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Td jakes conversation with america

td jakes conversation with america

People Joins Hands As Bishop T D Jakes Hosts 'Conversations with America' Town Hall at the Potter's House in Dallas Texas Usa 10 July 2016 Five Dallas. Jakes hopes to give viewers the kind of discussion show “that mainstream America is hungry for.” Jakes is promising content and a tone. Tyler Perry And T.D. Jakes Play "What Would Madea Do" Conversations With America--Beyond The Black And Blue. T.D. talks justice. TDJ Show 1 min read.

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Bishop TD Jakes Hosts Dr. Fauci for Vaccine Conversation

Approximately 40% of Americans say they will not take the COVID-19 vaccine, with many expressing concerns about possible side effects.

In an effort to better inform and enlighten the public about the COVID-19 vaccine, global spiritual leader Bishop T.D. Jakes has brought together several of the world’s leading coronavirus experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease official, for a panel discussion titled Conversations with America: Understanding the COVID-19 Vaccine.

Conversations with America is a semi-regular, data-driven forum developed by Jakesto help Americans navigate difficult discussions.In addition to Fauci, other panelists will include:

  • Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, a viral immunologist and lead scientist on the coronavirus research team at the National Institute of Infectious and Allergic Disease’s Vaccine Research Center. Corbett leads the team of scientists behind the Moderna Inc. COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu, aninfectious disease specialist, associate professor at Yale School of Medicine and principal investigator of the Pfizer COVID-19 trial at the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation

Jill Waggoner, a Dallas-based family medicine practioner, author, and health and wellness expert will co-host the discussion.

The event will premiere exclusively on the official T.D. Jakes YouTube channel on Monday, Jan. 25, at noon CT.

“There are many hurdles to finding a solution to the pandemic, including the supply and distribution of the vaccine,” saidJakes. “But I believe the biggest issue is distrust. Distrust is understandably high among African Americans, who have faced decades of unethical medical experiments and disparate treatment in health care.This Conversations with America event will provide the public with knowledge and education, but also with hope.”

Distrust of the vaccine is particularly high among African Americans. A December survey by the Pew Research Center found that only 42% of African Americans say they would take the vaccine, compared with 63% of Hispanics and 61% of white adults.

Conversations with America began as an annual public-opinion study exploring the current perceptions about a broad spectrum of issues, including economic opportunity, criminal justice and national security across all demographics.



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On December of 2014, Bishop T.D. Jakes delivered a powerful prayer at his church, The Potter House, as a huge sign emblazoned with "Black Lives Matter" glowed in the background, rendering black silhouettes of young people who stood behind him on stage:

Nobody enjoys seeing the blood of their child run down the sidewalks of our streets, or see their children's body left for hours and hours like dogs on the side of the road... Let them hear us.... Enough is enough... we cannot breath.

I recently had a conversation with a black pastor who expressed surprise that Bishop Jakes had addressed the Black Lives Matter movement. Bishop Jakes' response to that is, "well, he must not know me."

On this week's All Together, we get to know Bishop T.D. Jakes a whole lot better. You can download All Together on iTunes, or Stitcher.

Bishop T.D. Jakes is one of America's most influential pastors and his ministries reach tens of thousands of people every week. He has produced films and written dozens of books including his latest release Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive. What he is most excited about right now is MegaFest 2015 which will happen on August 19-23 in Dallas, Texas and is expecting to welcome over 80,000 people from 30 countries around the world.

Bishop Jakes referred to the love exhibited by Martin Luther King, Jr. as a guiding principle for his work on racism in America. King said: "I have decided to stick with love. Hate, is too great a burden to bear." Let's all try to lay our burdens of hate down, and hold high the banner of love as we walk together in this world. Until next week. Be well.

You are listening to HuffPost Religion's All Together. Today we are have a conversation with the preacher and pastor Bishop T.D. Jakes. For more great conversations about religion please subscribe, rate and review All Together on iTunes or Stitcher.

This week's All Together was produced by Katelyn Boguki and edited by Jorge Corrona.

Also On All Together:

Why God Is Black with Dr. James Cone

Bishop T.D. Jakes & Tony Robbins in candid conversation
8 June - 1 hour 36 mins

Podcast Series The Tony Robbins Podcast

Known as America’s Best Preacher, Bishop T.D. Jakes shares with Tony how you can become a great orator. Combining passion with power, instinct and intellect, Jakes creates a recipe that you can follow to have your message touch hearts and souls and change the world. This dynamic conversation with Tony and T.D. will touch your heart, make you laugh, and teach you wisdom you can use in your daily life. Interested in hearing more from Bishop T.D. Jakes? Listen to past episodes where he took part on the Tony Robbins podcast here.

Previous Episode featuring T.D. Jakes:

Care to watch this episode? Click h...

1 hour 36 mins

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Netflix’s I Am Not Your Guru five years later, with Filmmaker Joe Berlinger and Tony & Sage Robbins

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Return to Transcripts main page


Interview with T.D. Jakes

Aired January 7, 2009 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, mega pastor T.D. Jakes -- celebrity preacher on the celebrated president-to-be.
Can Barack Obama bring this nation together?

Plus, Bishop Jakes has words of comfort for grieving Travoltas. What he might tell Oprah if she asks.

And then, Caylee's grandparents desperate to bury their child -- they can't because her remains are tied up in court. Now, a second autopsy has been performed.


And then, an adopted boy disappears for a decade and he's not reported missing until now. His heartsick birth parents are here with us with their emotional reaction, right now on LARRY KING LIVE.

We begin with one of the distinguished members of the pulpit in this country, Bishop T.D. Jakes. He's chief pastor of The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas. He's co-producer of a new film, "Not Easily Broken." It's a new film based on one of his best-selling novels. It opens Friday. We will ask about it later.

Bishop Jakes, some extraordinary images today -- America's first African-American president is at the White House, meeting with the former -- the current president and three former presidents.

What do you make of that, looking at it?

BISHOP T.D. JAKES, CHIEF PASTOR, THE POTTER'S HOUSE: Well, you know, it's a fascinating time in American history, from a racial perspective to see how far our nation has come in my lifetime. It's just absolutely mind-boggling to think that a little over 40 years ago, I was sitting on the couch with my dad and looking at Dr. King in the middle of the civil rights movement. And to see today how far we have come, with the election of President-Elect Obama, it's heartwarming.

KING: Having a black first family, what will be the effect, do you think, on the African-American community in this country?

JAKES: I think it will be huge, from many perspectives. I think it will affect the African-American community with a sense of pride and admiration and support that has been long-awaited, on the bones and the blood of our ancestors, to see an acknowledgment of our contribution to the country. I think it's of paramount importance. But the thing that really excites me the most, Larry, is how impactful it will be for mainstream America to really have an opportunity to become more involved with minorities and ethnicities, to break stereotypical ideas about who we are as a people, to develop a greater sense of appreciation, because, quite frankly, as it exists in this country today, it is possible to get a Ph.D. And not know anything about any minority. But most minorities can't get a GED without understanding anything about mainstream America.

That's about to change.

KING: Well put.

How do you think people will respond to that extraordinary marriage?

JAKES: You know, any time you see a family so young and so well connected as they seem to be, it is heartwarming, particularly at a time that marriages are eroding and there is so much pressure in the world today. I think they're going to bring a uniqueness, not so much because of their ethnicity, but because they're very unique people -- extraordinary people, very, very brilliant people, very, very articulate people. And I think our nation is excited to see them up close and to see that image projected from the White House.

