Today’s #ElephantRoom event was a smashing success. I will be reflecting on what was discussed and shared for weeks to come, and look forward to more healthy discussions that come from the event. I am very glad I attended the simulcast in MN. Here’s a quick round-up of blog posts either commenting on today’s event or providing summaries of the conversations.
C Michael Patton writes, “T.D. Jakes Not Modalist? An Update from the Elephant Room.”
Trevin Wax offers live-blogging of the event:
- Conversation 1 – Jack Graham & Mark Driscoll, moderated by MacDonald
- Conversation 2 – Steven Furtick & Crawford Loritts, moderated by MacDonald
- Conversation 3 – Wayne Cordeiro & James MacDonald, moderated by Driscoll
- Conversation 4 – T. D. Jakes & Mark Driscoll, moderated by MacDonald
- Conversation 5 – Jack Graham & T. D. Jakes, moderated by Driscoll
- Conversation 6 – Crawford Loritts & Wayne Cordeiro, moderated MacDonald
- Conversation 7 – James MacDonald and Steven Furtick, moderated by Mark Driscoll
- Conversation 8 – Full panel discussion
Brian LePort asks, “Is T.D. Jakes a Trinitarian?” while also asking a few other questions, including, “Does it matter to you either way or do you find this to be a debate over semantics?”
Mark Driscoll has notes too:
- “With a Little Help from My Friends”
- “Can’t Buy Me Love”
- “Hard Day’s Night”
- “Ticket to Ride”
- “Come Together”
- “We Can Work It Out”
As I stated, the event was excellent. It wasn’t as “aggressive” as last year’s event, which surprised me. It was a long day, as we had to drive several hours to get to the event, so I’m not going to write a full summary of my impressions now. I’ll just quickly state the following:
James MacDonald’s purpose for this gathering was right on. Encouraging discussion and pursuing conversation in order to understand… excellent. I am grateful for his honesty about transitioning from being an angry Fundamentalist to a gracious and caring evangelical leader. I’m also hopeful that there can be continued discussion between those who differ with his conversational methodologies and commitments, as I would like more understanding in those areas.
Mark Driscoll was hilarious, as usual, yet far more tame than I was expecting him to be. I’m back to liking Driscoll, so I’m glad that seeing him at this event was able to balance out my recent frustration for some of the things he’s recently said. He did a great job when talking to T.D. Jakes, and I hope his attitude will filter throughout the “NeoReformed” movement (yes, I’m using that term tongue firmly planted in cheek… but you get my point).
Jack Graham was great. I don’t know much about him, but I thought he offered a great deal of wisdom that I will value in the days to come. I would like to hear more from him.
Wayne Cordeiro continues to impress me. He. Is. A. Gem. I mean, everything he shared about how to take care of your soul as a pastor was gold. And I will be thinking about his wisdom for days to come. I need to reread the books I have of his and get the ones I don’t already own. Fantastic stuff, Wayne.This guy is a great example of pastoral care for pastors.
Steven Furtick was pretty transparent. I got the feeling that he’s really been hurt by a lot of “heresy hunters” and “discernment bloggers,” many of which are probably part of that alleged “NeoReformed” group. I’m grieved by that. I am not sure about a few of Furtick’s methods, but I believe his intentions are far more godly than some angry people would care to admit and I think he’s very humble. I appreciated his transparency in many, many areas. He comes across very teachable and open to insight from more experienced people.
Crawford Loritts was awesome. Again, more soul care for myself. I found myself constantly desiring to just soak in the wisdom that he had. I hope and pray that Crawford’s words about creating cultures of holiness within our churches will stick. I was challenged and encouraged by everything he said. Loved it.
T.D. Jakes. I don’t know what to say. Jakes stole the show for me. His wisdom and depth are things I’m unable to quickly unpack. When Jakes would say something, it felt as if everyone in the room, both participants and those watching, had to just sit and reflect… Jakes is a thinker, and you can’t help by become one when you hear him talk. His insights into ethnic diversity and engaging other people as human beings created by God was not only stimulating, it was something I hope everyone gets to hear. And his explanation of his view on the Trinity was satisfying to this “hard Trinitarian.” If what Jakes said today was what he really believes, and I have no reason to believe it isn’t, I extend the “right-hand” of evangelical fellowship his way. I’m sure there will be more to talk about and I hope that conversation continues…
I need to go to bed. Being up at 6am to drive to Minneapolis for this event has left me tuckered out…
What were/are your thoughts?
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.