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Behind James MacDonald's Resignation from the Gospel Coalition

A prominent pastor's departure raises questions of church/non-church boundaries.

The recent resignation of a prominent pastor from a parachurch organization raises questions about the role such organizations can and should play within evangelicalism.

James MacDonald, pastor of the six-campus Harvest Bible Chapel, abruptly resigned from the Gospel Coalition on January 24 because of "methodological differences." MacDonald told Christianity Today his resignation was partly prompted by an invitation he extended to popular black preacher T. D. Jakes to appear in a debate event MacDonald sponsors.

Many evangelicals have accused Jakes of heretical views of the Trinity and of preaching a prosperity gospel theology. Observers questioned his planned appearance at MacDonald's conference, the Elephant Room, when MacDonald extended an invitation to Jakes last fall.

 "I think what it really came down to was, I felt that what I was doing was right," said MacDonald, who said he wasn't expecting the backlash. "I wasn't going to be pressured into uninviting [Jakes] under any circumstances." ...

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