One of the co-hosts of the second installment of the Elephant Room, a theological roundtable featuring blunt conversations among seven influential pastors, says he purposefully toned down his aggressive line of questioning from his moderation of last year’s conference in order to make sure relationships were built.
Church leaders who had watched both events (Rounds 1 and 2) and posted their observations online about the conference said they noticed a more friendly dialogue during the sessions that were simulcast live to 70 host locations throughout North America on Wednesday.
Pastor James MacDonald, who shared moderator duties with Pastor Mark Driscoll, may have helped eliminate the fireworks that took place during Round 1 of the Elephant Room but there were plenty of repercussions before and after the Round 2 discussion.
MacDonald had drawn critics for inviting Bishop T. D. Jakes. Many Reformed Christians accused Jakes of being a “heretic” due to his purported belief in modalism – the insistence that members of the Holy Trinity are not three distinct, eternally co-existing persons, but only forms of God (a singular spirit), a doctrine held by Oneness Apostolic Pentecostals.
For that reason, conservative evangelicals and leaders at The Gospel Coalition allegedly began pressuring MacDonald to “pull the plug” on Bishop Jakes’ appearance at the Elephant Room conference, which eventually led MacDonald to resign as a TGC council member.
“It has cost me some relationships,” said MacDonald during one of the final sessions on Wednesday. “I thought I knew what the Lord wanted me to do, and I had good counsel. Craig Groeschel has a lot of wisdom, and he said to me, ‘Just because someone doesn’t want you in their circle anymore doesn’t mean they can’t be in yours.'”
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SOURCE: Christian Post