Contrasting Elephant Rooms: James MacDonald, Mark Driscoll, T.D. Jakes and David Platt
The Evangelical Reformed-type and Gospel Coalition-type blogospheres are all atwitter regarding the events surrounding James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll’s velvet-gloved interrogation of prosperity-gospel-televangelist-modalist T.D. Jakes on the doctrine of the Trinity. Many have weighed in on the subject, pointing out that Jakes has not renounced modalism, nor has he subscribed to trinitarianism. He’s just dumping more mud in already turbid waters… and “MacDriscoll” are all too happy to drink it down like a glass of orthodoxy.
However, I’d like to point out an as-yet-unnoticed inconsistency between Elephant Room 1 and Elephant Room 2 which I think is significant.
You see, during ER1, MacDonald and Driscoll double-teamed David Platt on the subject of “Money.” Platt’s church had “radically” revamped their entire church budget in order to give as much money as possible to international missions. They had even gone so far as to cut certain snacks from the children’s Sunday school budget. (Platt has infamously shared a humorous anecdote about his son coming home from Sunday school shortly after the new budget took effect, opining the loss of his favorite goldfish crackers. His mother says something to the effect of, “You can thank your father for that.”)
MacDonald and Driscoll were both consistently critical of Platt’s approach to budgeting for international missions, even to the point of ridicule. Driscoll went so far as to say that if somebody took crackers from his kids’ mouths that he’d be starting a prison ministry from inside of the prison. They repeatedly steamrolled over Platt, interrupting him frequently and essentially ignoring any points he tried to raise in defense of his church’s actions. To Platt’s credit, he responded with humility and expressed a teachable spirit (though I think the lessons being taught by “MacDriscoll” were anti-missionary and pragmatic to the core).
The contrast with their approach to T.D. Jakes was painful to witness. When sitting face-to-face with one of the most famous prosperity-gospel-mongers in the world today “MacDriscoll” was conspicuously silent on the subject of money and gave him a pass on his obfuscatory presentation of the doctrine of the Trinity.
When sitting face-to-face with a “radically” self-sacrificial pastor with a missionary’s heart, they criticized and ridiculed him for not giving obese American children enough snack options at the Sunday School buffet.