I don’t own a T.D. Jakes bobble-head doll (Nor a James MacDonald one for that matter). Neither do I tune in daily to one of his many broadcasts on television. So I don’t have a dog in this fight…at all. But I am growing a little bit more concerned, well ticked, at those who have questioned and attacked Pastor James MacDonald’s decision to invite Pastor Jakes to The Elephant Room. At issue is Jakes’ supposed heretical stance on the Trinity (I say supposed because I’ve only heard others articulate his position, and haven’t heard it from Pastor Jakes himself). Because of this, many in the evangelical community have pitched a fit and taken to their computers to let MacDonald and the rest of the blogosphere know how they feel.
This is problematic, mainly because of the issue of genre. Specifically, genre has to do with a form of communication that has huge implications for how the receiver of the communication filters and therefore interprets the information. For example, when I listen to a comedian pontificate on issues of politics, and offer their solution, I am neither offended nor encouraged, why, because of the issue of genre. How I react to a comedian is world’s a part from how I react to a sermon- two different genre’s, you with me? Correct me if I’m wrong, but Pastor James is not asking Bishop Jakes to “get ready, get ready” to preach at his church. He’s simply invited him to a discussion where we can finally hear what Bishop Jakes has to say about his stance on the Trinity, in an environment where there will be questions, and push back.
Here’s another problem I have with these ambitious theolog’s, who are so up in arms about a supposed heretic coming to express his views: Why haven’t I read your blogs attacking Ravi Zacharias, or William Lane Craig when they stand in front of a large audience to debate an atheist? Could it be the issue of genre?
Forgive the strength of my words, but let me say what Pastor James probably shouldn’t- it sounds a bit self righteous and legalistic to attack someone for merely wanting to have a discussion about the issue in a public forum where the truth of God’s Word will be defended. Honestly…honestly, the real problem is not with one man’s errant views on the Trinity (if indeed that is the case), it’s with the many legalist’s that represents the real threat.