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Archive for October 3rd, 2011

Great reminder every day!

“Life is just a minute only sixty seconds in it, forced upon you, can‘t refuse it. Didn‘t seek it, didn‘t choose it, but It‘s up to you to use it. You must suffer if you lose it, give an account if you abuse it, just a tiny little minute, but eternity is in it.” — Dr. Benjamin E. Mays

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I am encouraged that many godly men (even many fellow members of the Gospel Coalition) are standing up for orthodoxy at such a time as this!  It’s akin to Paul confronting Peter as is related in Galatians.

Thabiti Anyabwile has had one of the most blunt responses:

MacDonald and Driscoll can moderate discussions with anyone they wish.  But we kid ourselves if we think inviting someone so recalcitrant about fundamental biblical teaching as Jakes can result in anything positive.  MacDonald, Driscoll and others will not be the first to privately and publicly exhort, admonish, instruct and challenge Jakes on this vital issue–to no avail thus far.  And we kid ourselves if we think the Elephant Room invitation itself isn’t an endorsement of sorts.  We can’t downplay the associations by calling for people to suspend judgment and responding ad hominem against “discernment bloggers.”  We certainly can’t do that while simultaneously pointing to our association at The Gospel Coalition as a happy certification of orthodoxy and good practice, as Driscoll seems to dohere with MacDonald.

This isn’t on the scale of Piper inviting Warren.  This is more akin to Augustine inviting Muhammad.  This invitation gives a platform to a heretic.  It’s imprudent and counter-productive–witness already the Trinity-related confusions and obfuscations happening since announcing Jakes’ involvement.

Can the Lord squeeze lemonade out of this lemon?  Absolutely.  I pray He does.  Is it likely?  We’ll see.

Carl Trueman who was one of the first to raise an alarm writes:

I have no problem with mixed platforms.  I have appeared in discussions with atheists, Roman Catholics and even a female gladiator from the British TV series of the same name.  But when one claims, as James Macdonald does for the Elephant Room that this is a context where he gets “brothers together who believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone but normally don’t interact” he is making a strong doctrinal claim for the orthodoxy of the men he has invited and the significance of appearing on his show.  Further, by pre-empting criticism as `discernmentalism’ he is in effect saying, in a manner reminiscent of Charles DeGaulle speaking of France, `L’orthodoxie?  C’est moi!’  This is further confirmed by his dismissal of Nicene orthodoxy as non-essential.  That latter is, of course, about as sectarian a move as one could make.  Orthodoxy becomes what these men decide it is and the rest of us can get with the program or get out of the way.

Phil Johnson argues we shouldn’t play nice with heretics and weighs in:

I don’t mind giving the benefit of the doubt to a young pastor fresh out of seminary who might misstate something or need further instruction to eliminate some latent point of ignorance or clear out the cobwebs of confusion (cf. Acts 18:26).

But a self-styled “bishop”—notorious for his love of money, whoteaches a false prosperity gospel, who freely shills for every aberration on TBN, who was ordained in a Sabellian denomination, who has been confronted repeatedly about his anti-trinitarianism, who refuses to renounce modalism, who declines to embrace any standard expression of Trinitarian conviction, and who (on top of all that) is unclear on practically every doctrine germane to the gospel—such a figure should not be warmly welcomed into evangelical circles and given the platform at an evangelical conference as if we’re confident that he is a solid brother with good intentions.

Dan Phillips asks if this makes sense:  “Nobody is certain what T. D. Jakes believes about the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity, but he’s an important Christian leader, and we all should listen to him.”

It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming week with all of these admonitions and rebukes which I believe are spoken in genuine Christian love for those involved and for the purity of the gospel

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I began preaching from Mark 11 yesterday which is the beginning of Mark’s account of the last week of Jesus Christ before He dies and rises again. It’s a sobering passage that teaches so much about the humility of Jesus Christ as he enters Jerusalem on a donkey, fulfilling several prophecies by this action.  I will be studying this final week of the Savior’s life over the next several months and as I do so I want to keep in mind the words of J. C.Ryle from this Expository Thought on the Gospels:

Let us see here one more proof of the unspeakable importance of the death of Christ. Let us treasure up His gracious sayings. Let us strive to walk in the steps of His holy life. Let us prize His intercession. Let us long for His second coming. But never let us forget that the crowning fact in all we know of Jesus Christ, is His death upon the cross. From that death flow all our hopes. Without that death we would have nothing solid beneath our feet. May we prize that death more and more every year we live; and in all our thoughts about Christ, rejoice in nothing so much as the great fact that He died for us!

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