Would Augustine Invite Muhammad to Speak at His Conference?

Thabiti Anyabwile has written a hard-hitting piece titled, “Collateral Damage in the Invitation of T.D. Jakes to the Elephant Room.” You need to read the whole thing, but here’s a little taste:

It’s difficult to see larger-than-life heretics given a platform in circles of pastors and leaders we respect and we regard as co-laborers in defense and confirmation of the truth… And because we’ve often been attempting to introduce African-American Christians to the wider Evangelical and Reformed world as an alternative to the heresy and blasphemy so commonplace in some African-American churches and on popular television outlets, the invitation of Jakes to perform in “our circles” simply feels like a swift tug of the rug from beneath our feet and our efforts to bring health to a sick church…

This isn’t on the scale of Piper inviting Warren. This is more akin to Augustine inviting Muhammad. This invitation gives a platform to a heretic.

Thabiti goes on to raise questions about the limits of his cooperation with someone who is willing to give a platform to a heretic. In a comment beneath the article, Thabiti has some candid reflections on this topic. He writes:

The question of association with heretics raises the question about the viability of the [Gospel] coalition. Any coalition has to be held together either by what it’s for or by what it’s against. When that uniting force becomes ineffective you can no longer maintain the coalition. In our (TGC) case, we’re a coalition built upon and for the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. We all recognize differences on secondary matters, including ministry strategy matters. That’s not what our coalition is built upon. It’s built upon the gospel we all believe and cherish and are sworn to advance and protect. But in this case, we have a coalition member in a non-coalition activity appearing to embrace someone who denies the gospel–both on the issue of the Trinity and in his preaching of another gospel, the ‘prosperity gospel.’

That begs the question: How do members of The Gospel Coalition associate, endorse, “coalesce” beyond the official Coalition meetings themselves? What is our accountability to one another beyond TGC events, if any?

Thabiti closes the article with a section from his book on the decline of African American theology. He argues convincingly that T. D. Jakes has self-consciously taken his stand against Trinitarianism in favor of modalism. Read the rest here.

4 Responses to Would Augustine Invite Muhammad to Speak at His Conference?

  1. Austin October 2, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    I try to tell my friends that TD Jakes is dangerous, but they normally turn me off. I knew he was a proponent of the Prosperity Gospel, but I didn’t know he was a proponent of modalism. I find that more alarming than the worthless “gospel” he preaches.

  2. Dillon October 2, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    I love James MacDonald’s preaching but he’s dug himself into quite a hole here. I generally thought the apologetic ministries were being very harsh on him, and they somewhat were, however, in this case, I do have to agree with them. I don’t think there’s a snowballs chance in hell that Jakes will actually attend the Elephant Room but what’s happened here will still have to be dealt with. It’s very sad and it’s very eye opening as well.

  3. Jay Budzilowski October 2, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    I was as much impressed with how Thabiti engaged the commenters than with the article itself.

  4. jeff weddle October 3, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    Augustine would not invite Muhammad, but the pope would fit right in. Who is worse, muhammad or the pope?!

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