KING: Any danger, bishop, in their getting the celebrity treatment to be over celebritied?

JAKES: You know, I am concerned about it. I don't think that it's anything that President-Elect Obama is doing himself or his wife, Michelle. But I do think that there are two dangers in leadership. One is extreme low expectations, where people really do not have confidence in their leader. And any time the confidence of Americans or any group of people erode where their leader is concerned, that leader is greatly impaired in his ability to make the appropriate decisions and implement them with the goodwill of the people behind them.

On the other extreme, however, is where people expect him to be the Messiah and to fix every ill and to straighten out every issue. And there are so many people who expect him to walk on water that I'm also concerned about extreme expectations.

And I'm hopeful, over time, that we will balance out to a happy medium, whether we voted or did not vote for the president, for those who are antagonistic or those who are just enthralled, that we'll come to the balance that it's not just one man's job alone to lead us out of the darkness of the night in which we're surrounded today, but a team effort -- a coalition of people and minds and talents committed to bringing America out of the cesspool of degradation to which we have emerged.

KING: Yes.

We'll switch gears a little. A very tragic celebrity story has been making headlines, as you know. John Travolta's teenage son died suddenly on Friday. Sadly, John is no stranger to grief. He talked about coping with loss on our show in 2001.



KING: Are you able to deal well with loss?

JOHN TRAVOLTA, ACTOR: I don't know really how to answer that, because I think you have to...

KING: Paul McCartney said you just -- he cried. You just...

TRAVOLTA: Of course you do.

KING: Right. Yes.

TRAVOLTA: I think what happens is that you always miss that person.

KING: They're always around you?

TRAVOLTA: Yes. The crying, you have to do. I mean, just don't bypass that.

KING: Yes.


KING: Don't be strong.

TRAVOLTA: Forget that. I just meant that I was tough in getting used to the fact that people die, but not tough to the idea that loss wasn't significant to me, because it is and it always will be. And -- but the magnitude of that is very, you know, big. And you do feel it deeply.


KING: One would imagine, Bishop Jakes, that the toughest part of your profession is dealing with grief -- counsel people who have lost someone. And the loss of a child -- triple grief.

How do you deal with it?

What do you say to John Travolta?

JAKES: It's -- it's an unbelievable pain -- very, very difficult to deal with. And not only is he devastated, his family is affected, but even the greater part of this country is affected. Because when you have celebrity status, there is a feeling that emotes out of the American people that suggests, in fact, that we feel a part of the process with him. And perhaps there -- he can extrapolate from that unity some sense of comfort, to know that there are many people throughout this nation and around the world who are praying for them, who grieve with them who feel a sense of pain that the loss of a precious child. Whenever I work with someone who's lost a child, I don't try to give them canned answers or superficial religious cliches, but to sit with them and to say I feel you and I understand you and to share their memories. Because the child continues to live on in the heart of the parent through the many memories that they have collected.

And I remind them that there are people who have never had the benefit of having someone to love or to love them like other Travoltas have. My heart goes out to them. Grief has many waves. It has many processes. And there are many, many days when you are in the spotlight of notoriety that you're not camera ready because you're a human being. And I hope that they take the luxury of just backing away for a while, processing what they have had, what they have lost. And then what people seldom share, Larry, is what remains. After the loss of a child, what remains is the gift of life and memory. That doesn't go. The experiences, the moments, the laughter, the Christmases -- those things remain.

KING: Yes, well...

JAKES: And when grief is over, they enthrall you and they envelope you and give you a sense of the great gift that you've had, even though it was for just an abbreviated period of time.

KING: Very well said.

Bishop T.D. Jakes. His film "Not Easily Broken" opens this weekend. We'll ask how he counsel Oprah if she asks, next.



OPRAH WINFREY, HOST "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW": I'm mad at myself. I am embarrassed. I can't believe I'm still talking about weight. I can't believe that all of the other things that I know how to do and all of the other things that I'm so great at and, you know, all the other accomplishments -- I can't believe I'm still talking about weight.


KING: Bishop Jakes, Oprah Winfrey, in the show you've appeared on frequently, has coped with a lot of tough stuff in her life and now this weight issue.

Watch this clip.


WINFREY: All the money and all the fame and all of the attention and the glamorous life and the success and all of that doesn't mean one thing if you can't control your own being. It doesn't mean anything if you can't fit into your clothes.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: She says she's reaching out.

What counsel would you bring her, Bishop?

JAKES: I'm not sure I'm a great one to counsel anybody about weight.


JAKES: I'm a pretty big guy myself. You know, the thing that I think is so visible about Oprah is that she is such a perfectionist. She does so many things so well that excellence has become normal to her. And sometimes when we hold ourselves to such high standards and we find that we have feet of clay, there's a feeling of disappointment.

But I don't think she should be too hard on herself. Because I think that, in some ways and some degree, that Oprah has been able to mentor many, many women, and perhaps some men, around this nation -- not necessarily realizing that her strength is not always in her strength. But her real strength is in her struggle and how believable she is, that she's getting older, she gains weight. Most of us do.

And when people look at people that we admire and appreciate and we find out that they're human like us, that they have issues and flaws and struggles, like we do, we don't lose admiration, we begin to gain more admiration because she is so transparent about it.

I would encourage her to do what she is doing, but not to be so hard on herself, just because she has some area that doesn't come up to 100 percent. All of us have issues of struggles in our lives and how we deal with that struggle is what makes us worthy to be mentors to other people.

KING: With all she has, Bishop, what do you say to people who will say how could she not be happy?

JAKES: Well, I don't think that it's so much a matter of not being happy. All of us have something that we're not happy with ourselves about. It might not be weight. It may be your nose. It may be skinny legs. It may be wrinkled knees. I mean, all of us have these little secret areas that we wish were different than we were or plastic surgeons would go out of business.

To think that riches or notoriety or fame brings happiness is an illusion for which the American people have become obsessed. In reality, happiness comes from within -- sometimes in the worst of times. We draw warmth and a grace and a peace that transcends our net worth or our value or how many people know us. In fact, those can be complications on the road to happiness.

But I think it is very much an internal thing and very much a spiritual thing. And she's a very spiritual person.

KING: The Caylee Anthony murder case in Florida, her mother Casey is accused of that crime. What would you say to her?

Would you pray with her despite the ramifications?

JAKES: You know, one thing that is so wonderful about the grace of God is that it does not stop at the doorsteps of the frailties of men. As horrific as circumstances may be in anyone's life -- I've worked on death row. I've worked with people who were incarcerated. I've worked with child molesters. I've worked with people who have murdered people and so forth and so on.

It's not my right nor my privilege to judge them, but to minister to them where they are and to show them the grace and the love of God, even when they do things that are deplorable or despicable, even when they face things that are horrific. Still, the grace of God is not intimidated by the fallacies of men.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more of Bishop T.D. Jakes. His movie, "Not Easily Broken," will be open -- opening this weekend.

Should the porn industry get a government bailout?

Believe it or not, they're asking for it. We'll see what T.D. Jakes has to say about that in 60 seconds.


KING: We're back with Bishop T.D. Jakes.

Publisher Larry Flynt of the "Hustler" magazine fame and GirlsGoneWild CEO Joe Francis are asking Congress to give the porn industry a $5 billion bailout, as they've done for other industries -- Wall Street, automobiles and the like.

