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When I first agreed to attend the Elephant Room 2, my plan was to provide an analysis and assessment of the conference and its wider implications for the evangelical world. In preparation for this upcoming event, I thought it would be helpful to revisit the first Elephant Room and consider how it was received by church leaders and laypeople. I then offered a few reasons for why I had agreed to attend and blog about the second conference.

In the past 48 hours, however, circumstances have changed rapidly. On Monday, my blog was relaunched as I officially joined the other bloggers hosted on The Gospel Coalition’s website. On Tuesday James MacDonald announced his resignation from The Gospel Coalition. Needless to say, the situation became much more complicated for me personally. I questioned whether it would be truly possible to cover this conference journalistically in the middle of a larger controversy, and I considered backing out of the event altogether.

Thankfully, some friends from The Gospel Coalition assured me that I was under no editorial obligation to take a certain position on The Elephant Room. They expressed their trust in how I would cover this event and looked forward to my analysis. On Tuesday afternoon, I spent a little time with James MacDonald. He also told me that I was under no obligation to say anything positive about the event and that he would welcome any criticism I would have for him or for the event itself. He only asked that I would not allow the comments to turn personal regarding the people he had invited.

It is somewhat unusual for me to recount personal conversations in this manner, but I felt it was important to communicate the fact that my analysis of The Elephant Room today comes from me and only me. No one, from either side of the controversy, is telling me what to write or how to approach this conference. In the midst of a sticky situation, it is actually quite liberating to know that the only Person I truly need to please in this series of blog posts is King Jesus Himself. And I’m praying that the ongoing conversations prompted by this event will edify Christ’s people.

Here is what to expect on the blog today:

1. I plan on either live-blogging each session or linking to other live-blog reports of each session.

2. I will try to offer a few quick words of analysis at the end of each session.

3. At the end of the day, I hope to offer some thoughts on the event as a whole.

4. Tomorrow or Friday, I plan on following up with a longer post that analyzes the event and its implications for evangelicalism.

Please be in prayer for the pastors who are participating in The Elephant Room today. No matter what you may think about the pastors who were invited, it is undeniable that these conversations will influence thousands of church leaders today and in the weeks and months to come. Even if you believe the conference dynamic and set-up to be flawed at the foundational level, it is still good to pray that the conference would be as good as it can be, so that any potential damage is minimized and any potential benefit is maximized.

Love always hopes. So should we.

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7 thoughts on “Preliminary Thoughts on The Elephant Room”

  1. Sean Rice says:

    Looking forward to your coverage, Trevin.

  2. Rick says:

    Wise approach. Your honesty, caution, and focus are appreciated. Looking forward to your reports.

  3. Dillon says:

    Going to try and catch as much of this as work allows today. Is anyone aware of other live bloggers today?

  4. Traci says:

    I’m looking forward to reading your commentary too, because even though the event will have an impact, trustworthy analysis has a broad influence too. Thanks for doing this.

  5. Joshua says:

    I love your approach to this whole event and am looking forward to your commentary.

  6. Denise says:

    “In the midst of a sticky situation, it is actually quite liberating to know that the only Person I truly need to please in this series of blog posts is King Jesus Himself.”


    I truly pray you remember your own words, which I’m certain you will. So far your integrity stands strong, which is wonderful. This is thrilling to get an analysis that is unbiased. Believe me, this is one thing I can actually say is exciting and my prayers are going up for you in all that you write and will go through in trying to write this out.

    May the Good Lord be your guide. And may He bless you and your ministry in this endeavor as I’m sure it must be a bit hard to not allow feelings to get in the way, either ‘for’ or ‘against.’ Yet, being the man that you are, praise God, it’s my belief you’ll do exceptionally well in this.

    Peace to you Trevin and thank you for being so honest in everything you’ve ever posted. You are a man of God. Keep it up (I know you will), you’re a refreshing breath of air.

    Your sister in Christ, Jesus.


  7. Trevin,

    I was “blessed” with a particularly challenging/bad day today. The only upside was that I was unable to be “sucked in” to the endless Twittering and blogging on today’s events. At the end of the day I’m looking at the sheer volume of what you’ve posted, and considering the monumental effort it must have taken to get it all online,

    not to mention whatever internal questions/thoughts you were having,

    and I ended the day thinking that you’d had a far harder day than mine!

    Thanks so much for your labors. I was profoundly disappointed at the apparent outcome; but I’m thankful for your work and your courage, and look forward to reading your perspective.

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Trevin Wax

​Trevin Wax is Bible and Reference Publisher at LifeWay Christian Resources and managing editor of The Gospel Project. You can follow him on Twitter or receive blog posts via email. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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