At the recent Elephant Room dialogue, T.D. Jakes claimed that the doctrine of the Trinity is a matter of “seeing through a glass darkly,” and the men who conducted the dialogue agreed with him. Jakes said, “We are both attempting to describe a God we love, that we serve, and that we have not seen. And that we are viewing Him through the context of the Scriptures, but that with a glass darkly. Why should I fall out and hate and throw names at you when all that I know and understand, be it very orthodox, is still through a glass darkly?” Jakes was referring to 1 Corinthians 13:12, which says, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” Jakes is abusing this Scripture by applying it to Bible doctrine. Paul was talking about the fact that we don’t have full knowledge of everything we would like to know. He was most definitely NOT referring to Bible doctrine, which is bright light rather than dark glass. The things God has revealed, we can know for sure and we can understand by the indwelling Holy Spirit (Deut. 29:29). It is only the things that God has not revealed that we cannot yet know. (Jakes’ reference to “hate” is typical ecumenical-speak. In the ecumenist’s mind, to earnestly defend the faith and reprove heretics is “hate,” but if this is hate, then the apostle Paul and the apostle John and the apostle Peter and Jude and all of the prophets of old were great haters!) Jakes said further, “I think it’s so important that we realize that our God is beyond our intellect. And if you can define Him and completely describe Him and say you are the end-all definition of who God is, then He ceases to be God.” No one is saying that we can define God completely. That is a ridiculous straw man. The real issue is that God has revealed certain things about Himself in Scripture, and the question is whether we are going to believe what He has revealed and take a stand for it, or not. Paul told Timothy that men can rightly divide the Word of God and that we will be held accountable before God for doing so (2 Timothy 2:15). Jakes further said, “Because the reason Paul says it is a mystery, is that we deify the fact that God does things that don’t fit our formulas.” Here Jakes grossly misdefines the New Testament term “mystery” and none of the Elephant Room theologians called him on it. Paul plainly and consistently defined “mystery” as a doctrine that was hidden in Old Testament times but is now revealed. “... the mystery ... which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ephesians 3:3-5). See also Romans 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 2:7-10; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:26. The Elephant Room outfit is the blind leading the blind; they can’t even see the elephants!
(Friday Church News Notes, February 3, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
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