"Bishop took two pawns"

Thanks to Carl Trueman for posting a link to a fascinating interview with a former Oneness Pentecostal.

RB: Assuming the best and that Jakes now affirms the orthodox view of the Trinity, if you were Mark Driscoll would you have asked him if he was going to publically recant for teaching damning heresy for so long?

JD: Yes. If he truly affirms an orthodox view of the Trinity, he must repent of his former teaching. The two views are totally incompatible.

RB: Elaborate on the practical implications of moving from modalism to the orthodox view in terms of Jakes’ church and world-wide impact. In other words, what would you do if you were T. D. Jakes and you now hold to the orthodox view of the Trinity after confusing so many people for such a long time?

JD: If I were Jakes, I would start to teach the Bible. That may sound like an oversimplification but men like Jakes may use the Bible every Sunday but don’t really teach it. I would start there.

RB: Comment on the following tweet I saw the other day: “The way Jakes played MacDonald & Driscoll, you could say Bishop took two pawns.” Why do you think the tweeter said that?

JD: Jakes quickly neutralized their objective questions with a bit of reverse psychology. MacDonald and Driscoll, who came to ER2 thinking the issue was doctrine, were very quickly routed by the Bishop, and before long they were talking about unity. It is always tempting to abandon our pursuit of doctrinal purity for church unity.

RB: On your Face Book page, you said, “Jakes’ chair was certainly no hot seat for he is an expert in vagueness and unfortunately they were charmed by his charisma.” Explain what you mean.

JD: He has capitalized on his cult of personality. His speaking skills, social diplomacy, and celebrity status can be overwhelming. He is a master at saying a lot without saying a lot. He is also a very likable fellow and the 30,000 Texans who make up his congregation are proof that theological ambiguity can fill a church building. I have been to conventions where he was the main speaker and have seen multitudes swoon over him. Driscoll and MacDonald were easy pickings.

RB: What would you say to folks who may be confused about ER2 and the discussion with Jakes?

JD: It may come as a surprise but men like T. D. Jakes are not epistemologically self-conscious. By that I mean that they spend so much time on motivating speech and platitudes that they’ve given very little time or thought to expound why they believe what they believe. They have reduced their doctrinal expressions to harmless sound-bytes intended to offend the least amount of people possible, and this is why he could neither call himself a Trinitarian nor fully renounce Oneness.

Read the entire interview HERE.

I must say that I am very concerned about the consequences of the Elephant Room. Driscoll, MacDonald and the other participants now affirm T.D. Jakes as orthodox. It is clear from Jakes' own words that he now desires to identify himself as Trinitarian while still holding on to modalist language. Driscoll and MacDonald should have called him on this. By failing to do so they diminished the importance of this central doctrine of biblical Christianity. By failing to mention, much less confront Jakes on his prosperity preaching, they failed further.

The clean bill of doctrinal health given to Jakes by Driscoll and MacDonald will only mean greater confusion within the church. It will mean pastors such as myself will need to be increasingly vigilant. Of course pastors expect this. What we do not expect is for false teachers to be given entree by influential evangelicals.