How do you react?

JAKES: Surely you can't be serious?

You know, I think that's unbelievable and totally ridiculous. So it's -- I find it very difficult to even comment on it.

The reality is that there are so many people in this country who need help and need our support, who provide services that really help this nation to move forward. Our priority, obviously, has to be there, with people who are really going through crisis and trauma. This is a tough time in our nation today and we don't -- we don't have time to move in that direction.

KING: Did you make a moral comment at all about Sarah Palin's daughter being unwed and pregnant?

JAKES: No. You know something, I think that people's children should be off limits. My heart went out to them to have to deal with that in public. Compassion, I think, mandates that we support our children. They don't choose the public life, but they find themselves immersed in it by virtue of their parents' decision. And we find them on center stage.

The good point, however, is to see a family rally around a daughter who has had a child -- gotten pregnant out of wedlock, because there are so many people who put their daughters out and walk away from them. And they walk the street, alienated and in tears.

And so it is nice to see families stick together as they face crisis. I really believe that's what family -- what family is all about. And I think that's what America has to get back to -- the rebuilding of our families and nestling together and nurturing one another, even when we go through disappointing circumstances.

KING: Are you optimistic about that happening?

JAKES: You know, I think that if there is any good thing that's coming out of the economic crisis that we're having today, we're having to reach beyond the superficial wealth and the tapestries of success and what have you, and find something else to hold onto. I have been telling at The Potter's House and the 30,000 members of our church that we are strong people, we are resilient people. Many of us have come from backgrounds where our ancestors were slaves. My church is interdenominational, but to those that are of African-American descent, we came from tough times.

And not just us, but many people who come from different ethnicities have faced hard times before. We don't want to go back to that, but that can be the catalyst of a wellspring of strength whereby we can nestle together, we can strengthen one another, we can get together and build ourselves up. And I really do think that we will survive whatever life throws at us, as long as we stick together and keep our faith in God.

KING: Barack Obama and Rick Warren -- they have created quite a stir. We'll ask about it when we come back.



JAKES: Most people are being guided by their feelings and the problem with that is sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't. You can't be fruitful if you're not stable. And you can't be stable if you're guided by your emotions.


KING: Bishop T.D. Jakes, chief pastor of The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas. He's our guest.

Rick Warren, as you well know, will deliver the invocation at the -- at the ceremony honoring the next president of the United States.

What did you think of that choice?

JAKES: Well, you know something? I think that this is President Obama's opportunity to pull around him who he chooses to celebrate what is a great and historical moment for America, but then also for him personally. I don't begrudge him his right to choose who he wants to pray for him. And I certainly think that Pastor Warren has the ability to represent all of us who are going to be praying, whether the spotlight is on us or not.

KING: He's opposed to gay marriage, Rick Warren. So is President-Elect Obama.

Are you?

JAKES: Yes, well -- yes, I am. But I don't think that that should really be the paramount issue here. There are preachers on all sides of that issue. I think what we really need to focus on when we choose somebody to pray is not the vessel, but who we're praying to. And asking God to bless our nation as we face some of the most tumultuous times that we have ever seen in this nation -- and I realize it became a firestorm for many, many people. And I understand why.

But no matter who you choose to come into the spotlight, there's going to be some level of controversy because all Americans are not going to agree with anybody about everything.

KING: Let's take a look at...

JAKES: The other thing...

KING: Abortion, by the way, remains a divisive issue. Pastor Warren asked Obama about it during a campaign forum in August.



RICK WARREN, PASTOR: At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Well, you know, I think that whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is -- is above my pay grade.


KING: Did he duck that?

JAKES: Not totally.


JAKES: I am not unstable on that answer. I believe that life begins at conception. But he has the right to believe or to speculate or to wonder about something that is very vague to people who don't really study the scriptures from a scientific perspective. And I'm not qualified to respond to that either.

But from a theological perspective, I believe the scriptures are quite clear.

But I want to get to another issue that you touched on that I think is real important. One of the great intriguing things about President-Elect Obama is that just watching him from a distance, as he chooses his cabinet, as he chooses who prays with him, as he interacts with diverse people, I think the American people are going to have to adjust to his style of leadership. He seems to be a centrist philosophically. And to galvanize and coalesce people who will not agree on every issue.

And while that will create some rub and some tension in this country, the great thing about it is some of our best and brightest minds are on both sides of all issues. We need a government and a leadership that brings our best and brightest forward at a time like this, without allowing partisan politics to cloud the way. We cannot afford to be partisan or to get stuck in the quagmire of theological debates and say we can only talk to this one or that one.

We have to talk to people that we don't agree with or we won't be a United States and we won't be prepared for the many challenges that will hit this generation.

KING: You've said that the United States is not a Christian nation, right?

JAKES: I did say that.

KING: But many, many people think it is.

JAKES: Yes, I understand that. But, clearly, it isn't. It is a nation with a lot of Christians in it. And I'm proud to be one of them. But it is not a Christian nation. And there are many issues -- Christians need to be able to separate from their secular brothers and sisters on certain issues, without allowing the government to tell us what to preach, without allowing the government to come into our services on Sunday morning.

We like to think that it is a Christian nation I understand that many of the founding fathers -- some of them had a Christian beliefs. But, by and large, it is an umbrella of government that allows people -- atheists, agnostics, Christians, Muslims, Jews and all types of people -- to coalesce up under that umbrella. They pay taxes, they should have equal representation. And I'm proud to be a part of this great nation.

But I do not think it is, in fact, a Christian nation.

KING: Just ahead, the latest on the Caylee Anthony case and a sneak peek at T.D. Jakes new movie.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: Bishop T.D. Jakes wrote a hip book -- a novel, five years ago, "Not Easily Broken." It is a new film. It is opening Friday.

You produced it?

JAKES: Yes, I did, with -- along with Morris Chestnut.

KING: What's the concept of "Not Easily Broken?"

JAKES: You know, it's a -- it's great movie. Bill Duke directed it. He did an incredible job. We were able to coalesce some great, great actors -- Morris Chestnut, Taraji P. Henson, Jennifer Lewis, a plethora of others that came together.

It's about a couple who are struggling, ironically, economically, even as many people are today. Their marriage is being tested and tried by adversity, tempted with infidelity, growing apart rather than growing together.

And yet they have an ultimate covenant that a threefold cord is not easily broken.

And so they're trying to hold their marriage together. And we watch them almost unravel before our eyes. And then they come back together again in a very powerful and touching way.

I've been amazed at the pre-screening, how people have laughed and they've cried and they've been inspired. They've been motivated. And for me, it's a great privilege to work with Sony in making this movie available. I think it's a movie that people from every walk of life will really enjoy. And I think it will resonate with where we are as a nation right now.

KING: Is it a comedy?

JAKES: It is comedic at moments; it's dramatic at other moments. It's kind of hard to categorize this film. Somebody asked me is it a faith film? One of the things about categorizations is that it alienates people. I think it transcends everything. It certainly came from a heart of faith. I wrote the novel from which it evolved. But I think what's fascinating about this movie is I think it's a love story told from a male perspective. And over the years, over the some 30 years that I've been counseling couples, and women in particular, have said that men don't talk enough. We don't share our feelings. We're not forthcoming about our feelings, in touch with ourselves.

And I think this is a great opportunity for women as well as men to come out and enjoy a film that is written by a man, that is directed by a man, that the script was written by Brian Byrd, and the leading character is Morris Chestnut. And women can get to see how men feel about relationships. And I think it's going to be a catalyst for great conversation and a great evening out with a lot of fun.

