Tim Challies has weighed-in on The Elephant Room flap. He writes:
As I think about round 2 of the Elephant Room, here is what I want to know: Will T.D. Jakes be challenged very specifically on what he believes about the Trinity? Will this be the elephant in the room when he sits there with MacDonald and whoever else? Will these men be willing to ask him very difficult, very nuanced, very penetrating questions? And if he finally says, “Yes, I am a modalist” will they then be willing to tell him, “You are a heretic; you are not a Christian”? If he proves himself to be a modalist, will MacDonald then remove him from the event? Will all of this happen not to burn him at the stake, but for the sake of his own soul and for the sake of those who follow him? Souls are at stake here!
And I don’t mean for the other participants to ask a question that essentially says, “You’re not a modalist, right?” but an honest, searching, penetrating series of questions that will address this concern head-on and will not stop until it is settled. Jakes has given us legitimate cause to be concerned, cause enough to go no further until answers are given. Until that question is settled, nothing else really matters. Does it really matter what he has to say about any other theological matter, essential or otherwise, if the question of his orthodoxy isn’t settled first? On a pragmatic level he may have great things to say on any number of topics. But if he is a modalist he is not a Christian. And that makes all the difference to every word he says.
Challies has the same questions I have. I think it would be wonderful if penetrating questions reveal Jakes not to be a modalist. But what if there is a different outcome? What if the discussion proves that he is? It will be difficult to transition to new topics about theology and church life if one of the pastors at the table confirms that he is not a Christian. Are the other panel members prepared for the awkward moment in which they might have to tell him that they have no fellowship with him in Christ? It just seems kind of strange that either side would risk this kind of confrontation in front of an audience. Maybe they already know where this is going. I hope so.
I would be thrilled if the forthcoming Elephant Room turned in to an Acts 18:26 moment. But it seems to me that what may be called for is a Titus 1:9 or 1 Timothy 1:20 moment. I guess we’ll see.