Warning: file_get_contents(): Failure when receiving data from the peer in /home/thegospe/public_html/blogs/wp-content/themes/tgc-ee2/header.php on line 129

Warning: file_get_contents(http://thegospelcoalition.org/_inc/primary_nav): failed to open stream: operation failed in /home/thegospe/public_html/blogs/wp-content/themes/tgc-ee2/header.php on line 129

Below, a video from February 2010 about why Piper is inviting Rick Warren to be one of the speakers at this fall’s DG National Conference on the theme of “Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God.”

Print Friendly

Comments:


131 thoughts on “John Piper and Rick Warren”

  1. Donahue says:

    Rick Warren preaches a different gospel. Plain and simple.

    1. Jason T says:

      Wow tiger. Trim them claws. Do the link Mason says (but not for the reasons he gives) and then click on the link where Warren shares the gospel. Maybe you have a different gospel than what he presents but that seems to be the one we’ve held to for nearly 2000 years.

      Brothers…be careful. I don’t find Rick Warren to fall under the curse of Gal 1.

      1. Donahue says:

        This is Rick Warren’s “gospel”. I don’t care if he recites the Westminster Confession 5 times a day—what matters is what he actually practices. Read it through—absolutely sickening.

        http://www.saddleback.com/blogs/newsandviews/index.html?contentID=2085

    2. sean leroy says:

      yeah, please reserve your anathemas for special occasions

  2. Mason says:

    The following link may help people to understand the issues. Please read Warren’s entire article.

    http://www.saddleback.com/blogs/newsandviews/index.html?contentID=2085

    This kind of teaching is devastating. How deeply theological he seems to be or who he reads is wholly outside of the issue. The type of teaching contained in the above link distorts the Gospel of Christ and hurts people. Whether intended or not, by inviting Warren to this conference Piper will give this destructive teaching a wider hearing, and make it a little easier to tolerate.

  3. Mason says:

    …and please let me give an exhortation to commenters as a brother in the Lord. Use direct quotes, links, or Scripture with your thoughts. And fear the flesh like you fear the plague. It does not help the cause when everyone can tell a person is simply put-out.

  4. Mike says:

    Maybe I missed it, but the provided link didn’t answer the “why” question. Does anyone have another link.

  5. B says:

    http://www.saddleback.com/aboutsaddleback/whatwebelieve/

    Preaches a different gospel? These folks above didn’t like the ‘chill the heck out’ post either did they?

    1. At the very least he preaches (if you want to call it that) a watered down gospel. His arrogance is astounding as is the flippant manner with which he speaks of the Christ.

  6. James says:

    Say it ain’t so, John.

  7. Mason says:

    I just want to make a point here. The below link will show you that what a man claims to believe on paper really doesn’t mean all that much.

    http://www.joelosteen.com/About/WhatWeBelieve/Pages/WhatWeBelieve.aspx

    I am not making an apples-to-apples comparison. I am simply making the above point.

    The question is – Has what the man claims to believe permeated his life and ministry? Note the above link I have provided. He has reduced the Gospel to something a person can check off at an abbreviated version of a membership class so they can make history. That alone denies most of his doctrinal statement.

    1. Exactly. Even the demons have a statement of faith:

      You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder. (James 2:19 NIV)

      1. Daniel says:

        He can make a positive effect on Warren without inviting him to speak at his conference.

        1. Daniel says:

          Oops. The above comment was a reply to Timbo.

      2. B says:

        And even the demons post on blogs and probably listen to R.C. Sproul 15 times a day too.

  8. Timbo says:

    It’s sad that the first reaction is that Warren will have a negative effect on Piper, rather than that Piper could have a positive effect on Warren.

    1. Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV)

      1. J.Clark says:

        Don’t you think that means “those who are making a practice of being around and under the influence of the corrupt?” Just wondering.

      2. Timbo says:

        Rick Warren uses the NIV.

        1. JB says:

          He uses the NIV? Well burn him at the stake!!

