Yes. More Elephant Room stuff. I realize that people want to read some kind of controversial thing one day and move on to the another topic the next day. But we ought to realize the effects that events have and not just treat it like “yesterday’s news.” James McDonald released a video [here] 2 days ago in which he interviews 3 African American pastors that he greatly respects. They were Brian Lorritts of Fellowship Memphis (Memphis), Charles Jenkins of Fellowship Missionary Baptist (Chicago), and Eric Mason of Epiphany Fellowship (Philadelphia). He says that their input was informative and helpful and thought we would appreciate it. He begins by assuring everyone that the men are fruitful and love the gospel, and then asks them their opinions of the conference. They unanimously agreed that the conference was a success.
A few posts ago, I commented on the article Lorritts had written in which he subtely accused Jakes’ critics as middle aged white reformed guys, saying that the majority of reformed guys are white. And in this video interview he says the same thing. He says that some African Americans suffer from “white idolization.” That is, some African Americans just desperately want to be in white theological circles. That means if you are African American and disagree with Jakes, then you might really just be trying to seek the approval of middle aged white reformed guys. You are just feeling like you have to be the voice for the black culture to speak against TD Jakes. It seems like what Lorritts is say is that you don’t have disagreements with Jakes’ theology. You are more than likely just itching to be liked by white guys.
Jenkins then says that people make microscopic interpretations based on a telescopic view. He says they create very refined arguments based on a long distance view. I’ll be honest. I have no idea what that means. But, if I had to guess, he is saying people are making a big deal out of nothing – they are just nit picking. Then Eric Mason weighed in, assuring us he hates blogs, to which McDonald gave an “Amen” (They just have to keep up the ad hominems by stabbing at bloggers, though McDonald has a blog himself…). Mason said that African Americans have such a small voice in the blog world that if they are going after other African Americans, you know it is for different reasons. McDonald interpreted this to mean that their points of contention weren’t over doctrine. That’s how it sounded to me too. Mason said that it is sometimes over doctrine, but that African Americans process information differently and that when these “bloggers” borrow white reformed language to talk to a black audience, they are speaking a different language. He said that they presuppose that because the black audience doesn’t use the same theological language, they don’t have the same theology, but asserts that it isn’t true. Mason maintains that they do, it’s just not in that white reformed language.
In other words, in regard to the trinity, manifestations is a black thing, persons is a white thing. Mason says we need to have empathy for the other side and build common ground. Black or white, theology is theology. This whole racial thing is pointless. I was raised in the Southern Baptist church, and even though I am not African American, I still spoke a different theological language than I do now. Systematic theology for me then was more of a language of Pharisees. I know of a famous theologian who lived in the 200s (AD) and was an African. In fact, his enemies called him “black dwarf.” He would have considered Jakes and those like him to be a heretic. He had a lot of theological enemies, and in the end, they were exiled from the church. His name was Athanasius. And it is from Athanasius that we get the following creed:
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled; without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity; to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion; to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity.
Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation; that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess; that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God, of the Essence of the Father; begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the Essence of his Mother, born in the world. Perfect God; and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood. Who although he is God and Man; yet he is not two, but one Christ. One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh; but by assumption of the Manhood into God. One altogether; not by confusion of Essence; but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man; so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell; rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of the God the Father Almighty, from whence he will come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies; And shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. This is the Catholic Faith; which except a man believe truly and firmly, he cannot be saved.