KING: Autobiographical?

JAKES: Not at all. Not at all. I'm really drawing from the wealth of experience I've had in my life. One of the greatest privileges of working with people from the crack house to the White House. I've been in and out of the Oval Office for the past -- this one being now the third administration. I've seen people on death row and everywhere else. So when I get ready to write, I can draw not only from the 27 years that I've been married, but from everybody I've counseled and all the people I've met, and kind of weave together a story that I think will intrigue and bless a lot of people.

KING: You're a terrific guy, thanks, Bishop Jakes.

JAKES: It's a pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me, Larry.

KING: He's co-producer of his own book, "Not Easily Broken." Bishop T.D. Jakes, the chief pastor of the Potter's House in Dallas. Caylee Anthony, can she ever rest in peace? We'll be back with tonight's developments after this. Stay with us.


KING: Legal maneuvering looms in the Caylee Anthony murder case in Florida. Little Caylee was reported missing by her grandmother last July, shortly before her third birthday. Her skeletal remains were found in December about a half mile from her grandparents' home, where she and her mother often stayed. Caylee's mother, Casey, is behind bars, charged with first-degree murder in this tragic case.

Joining us to discuss it in New York, Jane Velez-Mitchell, host of "Issues With Jane Velez-Mitchell" on HNL, Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, the forensic expert and professor at John Jay College. Here in Los Angeles, the famed criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos, and in Miami, Stacy Honowitz, assisted Florida state attorney.

We'll get the thoughts in a little while of Dr. Henry Lee. But why a second autopsy, Stacy?

STACY HONOWITZ, ASSISTANT FLORIDA STATE ATTORNEY: Well, Larry, that was standard. We kind of knew that was going to happen. In the very beginning, they were requesting a second autopsy, because they want to know -- as you know from the state's point of view, from the medical examiner, she said that she cannot determine at this time what the cause of death is. So they want to bring in their people. They want a second autopsy. And they want to see if there's anything they can rediscover that maybe they can bring into the courtroom.

It wasn't a shock that they asked and they were granted a second autopsy.

KING: Jane, does this look like a tough case or not so tough?

JANE VELEZ MITCHELL, HNL TV ANCHOR: It's getting crazier and crazier by the minute, Larry. So many developments. You have two huge legal battles tomorrow. Zeneida Gonzalez, this woman who says Casey Anthony ruined her life when she accused the women by the same name of abducting her child, is suing Casey for defamation of character, and wants to do a deposition on Monday. And Casey's defense team is saying, no, you have to wait until after the criminal trial. That's one complication.

Then you have this huge battle over the disks -- there are these three disks of the skeletal remains, X-Rays, photos. Prosecutors don't want the defense to even be allowed to copy them or print them or e-mail them. And the defense is saying, you're crippling us. We can't even mount a defense if you're restricting us in that way. And the prosecution's saying, hey, those are going to be sold to the tabloids.

So it's really becoming even more grotesque and more complicated with each passing day.

KING: What's this like for the defense?

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It's tough, number one, because she is a pariah. The lawyers are getting nowhere in terms of being able to get any kind of public momentum for anything else. Clearly, the autopsy was something they had to do in a case like this, where they don't know -- nobody knows the manner or cause of death. And the idea that somehow somebody's going to take a deposition of her is never going to happen. The mother of the judge has not been born who is going to grant that.

From the defense's standpoint, I've said it before every time we've talked about this, what they're up against, all the forensic evidence notwithstanding is, is this she didn't act right evidence. And that is stuff that is extremely hard to combat.

KING: So, Dr. Kobilinsky, you're a consultant for the defense. What's the defense?

DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, the defense is, let's look at all of the evidence that the prosecution has. And let's determine if it's reliable, and if it gives us a single message or is there an alternate explanation? I think there was a real need for an independent autopsy. And, of course, an autopsy is far more than just a visual observation of skeletal remains. There's radio- graphic evidence. There may be histology, tissues studies of the bone. And there may be toxicology that has some bearing on this.

An autopsy is not completed in a matter of hours, when you have to look at all of these different things. It could take days, weeks, sometimes, in unusual circumstances, even months.

KING: Stacy, why can't the defense see the autopsy, see the bones?

HONOWITZ: Why can't the defense what? I'm sorry?

KING: See the bones, see the evidence?

HONOWITZ: Well, it's not a matter of them not being able to see the evidence. I think that they wanted to be limited in where they see these things. I think there's a big motion that's going on tomorrow morning with regard to whether or not the judge can limit whether or not the defense can disseminate these photographs that they have experts in different places, that they can send it through the Internet, because they don't want it sold to the tabloids. It's already all over the news. It's become this media circus.

GERAGOS: Yes, but Stacy, would you agree with me that there's something inherently unfair in this case about the fact that the prosecution has consistently leaked every single thing, while the defense is trying to defend this case. And then as soon as the defense gets in and wants to do anything, the prosecution goes running in and starts screaming, oh, we don't want it to get on the Internet; we don't want it in the tabloids. Blah, blah, blah. Who else was the one who was leaking what was happening out of the trunk. Who else leaked all the other stuff? That was obviously the prosecution team.

HONOWITZ: Well, I'm not going to sit here and tell you the prosecution team was leaking anything. They want to keep the evidence close to the vest. And any time --

GERAGOS: They're keeping it close to the vest --

KING: Somebody released it.

HONOWITZ: Well, I can't say it's the prosecution.

KING: Let me get a break. We've got limited time tonight. We're going to get a break, come right back. Has the second autopsy been concluded? We're going to ask Dr. Henry Lee in 60 seconds. He's on the Anthony defense team. Stick around.


KING: With us on the phone is Henry Lee. Dr. Lee is the internationally known forensic scientist, a member of the Casey Anthony team. He's a professor of forensic science at the University of New Haven. What can you tell us about the second autopsy, Dr. Lee?

DR HENRY LEE, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Well, Dr. Warren Spitz (ph) has completed a second autopsy about five days ago. However, that's just major inspecting of the bone. But the periphery testing he is still conducting. We need an anthropologist, entomologist, forensic criminalist. We're all working separately, but together, except we don't have any reports, X-Ray, photograph to compare with the remains. So it's difficult.

KING: How long is it going to take?

LEE: Well, as soon as we get the results and original photograph and documentation, then we can start our work.

KING: Thanks, Dr. Lee. We'll be calling on you again. Dr. Henry Lee. Jane Mitchell, I don't understand why everybody doesn't get the information.

MITCHELL: Well, you know, Larry, this case is really gone into a whole vortex of insanity. And that's why, to address Mark Geragos' comment, the prosecution has to try to keep the lid on it. For example, today, one private investigator who is associated with the Anthony family accused another private investigator who works for the Anthony family of actually knowing that little Caylee Anthony was dead a month before her remains were discovered, and knowing exactly where her skeletonized remains were scattered.

They actually went there and videotaped. Now the second private eye is denying it. But imagine if actually somebody knew a month before the body was discovered that that body was there. That kind of blows your mind about how crazy this case has gotten.

GERAGOS: Except the problem is that if that person knew it and that person got that information from the defendant or the client, they could not ethically reveal that information. And the whole problem with this case is the prosecution has systematically leaked information. And when I say prosecution, I'm not necessarily saying that it's the prosecutor or the lawyers per se. It's generally in these cases law enforcement, meaning the police.