          Geez.

    2. Edwin Smith says:

      Or that they might be mutually encouraged and strengthened by one another.

  9. Mary Palshan says:

    My heart is broken, just broken. I am praying for John Piper, who I love as a brother dearly. Let us all keep him in our prayers.

  10. phil says:

    Folks would do well to actually listen to Piper’s reasoning for inviting Warren

    http://www.benterry.com/?p=273

    I love that Piper invites “outside the camp” people to speak at his conferences. How many people have just heard some regurgitated criticism of Warren and have that as their basis for a rejection of him? This will be a great opportunity for people to hear from him directly and make their own decision.

    1. Sometimes what may seem like a great opportunity doesn’t turn out so well for those involved.

      Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20 NIV)

    2. Phil,

      I did listen to that audio clip. But if Piper wants to get to know and understand Warren and his thinking better, he could certainly have done that through emails, phone calls, and private conversations. You don’t have to invite the guy to speak at your national conference in order to do that!

      1. phil says:

        Garrett – Sounds like he did that and still thought it would be good to invite him. It’ll be interesting to hear Warren’s talk.

        1. “It’ll be interesting to hear Warren’s talk.”

          Now THAT is something we can ALL agree on! :-)

      2. Garrett, That’s an excellent point.

  11. Mary Palshan says:

    You are right, Timbo. I made similar comments when he first befriended Mark Driscoll. At first I was so upset about that union, then I thought God may be using Piper to help draw Mark in to a deeper understanding of Him. Only time will tell in all of these perplexing situations.

  12. Ms Darla says:

    Preaches another gospel — period.

  13. David says:

    I wonder what would have happened if God had not opened the doors among the stricter circles for Moody and for his “organist” brother with the strange box.

    I’m also pretty sure that Luther said something akin to, “He is of a different Spirit” regarding Zwingli.

    Not apples to apples, but just wait. If it’s not of God, then God will bring about discipline. If it is of God, then you cannot stop it.

    1. David says:

      Thus pray for God’s glory in the matter.

  14. Prakash says:

    Guys. This. Really. Is Not. A Big. Deal.

    Piper does everyone a great service by not just trotting out the same five guys to his conference every year. The only arguments against this kind of invitation would be the slippery-slope fallacy or some kind of first/second degree separation fundamentalismness.

    In a conference which has the stated goal of making people THINK, why would Piper not invite a speaker who will do just that (even before he’s said a word)?

    1. James says:

      This. Is. A Big. Deal.

      The problem is not that Rick Warren is not a 5 Point Calvinist. The problem is that he consistently preaches a watered down gospel, and he began the seeker sensitive movement.

      1. DJ says:

        Yes, and we ALL KNOW Jesus NEVER uses anyone who is not a 5 point Calvinist! In fact, we know the Lord curses all such people! (sarcasm greatly used)

        This judgement of Rick Warran makes me sick and is the reason many people flee from Calvinism. Sad to see people talking this way.

        1. DJ says:

          James, miss-read your reply. Forgive me for that. I thought you said “the problem is that Rick Warren is not a 5Point Calvinist”. Sorry again.

          On a side note though, I think my sarcasm probably captures what many on these comments think IS wrong with Warren.

    2. Ryan says:

      Well, I agree with you. But, as an observer of “gospel-knowers”, such as the ones who have commented thus far, I have found that those who know the gospel do not need to be challenged to Think by those who preach “another gospel.”

      Piper’s sermon on Charles Simeon recounts a great confrontation between Simeon, the Calvinist, and John Wesley, the well, you know (the unspeakable). The interaction is a marvelous tell of brotherhood between to men who at worst preach different gospels, or at best, talk about The Gospel differently. Either way there was a great humility among them. A humility that I have never seen among Christians with disagreements.

      http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Biographies/1460_Brothers_We_Must_Not_Mind_a_Little_Suffering/

  15. Erick Puentez says:

    “I want him to lay his cards on the table. I want him to tell us what makes him tick.” –John Piper

    If you listen to the audio link, Piper explains that he is frustrated with Rick Warren’s results-oriented pragmatism because he believes that Warren is theologically grounded.

