D. A. Carson and Tim Keller have written a statement on The Elephant Room controversy on The Gospel Coalition website. There is much good, thoughtful material here. They begin with this:
Recent discussion, mostly in blogs, regarding the forthcoming Elephant Room conference, sponsored by James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll, provides an opportunity to write a few clarifying paragraphs on confessionalism, boundaries, and discipline.
Whatever else The Gospel Coalition has or has not done, it has not prohibited mutual criticism among Council members… The richness and detail of our Confessional Statement and our Theological Vision of Ministry demonstrate that we wish to avoid lowest-common-denominator theology. But how do we negotiate the difficult occasions when our foundation documents appear to be skirted, or where boundaries become too porous?
We would like to offer seven reflections on these matters.
Read the rest here.
The blogosphere will be busy all day crafting responses to the statement. I have to say though I couldn’t ever imagine going to a restaurant with D.A.Carlson I think you’d starve to death while he talked his way through the menu. The dude’s got a way with words. 🙂
As I have said on other sites, their use of bounded-boundary sets and centered-boundary sets is very different from the bounded sets and centred sets of Carson’s late colleague Paul Hiebert. Both the bounded-boundary sets and centered-boundary of TGC are what Hiebert would call a bounded set. A centred set, Hiebert style, is one defined by a relationship not a core of truth. In effect, a centered-boundary set is exactly the same as a bounded-boundary set.
All that they have done is establish a set of core truths that act as boundaries. This may or may not be a good thing but it must not be confused with Hiebert’s preferred solution.