KING: Well, we only have limited time. Dr. Kobilinsky, are we ever going to have this whole thing unravel?

KOBILINSKI: I think so. But I think the defense also just wants a level playing field. If there were a low profile case, there would be no problem getting the radio-graphic and photographic evidence.

KING: So, Stacy, you insist it's because of publicity they don't get it?

HONOWITZ: Eventually -- listen, the defense is entitled to discovery, The defense is entitled to anything that's going to be used in trial. I think eventually these things will be turned over. But I think there has to be a protocol as to how to do it. And right now, that's what they're looking at. They want proper protocol. They don't want this floating around the Internet.

So eventually, will the defense get the information? Absolutely. They have to.

KING: I wish we had more time. We'll have you all back, thank you. Thanks for coming, Mark. Thanks to everybody. A little boy vanishes. No one reports him missing until now. Ten years later, the people who gave him up for adoption are with us after the break. And wait until you hear their reaction next.



KING: Adam Herman was 11 years old when he vanished from his home in Kansas in 1999. He lived in a mobile home park with his adoptive parents. They never reported his disappearance. Authorities received a tip last week alerting them to the fact. Adam is now or would be now 21 years old. First we talk with Gerri George, the biological mother of Adam Herman. Do you know where your son was all these years, Gerri?

GERRI GEORGE, BIOLOGICAL MOTHER OF ADAM HERMAN: No, I did not. Last time I heard, he was in Derby, Kansas, in a foster home with Valerie Herman.

KING: Why did you give him up?

GEORGE: I didn't exactly give him up. They kept -- the county kept throwing my past of what my parents did to me. And they more or less said that I would repeat history again with my own children. And it seems like they're the ones who are repeating the history of what my parents did to me. But they're doing it with my own kids.

KING: Your parents were harmful to you?


KING: OK, so you give him up for adoption, don't know where he is for 10 years. How did you hear about this story that he has been gone and no one reported him?

GEORGE: Through my daughter Tiffany, his blood sister. She had called me and asked me to sit down and not to panic and to be calm, but that my son Irvin had disappeared. And I was in total state of shock. I could not believe that all of a sudden he was gone. And then the next day I had the Butler County Sheriff Department call me and says, did you know your son's gone and that he's been gone almost ten years? And I'm --

KING: Well.

GEORGE: It reinforced the statement. And it's like, OK, more shock, more questions.

KING: Have you spoken to the adoptive parents?


KING: Will you try to?

GEORGE: Not really, for the simple fact I have a lot of questions I know they won't answer. And they won't talk to me talk to me about it.

KING: We'll stay on top of this. The big thing is we hope we get him back. Gerri George is the mother. Now let's go on the phone to Irvin Groeninger. He's the biological father of Adam. How did you hear about this, Irvin?

IRVIN GROENINGER, BIOLOGICAL FATHER OF ADAM HERMAN: I was notified by the Butler County Sheriff's Department. They had called me. And about five years ago, my daughter Tiffany had contacted me. I thought, well, OK, they're trying to locate me for him. He's trying to locate me. They said, I need to speak to you about your son. I said, well, yes. I ain't seen him since he was 18 months old. They said, well, I don't know how to tell you this, but he's missing.

I'm like OK, he's 21 years old. He's a grown man. He's not missing. Then they commenced to telling me he has been missing for ten years and it blew me away. KING: Are you going to try to talk to the adoptive parents, who never reported him missing?

GROENINGER: At this point in time I'm going to reframe from trying to talk to them. I don't know what I'd say. I'm scared of what I might say to them. And until anything is proven, I'm going to go under the assumption that what they're telling everybody is the truth. I'm not going to be judgmental towards them.

KING: Do you think, in your worst fears, that harm came to him?

GROENINGER: I believe in my heart that something probably bad happened to him. But I'm also very hopeful that -- and I said on another news report earlier today that in a worst case scenario, I hope he's homeless. I hope he's living in a homeless shelter and doing fine. That way he's still alive. In my mind, I'm sure it's probably not.

KING: It must boggle your mind as to how they could not report it.

GROENINGER: Right. Yes. I've got all kinds of questions about that, how a doctor whose seen him during his first 11 years didn't -- all of a sudden, you know, he ain't showing up for doctor visits anymore. He ain't showing up for dentist visits anymore. They said he was under psychiatric care. He's not showing up for psychiatric care anymore. Somebody had to miss him.

KING: Well, we'll talk to the lawyer for the parents. We'll stay in close touch with you, Irvin.

GROENINGER: Thank you.

KING: What were Adam's adoptive parents, the people who raised him, thinking? We'll try to find out when we come back.


KING: Joining us now in Wichita, Kansas is the attorney Warner Eisenbise. He represents Valerie and Doug Herman. They are Adam's adoptive parents. One of the biggest mysteries is why they never reported him missing. That's the obvious question. Why not, Warner?

WARNER EISENBISE, ATTORNEY: I cannot actually answer that. The answer was attempted today in a news report to our local paper and that would best explain the reasons. I cannot come up with anything other than the fact that when he went missing -- and he had, in fact, gone missing many, many times before this -- the last time he went missing, my clients -- my client father spent the entire evening driving around the area looking for him.

Why they didn't -- they did not call the law enforcement officials, I don't know. I cannot answer that.

KING: On the screen right now what we have is an artist's rendering as to how he would look at 21. On the left is how he looked when he was missing, 11. That's how he might look now at age 21. They say they do feel very guilty, don't they, that they didn't report him missing? Haven't they said that, Warner?

EISENBISE: They say -- they're very, very contrite and feel very guilty about not reporting that. And they can't explain other than the fact that this had happened so many times before they felt that either he had returned to his former family or just had walked away and hid and did not return.

KING: Was he under psychiatric care? Go ahead.

EISENBISE: Yes. He -- he was diagnosed as bipolar and schizophrenic by two different psychiatrists.

KING: I interrupted you. You were going to say something else.

EISENBISE: He was a -- a very important thing happened today. When I was in court, my office received a phone call from a lady whose name I didn't write down, who is certain that she, after having seen the initial photograph of the child when he was around 11 or whenever, was certain that she saw him in a neighborhood, and lived in a residence with other children, and that they often came over to her home for cookies, and that this one boy who did not look anything like the other siblings or other children looked exactly like the photograph that's been dispersed.

My clients are hopeful that somehow this will cause, you know, someone to find him.

KING: One of your clients' homes was searched today. Do you know why?

EISENBISE: It was a former home, and I have no idea. The problem with investigative parts of this case is that counsel -- I am not entitled to anything more than a copy of a search warrant and a copy of what items were taken. I am not privy to -- because in Kansas, an affidavit upon which the search warrant is signed is sealed. And I can't -- I know nothing about what probable cause the law enforcement had to either search the home here in Cedrick County, in the town of Cedrick, and the area and the home in Derby, where they presently live.

KING: Are they his adoptive parents or are they foster parents?

EISENBISE: No. Originally -- and they were court certified as being foster parents. When he was two, they took him in as a foster child. After the age of two, the SRS or the state allowed them to adopt him because the parents, the natural parents' rights had been, I think, severed.

KING: Thanks, Attorney Warner Eisenbise. We'll be calling on you again. By the way, thank you. Anyone with information about Adam Herman is asked to call the Butler County Sheriff's Office. It's 316- 322-4398, 316-322-4398.