    I think Piper sees the apparent contradictions between his practical ministry and his theological convictions and wants to see how Warren answers to these apparent contradictions. I guess we’ll see how it turns out.

    1. James says:

      Erick if you are right then Piper should have invited him to some sort of debate, in my opinion.

  16. Ryan says:

    Whoa-wait a minute. There is another gospel that can be preached? News to me.

    I think what you some of you mean is Rick Warren is a liar and his ministry and life is straight from hell. He masquerades a man who loves Jesus, but he simply deceives and the effect of his ministry expansion of the kingdom of the devil. Am I right? That is what you mean??

    1. What is the “another gospel” Warren is preaching. Lay it out.

    2. DJ says:

      I think that is what they are all trying to say Ryan

  17. Fusion@ says:

    WHoever sadi it was sad that the first thoughts people had was that Piper would be affected rather than Warren being affected is right. It is sad. Two things come to mind. Recently, Tim Challies wrote about his visit and chat with Warren(http://www.challies.com/articles/on-visiting-saddleback-church), and I think it was very honest and it hits on something we often miss: we are dealing with real people. He notes:
    So I guess I was confirmed in seeing that Warren is a pretty normal guy in most ways and an above average guy in other ways. I can see his passion for what he does–his passion for sharing Christ with the world. At the same time, I walked away realizing that many of my concerns are fair ones.

    The second thing I want to note, is that in the audio that is floating around, Piper goes out of his way to pay Warren a backhanded compliment. He wants him to come and speak on the issue of Loving God with your mind form his pragmatic approach. Or as he says,” I want you to lay your cards on the table”. A fool’s errand? A gamble perhaps? Maybe this is Piper’s way of reaching out to him? I think with tonight’s Ask pastor John podcast, and with the video clips to come, we shall find out. But right now, let’s keep it in prayer.

  18. Truth Unites... and Divides says:

    Easy folks. Rick Warren is not the enemy. It’s not as if John Piper was inviting Bishop John Shelby Spong, Brian McClaren, Doug Pagitt, Tony Jones, Tony Campolo, Jim Wallis, Marcus Borg, Randall Balmer, Rob Bell, et al to speak at the Desiring God conference.

    1. Ryan says:

      Now, Campolo challenges me to think. I would like to see a banter between Piper and Campolo. I bet they would like each other.

      1. Truth Unites... and Divides says:

        I’m pretty sure that Piper and Campolo would like each other on a personal basis. But not on a doctrinal basis.

        I’m somewhat tempted to add Bishop N.T. Wright’s name to my original list. I really dislike some of N.T. Wright’s writings and I think he’s clearly worse than Rick Warren.

        And Piper was pretty kind to Wright in his reviews and critiques of Wright’s work.

  19. Larry says:

    I must say I think this is awesome. I was critical of Rick Warren until I visited his church and started following him on Twitter. I think he is legit! It is exciting to see Christian leaders coming together around the gospel! I think it will be great to see John Piper influence Rick Warren and Rick Warren influence John Piper. This can only be good for Christianity in America and around the world!!

  20. Dan says:

    Some of your responses sound a bit Arminian. Trust God’s providence. This may be a step along a journey toward greater humility.

  21. Joanna says:

    My first thought was “is this an april fools joke?” since it is April 1 here already

  22. Fusion@ says:

    Larry,
    With respect, I still have to add that Warren and his ministry have a lot to answer for: ecumenism, watered down gospel etc…

    1. Larry says:

      Hi Fusion,

      Everything I read from Warren’s blog and twitter seem right on. As far as I can tell he is all about the glory of God, the supremacy of Christ and the centrality of the gospel.

      Could you link me to some articles or books that prove otherwise? That way I could check it out for myself.

