The announcement T.D. Jakes participation at Elephant Room 2 (ER2) has generated much digital ink in the last week. I’ve shared some of the trouble I have with Jakes participation.1 Other Christians have provided more thorough responses than I explaining their concern over James MacDonald inviting T.D. Jakes.2 Note that no one is disputing that MacDonald can host whoever he wants at ER2 even while disagreeing with him.
It is, however, too soon to know for sure whether or not ER2 will take place as scheduled. Anything can happen, right? Outside of Jakes withdrawing or having his invitation withdrawn the event will most likely happen though. I wonder if someone like Mark Dever were to withdraw if that would shake things up? Personally, I lean toward Dever withdrawing, but I would also love for Dever to ask pointed, biblical questions of Jakes about the Trinity. This brings me to the question at hand.
What would you ask T.D. Jakes at Elephant Room 2?
While I think the most loving thing to do would be to not have Jakes participate in ER2 maybe some of us on this side of the issue can offer some constructive questions. Contrary to possible opinion, I don’t dislike T.D. Jakes, but I do care about him enough to want him to embrace the second Person of the Trinity, the true Jesus of the Bible.
As I see it, pointed doctrinal questions may ultimately have three effects on Mr. Jakes.
- He continues his unclear, uncommitted position on the Trinity.
- He clearly shows that he does not embrace the Trinity.
- He repents of Modalism and embraces the true biblical God as He has revealed Himself inthe Trinity.
Maybe pointed doctrinal questions can help minimize any negative impact on the Body of Christ, and those outside of the Body, that Jakes appearance might have. Of course, there is no guarantee that any suggested questions would be used by MacDonald, Driscoll or the other participants, but it may give them and the potential ER2 viewers a few things to think about.
In no particular order, here are a few suggestions to which I hope some readers will add their own questions.
- What is the gospel?
- What is justification?
- What is sanctification?
- Do you believe in the doctrine of the Trinity summarized as: (1) There is only one God. (2) The Father is God. (3) The Son is God. (4) The Holy Spirit is God. (5) The Father is not the Son. (6) The Son is the not the Holy Spirit?3
- Why does the Potter’s House belief statement state that God exists in three manifestations?
- In a 2010 interview you stated that you “adamantly” defended Oneness doctrine as a teenager, so should it be understood that you clearly understand the doctrinal differences between Oneness and Trinitarian beliefs?
- Why have you seemingly been so unwilling to answer directly about your beliefs on the Trinity in the past?
- How important is one’s understanding of the Godhead as it relates to Scripture and the gospel?
- Given the significant theological differences, why do you consider both Oneness and Trinitarian doctrine as valid Christian beliefs?
- You stated that your views of the Godhead are evolving, would it be prudent to think that one who holds the title “Bishop” should have a more solid position on the Trinity?
- Why have you continued to use the title “Bishop” since your views of the Godhead are evolving and the title was given to you by a Oneness group?
- You have stated that you don’t want to attack doctrine. Would you consider Paul publicly correcting Peter’s doctrine in the book of Galatians to be an attack?
- You have stated that you don’t want to attack doctrine. But aren’t pastors, bishops and elders charged with teaching sound doctrine while rebuking and correcting false doctrine and teachers?
- Is the doctrine of the Trinity any more or less important today than it was in the early church?
- Do you believe the Jesus was materially wealthy while He walked the earth?
What would you ask T.D. Jakes?