Priscilla Presley is here tomorrow, live from Graceland. Thursday would have been a big birthday for Elvis. We'll talk about that and a lot more. And Suze Orman is back with your 2009 financial action plan and, boy, do we need that. See who else is coming up on future shows. Sign up for text and email alerts and check out our blog. Do it all at, because we love hearing from you.

We also love checking in with Anderson Cooper. He's here now with "AC 360." Anderson?


AURORA, Ill. (BP) — Bishop T.D. Jakes says he has moved away from a “Oneness” view of the Godhead to embrace an orthodox definition of the Trinity — and that some in the Oneness Pentecostal movement now consider him a heretic.

Jakes — long a controversial figure among evangelicals because of his past unwillingness to affirm the Trinity — stated his belief Wednesday (Jan. 25) at the second-annual Elephant Room (, an event that brings together Christian figures from different backgrounds for what organizers call “conversations you never thought you’d hear.” This year’s Elephant Room was held at Harvest Bible Chapel in Illinois and was simulcast to other locations nationwide.

Jakes, founder and senior pastor of The Potter’s House in Dallas, was the focus of a motion at Southern Baptist Convention annual meetings in 2009 and 2010 by a messenger who wanted LifeWay Christian Stores to stop selling his books. One was ruled out of order by the SBC president, the other referred to LifeWay for study.

Jakes — who once made the cover of Time magazine, which asked if he might be the next Billy Graham — said he was saved in a Oneness Pentecostal church. Oneness Pentecostalism denies the Trinity and claims that instead of God being three persons, He is one person. In Oneness Pentecostalism, there is no distinction between the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. It is also called “modalism,” and it is embraced by the United Pentecostal Church International.

[[email protected]@180=‘I began to realize that there are some things that could be said about the Father that could not be said about the Son.’
— T.D. Jakes]”I began to realize that there are some things that could be said about the Father that could not be said about the Son,” Jakes said. “There are distinctives between the working of the Holy Spirit and the moving of the Holy Spirit, and the working of the redemptive work of Christ. I’m very comfortable with that.” [See the transcript of Jakes’ comments at the end of this story.]

The doctrine of the Trinity — embraced by all three historical branches of Christianity — holds that God is three persons, each person is distinct, each person is fully God, and that there is one God.

Several key Bible passages, Jakes said, impacted his transition.

[[email protected]@180=‘It is encouraging to see T.D. Jakes moving away from the heresy of modalism. However, we should pray for him and exhort him privately and publicly to move into biblical orthodoxy without equivocation.’
— Malcolm Yarnell]”Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, for example, coming up out of the water [and] the Holy Spirit descends like a dove, the Father speaks from heaven — and we see all three of them on one occasion,” he said, “or in Genesis [where God said,] ‘let us make man in our own likeness’ or Elohim — He is the one God who manifests Himself in a plurality of ways. Or what Jesus says, ‘I am with the Father, and the Father is in me.'”

Jakes added: “That began to make me rethink some of my ideas and some of the things that I was taught. I got kind of quiet about it for a while. Because when you are a leader and you are in a position of authority, sometimes you have to back up and ponder for a minute, and really think things through.”

James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel and Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle interviewed Jakes.

Not everything Jakes said will make Trinitarians happy. He said he considers both sides of the issue to be Christians, and that his church has affiliations with both camps. He also said “we’re all saying the same thing.” But under questioning from Driscoll, Jakes again affirmed the Trinity:

Driscoll: “Do you believe this is the perfect, inspired, final authority Word of God?” [Driscoll held up a Bible.]

Jakes: “Absolutely.”

Driscoll: “So you believe there’s one God, three Persons — Father, Son and Holy Spirit? You believe Jesus was fully God, fully Man?”

Jakes: “Absolutely.”

Driscoll: “You believe He died on the cross in our place for our sins?”

Jakes: “Absolutely.”

Driscoll: “You believe He bodily rose from death?”

Jakes: “Absolutely.”

Driscoll: “You believe that He is the judge of the living and the dead?”

Jakes: “Yes.”

Driscoll: “And you believe that apart from Jesus there is no salvation?”

Jakes: “Absolutely.”

Jakes said he prefers the term “manifestations” instead of the term “persons” — a position he has stated before.

He also said that “many of the circles that I came from would never allow me in their pulpit [now] because they consider me a heretic.”

Southern Baptist leaders applauded Jakes’ transformation while also saying Jakes isn’t fully where he should be on that and other issues.

“It is encouraging to see T.D. Jakes moving away from the heresy of modalism,” said Malcolm B. Yarnell III, director of the Center for Theological Research at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. “However, we should pray for him and exhort him privately and publicly to move into biblical orthodoxy without equivocation. Much of what Jakes stated about God the Trinity in this interview was correct. For instance he noted the simultaneous but distinct movements of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in the baptism of Jesus. This is very true, though I might have described it differently.”

Yarnell said Jakes incorrectly interprets 1 Timothy 3:16, which says “He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” Jakes uses that verse to argue for his usage of “manifestations,” but Yarnell says the passage is speaking only of Jesus — not the other members of the Godhead.

“The only ‘manifestation’ to which 1 Timothy 3:16 refers is the incarnation of God in Christ,” Yarnell said. “… Jakes simply does not offer a proper exegetical basis for his unique theological term.” [Yarnell’s complete statement on Jakes’ comments follows this story.]

Russell D. Moore, dean of the school of theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., said he takes “Bishop Jakes at his word that he holds to Trinitarianism.”

“But there’s still some elephants left in the room,” Moore said. “First of all, Bishop Jakes isn’t a new convert being discipled in the basics of the Christian faith. He is a celebrity mega-church pastor. Moreover, Trinitarianism isn’t the ‘meat’ of some advanced doctrine, but the most foundational doctrine of the Christian faith. A Christian pastor affirming least-common-denominator Christian doctrine should hardly be news, much less an elephant in the room. This can only happen in an American evangelicalism that values success, novelty and celebrity more than church accountability.”

Moore added, “There still stands the issue of the prosperity gospel Bishop Jakes preaches. Joyce Meyer and Kenneth Copeland are Trinitatians but their health and wealth gospel is different from the message of Jesus and His apostles.”
Michael Foust is associate editor of Baptist Press. DVDs of the Elephant Room II can be purchased at Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook ( and in your email (

Following is the transcript of the conversation between T.D. Jakes, Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald on the Trinity, beginning after Jakes was asked about his background:

Jakes: My father was Methodist. My mother was Baptist. My father’s family was Methodist as far back as I can remember. I was raised in a Baptist church. But I was raised in church but I really didn’t have a real committed experience with Christ until my father died. When my father died, I had a real experience with Christ — a real conversion in Christ, and I had it in a Oneness church.

Driscoll: By Oneness meaning [what]? — for those who do not know all the theological terms.

Jakes: Well it would be like, how do I explain it? It was not a UPC [United Pentecostal] church, in spite of the blogs. It was not a UPC church, but somewhat similar.

Driscoll: Jesus only, modalism?