      Thanks Fusion. Hope to hear back from you,
      Larry

      1. Fusion@ says:

        I would recommend Tim Challies article on visiting Saddleback. It’s from September 19th of last year. Then I might check out extremetheology.com and what they have to say.

    2. Steve D says:

      Hmmm, How does one water down the Gospel? How can one water down something as simple as “We are all sinners, Christ died to take the punishment for our sins, if we make Christ the Lord of our life, we will not fall under condemnation for our sin and will have everlasting life.”

      Listening to both clips, Piper and Warren approach their audiences differently. However, essentially said the same thing. Both mention sin, both spoke about the Lordship of Christ. Just used different words. Far as I’m concerned, they are both men pf God who are communicating the Gospel in their own unique style.

  23. Daniel says:

    I guess this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise since they have a mutual friend in Mark Driscoll.

    1. James says:

      Even Driscoll has not invited Warren to his church, yet.

      Still I see a big difference between Warren and Driscoll, Driscoll’s preaching is way better than Warren and loyal to the Scriptures.

      1. DJ says:

        Also, btw, DG National Conference is not Piper’s church. It isn’t even held at his church.

    2. DJ says:

      Yes, another child of hell, right!? (sarcasm again)

      1. Jared Hanley says:

        John Piper said that he doesn’t think that Warren is an Arminian. I think we should wait and see what Rick says when Piper drills him on his theology.

  24. Stephen says:

    Okay, I’ll admit…this was surprising to me too. But some of you people are just whiny babies! You compare Warren to Osteen? Have you read Warren? Theologically he’s Arminian, which is fine and under Christian orthodoxy. So it’s breaking your heart to see Piper (a Calvinist) invite an Arminian to challenge us to “think” about certain matters we haven’t earn heard or read yet??? Seriously, take a chill pill people! I’m behind Piper 110%.

    1. Stephen,

      Are you behind this 110%?

      http://www.saddleback.com/blogs/newsandviews/index.html?contentID=2085

      The fact that Warren is Arminian doesn’t bother me at all – some of the godliest men I’ve ever met are Arminian. The issue is the watering down of the Gospel and the seeker-sensitive garbage that Warren promotes, as shown in the above link.

      1. Ryan says:

        Right on Garrett! Church membership shouldn’t be so easy. I should be really hard like all the examples in the Bible.

      2. Andrew Faris says:

        Garrett,

        What, exactly, do you find wrong with the link that you posted?

        1. Andrew,

          Don’t you find his “EIGHT REASONS TO JOIN THIS SATURDAY & NOT PROCRASTINATE” list to be a tad man-centered and fleshly?

          1. Larry says:

            Hi Garrett,

            I read the link you posted and I didn’t find it to be man-centered or fleshly. I would not be able to say that it is “seeker sensitive garbage” or that it “waters down the gospel.”

            Larry

          2. jordan buckley says:

            Garrett,

            There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the link you posted. You and I may not like the style, but he’s just urging his people to commit to the local church, and trying to make it a special occasion. There’s nothing wrong with it apart from style matters.

      3. Duane says:

        I am a bit late to this and have never cared to read, listen to or study Warren (GOD has never given me the desire even when I was lost- thought I was saved – under the prosperity teaching limked to Hagee), but did they give away cars and play bingo too?!? That link and page from Warren’s church for the mass membership and baptism mocks what really happened at Pentecost in the book of ACTS!!! Did the apostles make a big “planned” deal out of it, offer open baptism with pictures and certificates, or did this come from the HOLY SPIRIT and GOD?!? I just found out during my church prayer meeting about this issue with Piper inviting Warren and I was stunned. We prayed about it and I just hope GOD “IS” in this meeting- prior and during- to move both men and show Warren what the true gospel message is and unless GOD is doing the conversion/ regeneration, it is all false, no matter how many you put under water.

  25. Mark says:

    FYI, I put up gospel presentations of Piper and Warren so you can see how much difference there really is.

