Yesterday, I wrote an analysis of the first Elephant Room meeting, in which I sought to put this conference in the context of several movements within evangelicalism. Today, I want to explain my reasons for accepting an invitation to attend and blog about the upcoming Elephant Room conference (January 25, 2012).

Report from The Elephant Room Round 2 | SHARPER IRON

1. I’m curious.

Sounds crazy, I know. But it’s true. Curiosity is a main reason for wanting to be at the next Elephant Room.

I’m curious to see how these pastors interact with each other behind the scenes and on the platform. I’m curious to see how they respond to the questions presented in each session. I’m curious to see how united they really are on the most fundamental doctrines of Christianity. I’m curious to see if the conversations will be more substantive than those of the first Elephant Room. I’m curious to see if the organizers of the event will address some of the controversy over their choices.

I hope my sense of curiosity will serve me well as I put on my journalist cap and attend this conference and then provide analysis and assessment.

2. I’m concerned.

Another reason I’m going is that I’m concerned about a number of issues related to the Elephant Room.

I’m concerned that it may be further widening the gap between theology and methodology. I’m concerned that the personality-driven nature of the event distracts from the substantive issues at stake in these discussions.

I’m most concerned about the significance of James MacDonald’s invitation to T. D. Jakes when Jakes’ explanations of his view on the Trinity have been muddled at best and heretical at worst. I’m concerned that in the midst of all the furor surrounding the Jakes invitation, I get the sense that some critics actually want Jakes to turn out to be a heretic so that this whole conference can be dismissed, along with Jakes himself. At the same time, I’m concerned that Jakes will say something that sounds Trinitarian, refuse to repudiate the Oneness view, and thus leave us with a weak explanation rather than a robust defense of the historic Christian position. I’m concerned that even if the discussion on the Trinity goes well, the prosperity teachings of Jakes will be legitimized rather than challenged.

I have other concerns as well, some of which are described in my post from yesterday.

3. I’m confident.

The third reason I’m attending the Elephant Room is that I’m confident God is going to bring about something good from this event. I’m confident that the organizers of this event love Jesus and want to see Him exalted. I’m confident that I will be stretched and challenged. I’m confident that I have the freedom to offer an honest analysis of the event on this blog. Above all, I’m confident in the unstoppable power of the true gospel.

So in a nutshell, those are the three reasons I have chosen to attend and blog about the Elephant Room.