Jakes: “Jesus only — modalism” which is still a theological term. … But Christians and Christians [who] believe in Jesus Christ, believe He died and rose from the dead, coming back again — all the same things that you do. Pentecostal Christians by its virtue. But how they described and explained the Godhead in a traditional oneness sense is very, very different from how traditional Trinitarians describe the Gospel. And I was in that church and raised in that church for a number of years. My problem with it as I began to go on and as God began to develop my ministry, I started preaching from that church and from that pulpit and that sort of thing. But I’m also informed by the infiltration from my Baptist experience and my Methodist experience, so I ended up Metha-Bapti-Costal in a way. So I’m kind of like a mixed breed sitting up here, OK? And what I began to find out [is that] it is easy to throw rocks at people that you don’t know, but the more you really get to know them and see Christ work in their lives, regardless of their belief system, you begin to try to be a bridge-builder. … When you try to build bridges between people who’ve been fighting for hundreds of years — hundreds of years before you ever even got into the discussion. There is an old adage that says ‘he who stands in the middle of the road gets hit by both sides.’ So as I began to progress, I began to understand that some of the dogma that I was taught in the Oneness movement was very dogmatic and very narrow and really not the best description of how I now understand the Godhead. I still did not want to switch teams and start throwing rocks back across the street, because much of what we do today is teach people to take sides. But I believe we are called as the Body of Christ to reconcile wherever possible.

MacDonald: Alright, but before we even get into — and I think what you’re leading us into is wise and helpful and it reflects why we’re here — how we relate to people who differ is on subject. Before we even go to that, I’d love to give you an opportunity to just — like there were some particular Scriptures that began to inform you, you began to move and develop in what you personally believe. I’d like to just hear you articulate that.

Jakes: My struggle after I was ordained and consecrated in the Oneness church was in several passages, sometimes the doctrine fits; sometimes it doesn’t. And when the doctrine becomes the primary thing you force it into many places where it doesn’t fit. I really at this point in my life don’t want to force my theology to fit within my denomination. I am open to hear whatever God is saying. Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, for example, coming up out of the water the Holy Spirit descends like a dove, the Father speaks from heaven — and we see all three of them on one occasion, or in Genesis “let us make man in our own likeness” or Elohim — He is the one God who manifest Himself in a plurality of ways. Or what Jesus says, “I am with the Father, and the Father is in me” and understanding — or attempting to understand. And that began to make me rethink some of my ideas and some of the things that I was taught. I got kind of quiet about it for a while. Because when you are a leader and you are in a position of authority, sometimes you have to back up and ponder for a minute, and really think things through. I began to realize that there are some things that could be said about the Father that could not be said about the Son. There are distinctives between the working of the Holy Spirit and the moving of the Holy Spirit, and the working of the redemptive work of Christ. I’m very comfortable with that. You and I have talked; [Jack] Graham and I have talked; there is very little difference in what I believe and what you believe. But here is where I find the problem: I don’t think anything that any of us believes fully describes who God is. And if we would ever humble down to admit that we in our finite minds cannot fully describe an infinite God.

Driscoll: … We all would agree in the nature of God there is mystery, and it’s like a dimmer switch: how much certainty, how much mystery. But within that, Bishop Jakes, for you the issue between Trinitarianism and Modalism at its essence is one God manifesting Himself successively in three ways? Or one God three persons simultaneously existing eternally. … And I understand, there is some mystery — for sure. Would you say it’s One God manifesting Himself in three ways, or One God in three persons?

Jakes: I believe that neither one of them totally did it for me, but I think the latter one is where I stand today.

Driscoll: One God, three Persons?

Jakes: One God, three Persons. One God, Three Persons, and here is why — I am not crazy about the word “persons.” … My doctrinal statement is no different from yours except for the …

Driscoll: The word “manifestation.”

Jakes: Manifest instead of persons. Which you describe as modalist, and I describe it as Pauline. Let me show you what I’m saying. When I read 1 Timothy 3:16, I didn’t create this. … “And without controversy,” which I think we have been bickering about something that is what Paul describes as a mystery, and I don’t think we should do that. “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness. So God was manifest in the flesh.” Now Paul was not a modalist, but he does not think that it is robbery to the divinity of God to say God was manifest in the flesh. And I think maybe it’s semantics. But Paul says this before this fight was started. But He also says God “was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached until the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory.” Now, when we start talking about that sort of thing, I think that it is important that we realize that there are distinctives between the Father and the working of the Son. The Father didn’t bleed, the Father didn’t die — [that happened] only in the person of Jesus Christ. Coming back for us in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has with us, but only indwells us through the person of the Holy Spirit; we are baptized into the body of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. I don’t think any of that is objectionable to any of the three of us.

MacDonald: Not at all.

Jakes: So that is consistent with my belief system. I’m with you. I have been with you. I teach/preach that all the time. There are many people within and outside quote unquote denominations that are labeled Oneness that would describe that the same way. There are some that would not. But when we get to know people by their labels, then comes all the baggage of how we define that label. … it’s almost like the stereotypical ideologies we have about races. We have little ideas about denominations and movements. The reason I applauded what you said earlier about people who have dual affiliations: We are taught in society that if we disagree with any movement, we leave. We sever. Oh, you said something I disagree with we fall out and then we walk away. I still have fellowship, associations, relationship, and positions within and without Trinitarian and Onenness movements, because I believe that until we bridge the gap between our thinking and humble both sides and say, “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? And then face to face. None of our books about the Godhead or anything else will be on sale in heaven. You know why? Because we’re only authorities down here, with our little kingdoms in this world. 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. 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.

Driscoll: Let me jump in here. I want to say a couple of things. Thank you for joining us. You don’t have to be there. You were on the cover of Time magazine. You have options of where you go.

MacDonald: This isn’t your biggest gig ever? [laughter]

Driscoll: It takes a lot of courage and humility to put yourself in an unscripted situation and to be outside of your normal tribe. And the fact that you showed up to dinner last night, I was shocked. I was like, “T.D. Jakes is coming to dinner?” I loved you. I enjoyed you. I really appreciated hearing your story of your family in context and your upbringing. And I walked away going, “I really appreciate getting to meet and know and enjoy that man. So thank-you for being gracious; thank-you for being courageous; and thank-you for being humble. And I think it might be helpful because, You’re coming out of a Oneness background and out of a different context than a lot of us are. You’ve demonstrated humility, saying “I’ve been studying the Bible and I’m even changing some thinking as I’m studying.” A lot of pastors will just defend their first position to death rather than humbly reconsidering it biblically. Maybe to help others understand you, on the flip side, How have you been treated and what has the response been from some who were friends that you don’t want to throw rocks at, but because of your transition.

Jakes: That’s what’s funny about this, that’s what’s really funny to me.

Driscoll: Are you the heretic to them?

Jakes: Oh, very much so in many circles.

Jakes: … Many of the circles that I came from would never allow me in their pulpit because they consider me a heretic. I have to read the article to see which heretic I am.

MacDonald: We’d be honored if you’d come be with us and let’s all grow together.

Jakes: OK, and that’d be great. But I think the time has come for us to be willing to take the heat to have a conversation. Because if we do not do this, and we continue to divide ourselves by ourselves and compare ourselves with ourselves, we do it at the expense of decreasing numbers of new Christians in our country. We have to mobilize. Just for your consideration: This is the only thing that Jesus prayed that we can answer. He only prayed, “Father, I pray that they may be one even as You and I are also one.” And this is the one thing that is within our power to answer, and we do not do it.

Driscoll: Can I ask a couple of quick questions, and then we can do whatever you want. Do you believe this is the perfect, inspired, final authority Word of God? [Driscoll holds up a Bible]

Jakes: Absolutely.

Driscoll: So you believe there’s one God, Three Persons — Father, Son and Holy Spirit? You believe Jesus was fully God, fully Man?

