Thursday, July 30, 2015

someone else Driscoll used to rip on, William Young, for The Shack. If Driscoll got friendly with T. D. Jakes and apologized to Osteen, how about the author of The Shack?

A few years ago Mark Driscoll anticipated meeting with T. D. Jakes at Elephant Room 2.  You won't find what he had to say, most likely, not without a little help.  Wenatchee The Hatchet commented on some of what Driscoll had to say and some of that material is still preserved.

From PastorMarkTV
Admittedly, sometimes when speaking, a teacher presents a belief in a way that is inaccurate and unclear. So called “discernment” bloggers who are usually not connected to any noteworthy or respected evangelical Christian theologians, schools, denominations, ministries, churches, or pastors make their living taking what people said wrongly, transcribing it, and then falsely—or at least wrongly—accusing them of heresy when it is untrue.

The ear is more forgiving than the eye, and when we say something wrong, people tend to give the benefit of the doubt. But, when what is said is then written down, there is far more scrutiny as a statement is parsed like a Bible verse, which is unfair. ...

In closing, I want to thank Pastor MacDonald for putting together what could be an amazingly insightful event around the Trinity and many other issues that the Church needs to consider. I thank God that I have an opportunity to be involved and ask some questions. I want to encourage folks to wait until the event before making any final judgments about anyone or anything. And, I want to encourage all the men who are signed up to show up. We worship a Jesus who died for what he believed. The least we can do in his name is get on a plane for what we believe.
Okay ... so Driscoll is encouraging everyone to wait until there's a meeting of the minds before making any final judgments about anyone or anything.  I'm glad to know Driscoll is encouraging people to suspend final judgments about the doctrinal purity and character of a man like Jakes who has been preaching for decades, just like Driscoll himself refrained from making final judgments about William Young and Young's novel The Shack back in 2008. Driscoll totally waited to actually go talk to the best-selling author about what his actual views on the Trinity are before going off in public denouncing Young as a heretic.

Oh ... wait a minute ...
[WtH 7-30-2015 a video that seems to preserve the rant is over here, for now.]

 Maybe Mark Driscoll didn't avoid making a rush to a final judgment about anyone and anything in the case of William Young and The Shack. So when Driscoll says we should wait with Jakes, and that we should not assume the worst about mere words like "manifestations" in a doctrinal statement maybe he just means "Do as I say, not as I did."  There needs to be time for the megachurch pastors Driscoll, MacDonald and Jakes to meet and discuss this stuff.  We should give folks the benefit of a doubt because Jakes hangs out with James MacDonald sometimes, I guess, and we are supposed to be doing what Driscoll says we should do and not follow his example. Driscoll seems tentative only because Jakes sometimes associates with MacDonald and MacDonald's cool so a good ol' boy network among megachurch pastors has to count for something, doesn't it? After publicly using Joel Osteen as an example of an unhealthy prosperity theology (Driscoll denunciations can be so stern he can make people sound like heretics even when he agrees they're fellow believers 02-05-2013) and implying that Ed Young Jr's sex sermons were creepy and overselling sex (and obviously not as good as Driscoll's own quarter year Peasant Princess) .... maybe Driscoll just feels he needs to cut a megachurch pastor some slack now? I don't know.

But here is something I am relatively confident about--William Young is, let us remember, a novelist and not a pastor.  He is not regarded by anyone as a pastor, or a theologian, or a spiritual authority on jack squat.  Let me reframe this a bit for further clarity, William Young self-published his one novel with a few other guys' help (who he's been suing, apparently) and it's a novel.  It's a made-up story that does not present itself as a sermon, as a catechism, as a creed, as a confessional statement, or anything other than a tale about a person.  Young never seems to have been out to create the next Nicene Creed or the next Heidelberg catechism or some Westminster Confession.  It's just a novel, and it is to date, apparently the only novel he has published.  There may not even be a second one, folks.

T. D. Jakes, by contrast, is a megachurch pastor who has been in ministry for decades, and Driscoll believes Jakes deserves the most leniency we can muster.  Innocent until Driscoll thinks Jakes is guilty even though Driscoll seems to have not really bothered to investigate things much. Okay, that Senator Grassley probe from 2007 didn't come up with anything untoward.  Untoward was what got Jakes' son Jermaine in legal trouble but that's a different kind of untoward behavior and that's not T. D.'s fault except in the neo-Calvinist realm of headship where "headship means that as the father, even if it's not your fault, it's your responsibility."  Driscoll at least used to put it that way. 

But something seems backwards here.  Wouldn't the person to be uncompromising and confrontational with is an actual pastor who preaches at a megachurch with 30,000 members; who's been in ministry for decadess; who has met with presidents of the United States; and has published numerous books? Wouldn't the person to take the wait-and-see approach have been the one-hit wonder novelist no one had heard of before, who has no theological training, apparently isn't even attending a church, and hasn't even had any other work published?

Since the preacher T. D. Jakes turned out to be Trinitarian enough for Mark Driscoll, and Mark Driscoll started referring to Jakes as "friend" after Elephant Room 2 (for a wile); since Driscoll told Brian Houston he felt convicted to apologize to Osteen (for what, precisely, was not made clear); then it seems that if Driscoll's going to apologize to guys he denounced from the pulpit in 2007 then he should not forget William Young now that he's publicly said nice stuff about Joel Osteen and T. D. Jakes. 

Not that Wenatchee The Hatchet has any particular fondness for T. D. Jakes, Joel Osteen OR William Young.  William Young sued the people who helped him get his book published. So, eh, maybe Young wouldn't have been a significant figure to reach out to.  Osteen and Jakes have prestige and money.  Young was a one-hit wonder who ended up in litigation about the one book he's known for.  Still, ff Driscoll's made a point of getting friendly with people he denounced as false teachers why skip the third out of three?

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