop Jakes, or James MacDonald over Bishop's perceived modalism, and after hearing what he has to say and how he is not a modalist, then you need to repent, and it needs to be as public as the attacks that you have made," the Fellowship Memphis leader penned on his blog Thursday. more >>
Seven pastors of some of the largest churches in the U.S. shared their own personal testimonies of conversion to Christianity in a few short, concise sentences during the final session of a theological roundtable at Harvest Studios in Aurora, Ill., Wednesday.
During the "Speed Round" of the Elephant Room Round 2 – a gathering of seven prominent church leaders in the Christian community – pastors were asked to give short answers to several questions asked one at a time. Their answers gave a revealing look at their personal lives, not commonly known in some cases.
The all-day conference moderated by pastors James McDonald and Mark Driscoll was designed to challenge participants on perceived theological and teaching style differences. Although the leaders never engaged in a heated conversation, some of the thoughts shared at the conference have become fodder for further debate. more >>
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In round two of The Elephant Room conference, a series of "blunt conversations" between influential megachurch pastors held in Aurora, Ill., Wednesday, the non-negotiables for presenting the Gospel were discussed.
The seven pastors participating in the event all agreed that in a Gospel presentation there are five elements that are key: recognition of sin, that Jesus lived without sin, Jesus' death and resurrection, repentance, and faith.
But discussion mediator James MacDonald said even with that agreement, there is still "a lot of talk these days about the Gospel" and how to present it. He asked Crawford Loritts of Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Ga., and Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in Charlotte, N.C., to weigh in on the topic. more >>