Jakes: Absolutely.

Driscoll: You believe He died on the cross in our place for our sins?

Jakes: Absolutely.

Driscoll: You believe He bodily rose from death?

Jakes: Absolutely.

Driscoll: You believe that He is the judge of the living and the dead?

Jakes: Yes.

Driscoll: And you believe that Apart from Jesus there is no salvation?

Jakes: Absolutely.

Driscoll: Thank-you. [applause]

MacDonald: That was crazy! I’ve just want to say this: I am so weary of people thinking they know — they don’t know I think you honor us and you humble us, a man of your stature and commitment to the Gospel and fruitfulness would come and sit in this room, let you and me ask him what he believes? … I just want to say this, I think you’ve honored us, and you’ve shown immense humility, and I want to be in the world where I believe that Jesus Christ stands. And He’s told us again and again He stands with the humble. “Get to those people who love my Son, who believe my Word, who express humility.” And I’m honored to hear what you said. I want to just say, further, Mark, if I could contribute to this, that I feel deeply in my heart that God is both three and one. Three and one. I believe the Scripture is very clear when we get to heaven, we are going to see Jesus — the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declare. Jesus is the only God we will ever see. When I was studying Revelation last year I was struck by the number of times that I saw in the book of Revelation that it almost seems in the text like the Father and the Son are on the same throne, and when I start to think about this, I believe in God eternally existing in three persons. But, the more I think about it, the more I feel like my head is going to explode, and I get a little weary of people who feel that they need to erase mystery and replace it with certainty as a test of orthodoxy. If what we have heard today doesn’t satisfy, then the person is insatiable, and I’m ready to move on to a new subject. I believe that very strongly.

Jakes: Let me just make one little comment: One of the things that you said at the end, even as we talked about it before, and I’ve heard Jack Graham say this, too, that there is going to be one throne and there’s going to be one God we can see. And I thought the more I hear everybody arguing about this, we’re all saying the same thing. And we like fight about it to the death, and I just think that in the world that we’re living in today, if we could just connect, and I know that there will always be distracters and there will always be people who define themselves by their differences rather than their connections, who are more comfortable with being known by what they are against than by what they are for. But when I hear you say that there’s going to be one throne and one God on that throne, My soul leaps in celebration, and I hear both of us stumbling trying to explain how God does what He does like He does. I think THAT stumbling is worship. I think THAT stumbling is worship. I think the fact that we would humble ourselves and say, “Your thoughts and ways are beyond human comprehension” is what makes worship fill the room.


Following is Malcolm Yarnell’s full statement:

In response to T.D. Jakes’ recent statements on the Trinity, we can affirm seven things, though with some cautionary statements included, especially about proper biblical exegesis:

First, the goal of unity in Christ (John 17:21-23) is both laudable and necessary. Yet such unity must be founded on the “truth” (John 17:17) revealed by God in Jesus Christ and recorded in the Word inspired by the Spirit. True unity requires that we confess the true Christ, the second person of the Trinity revealed in Scripture, and not a Christ of our own fashioning.

Second, the call for civility in Christian discourse is also much appreciated. We ought to restrain ourselves from loosely casting around such terms as “heretic” or “heresy.” Before using these terms, we should be absolutely sure what the terms mean and that they actually apply.

Third, Jakes is correct that Scripture should shape our theology and not that we should make Scripture fit into our theology. And though I agree with him on this in theory, he has unfortunately misread Scripture to fit his purpose of “building bridges.”

Fourth, Jakes is correct that we must know and speak about what we are for rather than what we are against. This is living with our eyes on the positive nature of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Fifth, it is encouraging to see T.D. Jakes moving away from the heresy of modalism. However, we should pray for him and exhort him privately and publicly to move into biblical orthodoxy without equivocation. Much of what Jakes stated about God the Trinity in this interview was correct. For instance he noted the simultaneous but distinct movements of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the baptism of Jesus. This is very true, though I might have described it differently.

On the other hand, Jakes also speaks errantly. This derives from the fact that he is effectively trying to hold two positions without seeing that his proffered mediating category is ultimately untenable. Jakes stated he wants to have “dual affiliations” with both Oneness and Trinitarian churches. This is the goal behind his equivocation, and he relies on unique terminology to enable his dual theology. Although stating he is willing to use “persons” to describe the Trinity, he is also clear he would prefer not to do so. (There have been orthodox theologians who also registered difficulty with the term “person,” but typically they object to modernist meanings attached to the term, meanings different from the classical Christian understanding. Jakes, however, is rejecting the term not because it has been misunderstood but because it is offensive to Oneness Pentecostals, whom he deems Christian.)

T.D. Jakes wants to have both Trinitarians and Oneness Pentecostals, who are Unitarian Modalists, classified as brothers in Christ at the same time. But you cannot affirm both are in the realm of truth without removing the Trinity as a fundamental basis of the Christian faith. You cannot have both beliefs at the same time: either God is both three and one (as Trinitarians believe and Unitarians deny) or God is only one (as Unitarians like Oneness Pentecostals believe and Trinitarians deny). There is no bridging this divide without losing the Trinity itself, for He is the God we worship.

Instead of using the term “persons,” Jakes has long confessed he believes the “one God” is “eternally existing in three manifestations: Father, Son and Holy Spirit” (see Potter’s House Belief Statement at Jakes then proceeds to use “manifestations” in ways he hopes that both Trinitarians and Unitarians might find acceptable. Jakes, moreover, argues that “manifestations” derives from 1 Timothy 3:16. But he misuses the term’s meaning in that passage, wrenching it from its Christological context and transferring it to the Trinity. The only “manifestation” to which 1 Timothy 3:16 refers is the incarnation of God in Christ. God was “manifested” in the flesh of Christ; this Christ was “justified” or “vindicated” by the Spirit through the Resurrection; this Christ was “received up into glory.” The manifestation of God was Christ in 1 Timothy 3:16, not the Father and not the Holy Spirit. The Father and the Spirit are indeed at work in this passage but not as “manifestations.” Instead, the Father and Spirit work through the Son, who is God manifested in flesh so we can see and hear and touch Him. Jakes simply does not offer a proper exegetical basis for his unique theological term.

Sixth, with regard to the same biblical passage, let us recognize that although there is “mystery” in Scripture, this is no reason to paper over real differences in theology. Where God reveals, there is no more hiddenness in the mystery, for the mystery has now been disclosed, for us in Scripture. The point of 1 Timothy 3:16 is not to say that the Trinity is an undisclosed mystery but that the incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ is the mystery of God now disclosed. An appeal to a continuing mystery in this passage actually subverts the passage’s meaning. Moreover, to claim that Scripture is dark is a repudiation of the Reformation rediscovery of the clarity of Scripture. Scripture is clear and God has sent His Spirit to lead us into all the truth He inspired the apostles and prophets to record therein (John 14:26, 16:12-15).

Seventh and finally, as a fallen human being saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, I concur with Jakes that theology, the human attempt to explain divine revelation, is a “stumbling” matter. I also agree with Jakes’ interlocutors that we are all growing in our theology. However, I must disagree with T.D. Jakes when he says, “we’re all saying the same thing,” because Trinitarians and Unitarians definitely are not saying the same thing. But I hope he keeps reflecting on Scripture, which he has been doing, for it clearly and unequivocally reveals the eternally Triune God, the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, into whose entire name orthodox Christians are baptized.

    About the Author

  • Michael Foust


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