    1. Larry says:

      Hi Mark,

      I just listened to both gospel presentations. Pastor Warren’s presentation seems like the gospel to me. Just wondering if you could outline the main differences or what you think is wrong with Pastor Warren’s presention.

      Here is my take: I don’t think Pastor Warren would disagree with Pastor Piper’s definition. Pastor Warren just says it differently.

      Larry

      1. Lou G says:

        It’s not just the theology. Warren’s ecclesiology is unbiblical as well.

      2. Mark says:

        Larry, I did not (as far I can tell) give my opinion. I was merely presenting the information for others to listen and discern. You may be right though in your conclusion.

  26. tomas says:

    How sad to hear you heaping criticism on Pastor Piper. Oh, I’m sure the man is not perfect and makes his share of mistakes.
    I especially appreciate the low jab about “unnamed pride” seeming to be to suggest it must be the worst thing possible. What ever happened to giving people the benefit of the doubt until all the facts are established?

    But it sure seems some are willing to throw him under the bus because he makes a decision they don’t like. THEY don’t like.
    I don’t like Warren’s worldview and am troubled by some of his theology but it cannot be argued that Rick Warren is not a man of influence in this great nation- except by those who remain locked in their studies and rarely interact with the world.
    And since so many around us may look to Warren sometime for advice on Godly living, shouldn’t we be familiar with what he thinks so we can affirm when he is right and rightly exhort when wrong? Or is this not how we deal with Brothers?

    Is it possible that Warren may actually learn something from those at the conference? Did it occur to you that perhaps Warren needs this conference more then the conference needs him?
    Is it possible that not shooting your own but attempting to come alongside him in a public way is really not such a bad thing?
    Is it possible that those who have formed opinions- good or bad- about Warren may have a chance to affirm if their opinions are actually based on fact or simply something they misunderstood or was misreported to them?

    Or are you afraid that the dumbos attending the conference can’t critically think through issues and be assisted by the Holy Spirit and the Word to determine what is Truth? Best to protect them from “getting some sin on them” from Warren? Puhleez.
    I personally look forward to hearing Warren answer some tough questions that will come his way during the Q/A sessions that are aways part of this conference.

    Or better yet- let’s not attempt to influence Warren in any way whatsoever. Let’s “shake the dust off our feet” and leave him alone, the heretic! Let’s just stop talking to him, engaging him, affirming him when right, correcting when wrong, restoring when repentent…oh wait! That would be the Biblical thing to do and we can’t do that since its not what the self appointed Theology Police would approve!

    1. Ryan says:

      “THEOLOGY police” Ha! Oh, that is great! Ha!Ha!

  27. Barry says:

    Haha.

    I can only laugh and shake my head at some of the ridiculously arrogant remarks made on this post (although it must be just as arrogant to point that out). Come on guys. Rick Warren may not be your favorite but he (and any others that come to mind) aren’t necessarily heretics just because you disagree with them. My advice?

    Lighten up.

    Drink a beer.

    Smoke a cigar.

    Read some poetry.

    CHILL out.

    1. Ryan says:

      John Piper has a new book of poetry out. I would probably be good with a beer and cigar, but I would also add a campfire.

    2. Lou G says:

      Purpose-driven churches are maiming sheep, so I would also say that Warren’s ecclesiology is whacked too.

      1. Andrew Faris says:

        Got a lot of friends in purpose-driven churches who you see that happening too? Being maimed, I mean?

        1. Lou G says:

          Yep. I do actually. Friends and relatives in several different churches in many different areas of the country that have gone from being solid, reformed ecclesiastical churches to being “purpose-driven.” Yes, I have been one of them, from the inside, I have seen it happen.

          1. Lou G says:

            In addition, you may want to check out some of these blog entries in order to form your own opinion:
            http://en.wordpress.com/tag/purpose-driven-deception/

            Thanks!!

