Bishop Thomas Dexter “T.D.” Jakes (born in 1957) is a popular black preacher and evangelist who is the main pastor of The Potter’s House church in Dallas, Texas (founded in 1996), with a congregation of over thirty thousand members. He comes from a United Pentecostal, or Oneness Pentecostal, background. Ryan Turner of Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) takes an in depth view into the good points, deeply concerning issues and ultimate theology of the man, T.D Jakes.
Why the Trinity is Important
The modalism view of T.D. Jakes is a very serious Biblical error for a number of reasons.
First, the Trinitarian view of God is the correct Biblical view of God, which Jakes rejects (see “The Trinity” and the “Christian Doctrine” section under “The Trinity” heading).
Second, with the modalistic view of God, we are left with many errors regarding the incarnation of Christ. When Jesus is praying in the Garden of Gethsemane to the Father, some Oneness theologians argue that Jesus’ flesh is praying to His divine self. If this is the case, then Jesus’ divine self has not been truly incarnated. The incarnation is not a true incarnation if God is sometimes the Father, sometimes the Son, and then sometimes the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was incarnated on the earth, He was fully divine the entire time. His divine self did not leave His human nature to go govern the universe, etc.
Third, according to Scripture, Jesus was eternally the Son (Heb. 13:8; John 1:1). According to Oneness Theology, the being that is incarnating is not the eternal Son, but the eternal Father.
Fourth, for the sacrifice of God the Son (Jesus) on the cross to have any significance He must atone for sinners before God the Father. If Jesus is dying to reconcile people to Himself, it is incompatible with the Biblical view where Jesus dies as a substitute to satisfy the wrath of God the Father (1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18; cf. Rom. 5:9; Eph. 2:3-5; 1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9).
While one does not have to positively affirm the Trinity to be saved, if one denies it he or she is in serious biblical error and should not be teaching on major television networks like TBN.
Summary of T.D. Jakes and The Potter’s House
- The Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God.
- The Bible is the final authority on issues of doctrine.
- Jesus is God.
- Jesus rose bodily from the grave.
- Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary.
- There will be a personal, imminent, pre-millennial return of Christ.
- There will be a bodily resurrection of the dead.
- Believers will go to everlasting conscious bliss, but unbelievers to everlasting conscious torment.
- Denies the Trinity.
- Allows ordination of women as pastors.
- Baptizes in the name of the Lord Jesus rather than in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- [Believes in Word of Faith and prosperity gospel]
- No statement whether water baptism is necessary for salvation or not.
- No statement whether speaking in tongues is necessary for salvation or not.