I’m a big fan of the Gospel Coalition. I think what they are doing for the church in America
is invaluable. When I heard that they were going to get main leaders, controversial ones and hammer things out, I thought it was a great idea. I’ve always wanted someone to draw back the curtain on certain leaders and give them an actual chance to defend their specific stance on theology. I would love to ask Joel Osteen for instance, about his prosperity gospel message and actually hear the heart behind the words. However in wanting to do so I don’t think you can lose sight of the word that intrigues you to that person in the first place “Controversial”. If you bring a controversial leader onto your stage and ask him controversial questions, well 1+1= I think you catch my drift. The Elephant room experiment worked in that we got to hear T.D. Jake’s side on his view of modelism or as he now calls it trinitarianism. But it backfired in that by the end of it one of the 2 hosts, James MacDonald, resigned from the Gospel Coalition because of the backlash. The aftermath was a bit tumultuous. It didn’t inspire a theological conversation to better help people understand various streams. Instead it seemed to polarize each side.
There is a Proverb here to keep in mind: Proverbs 26:17 “Don’t take a Rabid dog by the ears…”
Here is the official story from the Gospel Coalition:
If you’re a critic of the Gospel Coalition’s response—or seeming lack of response—to the Elephant Room controversy, or if you’re a critic of the Elephant Room and its repercussions, I hope you’ll slow down and read the whole thing. I am under no illusions that it will answer all the questions or satisfy everyone—I’m sure it won’t—but perhaps it will clarify at least a few things.