Exhaustion and Exhilaration
I spent the last three months, give or take, researching Rosaria Butterfield, her philosophical background, her pre-conversion writing, and her post-conversion writing. It was both exhilarating and exhausting. Exhilarating because I love learning, and researching opens up new vistas of inquiry. Exhausting because the more I looked into Butterfield’s writing, the more I understood the extent to which her ideas are, in essence, no different than the Critical Race Theory–Social Justice inspired non-sense which is being promoted by many professing evangelical Christians.
It was also exhausting because I wrote a 25 page critical review of her latest book titled The Gospel Comes With A House Key
(you can read the essay here, or download it here), and I only got to the foundational problems with Butterfield’s writing (e.g. ideological and philosophical beliefs that are incompatible with Christianity), but there are some well respected apologists who have elephant-roomed Butterfield.
Elephant-rooming happens when a popular Christian who has orthodox credentials gives the proverbial stamp of approval to another professedly Christian figure of note who, well, is a danger to the people of God. The term is derived from an event that took place several years ago titled “Elephant Room,” in which the heretic TD Jakes was given a stamp of approval by James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll. Jakes, an anti-Trinitarian oneness pentecostal, deceitfully passed himself off as a Trinitarian (i.e. a Christian) and was not pressed by MacDonald or Driscoll.
Sadly, time would reveal that the motivation behind the elephant-rooming of TD Jakes was money, as credible allegations of financial malfeasance arose from within their respective congregations (that is, MacDonald & Driscoll)and led to their ministries falling apart. And this is what concerned me as I wrote about Butterfield’s non-Christian, postmodern-feminist-theological-inspired concept of hospitality, her embracing of critical race theory birthed notions of class and race and religious “privilege,” and her abuse of Scripture.
And it still concerns me. Butterfield isn’t the only one who has been elephant-roomed either. Men like Douglas Wilson and John Piper, who both teach a false gospel, have been thrown softball questions in interviews allegedly set out to answer allegations made about their “gospels,” and have subsequently been given a stamp of approval – as orthodox brothers in Christ – when they should be openly marked as dangerous wolves and assiduously avoided.
Are their defenders ignorant of what these heretics teach? Are they ignorant of sound theology? Or are they knowledgeable in these matters of supreme importance, but motivated by money and popularity? The Lord knows, and he will make it known to his people in due time, I believe. Until then, I will continue to press on. I will continue to refute error and defend the truth, by God’s sovereign grace alone.
Resources on Piper and Wilson
Since joining the writing and podcasting team over at Thorn Crown Ministries, I’ve been producing more material directly related to subtle errors in the church that have been getting a pass from ministers, apologists, and laity who should, and sometimes do, know better. Below, you will find links to some of my individual writing on these matters, as well as links to the writing of others and, finally, to the Semper Reformanda Podcast episodes dealing with Piper and Wilson.
Properly Understanding Faith and Works
John Piper’s False Gospel
The Gospel According to Piper, by Tim Shaughnessy & Timothy F. Kauffman
- Piper on Justification, by Timothy F. Kauffman
- When Protestants Err on the Side of Rome: John Piper, “Final Salvation,” and the Decline and Fall of Sola Fide at the Last Day (Part I), by Carlos E. Montijo
- When Protestants Err on the Side of Rome: John Piper, “Final Salvation,” and the Decline and Fall of Sola Fide at the Last Day (Part II), by Carlos E. Montijo
- The Justification That Doesn’t Justify, by Sean Gerety
- To the Members of Horizon Christian Fellowship, by Tim Shaughnessy
- John Piper and the Decline of Sola Fide at Final Judgment, Semper Reformanda Radio episodes 98, 99, 101, 106, 114, & 115.
Contra Doug Wilson
- Doug Wilson, Federal Vision “Exonerated” with James White, Semper Reformanda Radio episode 117
- Doug Wilson Nails His Own Coffin, Semper Reformanda Radio episode 120
More to Come
Given the ongoing problem of the Federal Vision Heresy not only among Presbyterian and Reformed churches but now among Reformed Baptists as well, we hope to produce more material specifically aimed at its most prominent present day proponent, Doug Wilson.
Soli Deo Gloria