  28. Looselycult says:

    Well it finally looks like Piper has done something to break his spell on his Piper Zombies who before this would have walked off a cliff for him. Good for Piper! The least he will do is get people to stop idolizing him as the greatest preacher in the known universe.

  29. Brent Law says:

    As I pointed out on another blog, what most people know about Rick Warren is what John MacArthur and/or Phil Johnson have said about him. Most people have no factual, first-hand knowledge about the man or his church.

  30. donsands says:

    John Piper wants Rick to put his cards on the table. I’m liking it.

    I believe Rick is a brother in the Lord. Is he a pastor? I don’t see him feeding the sheep the Word, to be honest.

    if Rick ran for Congress, I’d vote for him. He’s moral, pro-life, and I think he would not vote for all the spending. There are men who are in the pulpit, who shouldn’t be.

    John Piper is incredibly unique. I love the guy. Met him in Annapolis, and was very blessed, and impressed, that he never tried to impress, but simply was brother, who has the gift of teaching.

    Rick Warren can’t teach the Scriptures as he should.

    1. Brent Law says:

      Since you claim that you are being “honest” with us as you make such a claim against Rick Warren, please enlighten us as to what degree you have followed Rick Warren for the past 12 months or so.

  31. Truth Unites... and Divides says:

    Excerpt of John Piper speaking about his invitation of Rick Warren:

    “Well I put my cards totally on the table here, um I have invited Rick Warren to come to the Desiring God National Conference this fall. And he’s coming. Now I will get a lot of criticism for this from my Reformed brothers, because… not because Rick Warren is openly non calvinistic or non reformed. I don’t think he wears his theological distinctives on his sleeve, but would be probably theologically more at home with where I am than where an arminian is. I believe that. What makes Warren a problem, and I’m gonna… well, when I wrote him, here’s what I said. And he’ll probably watch this video too. I said the conference is called “THINK: The life of the Mind and the Love of God.” I want you to come. You are the most well known pragmatist pastor in the world. I don’t think you are a pragmatist at root. Come and tell us why thinking Biblically matters to you in your amazingly pragmatic approach to ministry.”

    “I want him to lay his cards on the table. I want him to tell us what makes him tick. Because he does come across in much of what he says and does as very results-oriented and pragmatic and not theologically driven, and yet, I met him for the first time last year at Ralph Winter’s funeral in Pasadena. And we sat beside each other on the platform for three hours. I like him because he sings. He sings badly. And anybody who’s willing to sing when they sing badly, I like em. And we were talking beforehand and he said to me ‘I’m reading all the works of Jonathan Edwards this year. I pick a great theologian every year and I read all of his collected works. I’m on volume 17 of the Yale series of Jonathan Edwards’ works.’”

    “‘You’ve gotta be kidding me. Nothing you’ve ever said would incline me to think …’ (laughter)

    “So these guys are gonna go interview him tomorrow I think so you can quote some of these things. I do think he’s deeply theological. He’s a brilliant man. He wouldn’t have the church he does or the Peace Plan, or all the influence he does and of course the greatest sentence in the Purpose Driven life is the first one isn’t it? It’s not about you, it’s about God. The Glory of God. So I don’t think he’s emergent. At root I think he is theological and doctrinal and sound. And what makes him tick? Actively and doing church? I intend to find out. So. I like him and I’m frustrated by some of his stuff.” (Bolded the parts that made me laugh.)

    Chill out folks. Give Piper some latitude.

    1. Truth Unites... and Divides says:

      BTW, Piper would like me. I sing badly and I’m still willing to sing.

      ;-)

  32. Brent Law says:

    donsands makes my earlier point when he says, “Is he a pastor? I don’t see him feeding the sheep the Word, to be honest.”

    I am eager to make the assertion that donsands has never been to Saddleback, and has not been actually following Warren to any degree that even begins to legitimize such a claim that he “doesn’t see him feeding the sheep the Word.”

    If donsands were really “honest”, he would tell us to what degree he has followed Rick Warren for the past 12 months or so.

    1. matt says:

      Brent – I hope you are aware that you are being ridiculously condescending and just kind of a jerk. We will be held accountable for every word, even the careless. Being “eager” to make someone look bad seems odd.

  33. Steve D says:

    After reading through the comments, there are many accusations against Rick Warren with no facts, no proof. I guess the assumption is that the rest of us know what you are talking about. Well, I don’t. Maybe those of you who feel that he is not a good pastor and not feeding his sheep,or those who feel he is maiming sheep should give some examples. If not, what you are doing is gossiping.

    1. Lou G says:

      Steve, several times already I have started to type out some of the examples of things that I’ve witnessed to post here, but stopped under conviction that do THAT would actually be gossiping. By drawing my conclusions from facts and stating my opinion on the matter, I am definitely NOT gossip.

      If you are interested, thorough studies of the facts are widely available on the problems of “The Purpose Driven Church” model.

      I have already provided two links above that I think will be helpful to you in understanding the issues.
      And finally here is a link to wordpress articles on the “Purpose Driven Church:”
      http://en.wordpress.com/tag/purpose-driven-church/

    2. Lou G says:

      Paul Alexander of 9Marks wrote this review of The Purpose Driven Church:
      http://www.9marks.org/CC/article/0,,PTID314526_CHID598026_CIID1918134,00.html

      I like his summary and think it might also be helpful:

      “Yet as much as we want to see Warren’s work enjoy continued success, we cannot help but be lovingly candid about our concerns. While his passion for biblical fidelity and evangelical commitment are obvious and infectious, we fear that his interpretive methods lead to applications that do not always represent the intention of the text he’s using to support his model. While his evangelistic zeal is exemplary, his evangelistic methods tend to make genuine repentance unlikely and can have the effect of rounding off the naturally sharp edges of the Gospel. Sharing his desire for numerical growth, we are reticent to use numbers as a barometer of God’s blessing. Realizing the relative safety of rooting his model in the biblical purposes of the church, the tendency of purpose to replace the primacy of the Gospel has implications for the life of the church that we are confident Warren would not intend.

      J. Ligon Duncan, Senior Minister at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, MS, makes a striking observation. “Liberalism says that the gospel won’t work unless the message is changed. Some evangelicals say that the gospel won’t work unless the method is changed. But biblical Christianity believes that the gospel will work, and that God has given us both the message and the method.”

      As a result, we are less optimistic than many regarding the usefulness of the Purpose Driven model as a paradigm for local church ministry. Having said that, we continue to partner with Warren in worship, ministry, evangelism, fellowship, and discipleship; and we continue to pray that God would use Warren’s ministry in bringing many sons to glory. ”

      Good night and God bless.

      1. Steve D says:

        “While his evangelistic zeal is exemplary, his evangelistic methods tend to make genuine repentance unlikely and can have the effect of rounding off the naturally sharp edges of the Gospel. ”

        I’ve always thought that “real repentance” was a result of the work of the Holy Spirit.

  34. JB says:

    I’m curious what attacks George Whitefield would have gotten over his friendship with John Wesley had blogs been around then.

    1. James says:

      Are you really comparing John Wesley to Rick Warren?

      1. JB says:

        Geez man, do you spend as much time and effort exegeting Scripture as you do people’s blog comments??

        I’m just comparing the unique friendship. Talk about reading into a statement. Or are you just picking for an argument?

  35. James says:

    Phil Johnson tweet about this is the best,

    “Sounds like an early April Fools joke.”

  36. donsands says:

    “has never been to Saddleback” Brent Law

    No I haven’t. Rick Warren has written a few books, and he has been a TV a few times, and there’s a little bit of his presence that I have seen.

    I’m simply saying, from my own heart and mind, that he comes across as a man with talents, but who is unskilled in the Scriptures. He is a weak man when it comes to the Gospel. He seems more like a politician, having Obama speak in his pulpit, than a pastor of the Lord.

    I have never been to RC Sproul’s church, but from the exposure I have heard from him, I would say he is a fine pastor, and an excellent teacher of of the Lord’s Word.

    You can say I’m wrong for thinking this way, but it’s my mind, and my heart that feels this way.

    The Lord will make all things clear on that Day. That’s for sure.

    Have a blessed Easter!

  37. Daren says:

    John 13:34-35….

  38. Rick Warren’s willingness to work with Muslims and engage in some “global ethic” of good works sealed the deal for me. I wonder what the Apostle Paul might have said to a group of Muslims? Something tells me that it would not be asking them to join hands a battle the five global giants.

  39. BGE says:

    This is incredibly sad. I am broken hearted. Pastor Piper made a terrible choice. Terrible choice. Several have said it already. If you want to get to know the guy then call him, but don’t make him look like an gospel-centered pastor by having him speak at your conference. I am so disapointed. This is a very sad day in Evangelicalism. I was really hoping it was an April Fools Day joke. It’s not.

  40. Stephanie says:

    Justin,

    I am just wondering why you allow comments on posts like this? Are they helpful in any way? Really just wondering what your reasoning is.

    1. Scott says:

      Stephanie, I think that is a good question. I, personally am thankful that Justin does allow comments. Though some of the banter and comments can be wearisome in their tone, they often push me to think beyond the original post. For instance, reading through this thread has pushed me to think about pastoral roles, the combination of pragmatism and doctrine, as well as challenging me to consider how I internally dismiss those with views contrary to mine.
      Forums such as these were one of the many ingredients in my taking theology seriously and finding out where I fall on certain issues.
      Thanks, Justin, for making us think deeper…just a perspective.

  41. CR says:

    Well, his video explanation is interesting. I LOL a bit. I too am frustrated (that’s a light word) by his stuff also and I don’t know everything there is about him. And I have to admit, nothing that I’ve heard Warren say would incline me to believe he would read any of Jonathon Edwards.

    I’m tempted to go to the DG Conference for that, and also I’ve never been to one, who knows where Piper will be after his LOA anyway.

  42. matt says:

    Desiring God has now posted a 12-minute video of Piper talking about inviting Rick Warren, and I’m confident that it will calm a lot of people down and hopefully lead people to check themselves out a bit about why they got so worked up about this.

  43. Stephen says:

    Like most of the commenters I have problems with Rick Warren’s ecclesiology and the “Purpose-driven” model. Heck, I have problems with John Piper’s ecclesiology. I’m Presbyterian. Nevertheless, unless you have clear evidence that Warren doesn’t confess the core truths of the faith as articulated in the Apostles and Nicene Creeds you shouldn’t say he’s preaching a different gospel or holding heretical views. Defining heresy down can be as dangerous as ignoring it.

    1. Tony Romano says:

      Stephen, I agree with the spirit of your post, brother. I have to admit I’m not altogether supportive of Rick Warren’s approach on many things. However, having listened to Piper’s reasoning (as if he owed it to us; it’s DG’s conference for goodness sake)I think we should be careful not to be overly critical. If there was clear evidence, then sure we could be upset. But, as you say, there is not. The man is not an enemy of the Gospel; I just can’t see that. It’s Desiring God’s conference; John Piper is not accountable to us for his speaker choices. He is at peace with it; he was gracious in explaining it so thoroughly when he knows his audience is large. I think we should move on, brothers.

  44. Z-Hop says:

    Piper reached out to Driscoll and did ALOT of good; let’s not overlook that Piper has been pastoral to some of the most well known and controversial pastors. I have all the same strong reservations about Warren as those expressed here, but I trust the Lord’s guiding through Pastor John.

  45. Scott says:

    How many of you have been to Rick’s church? How many of you have listened attentively to several of his sermons? Here’s a suggestion: STOP reading or listening to the hostile & arrogant junk that comes from Phil Johnson and his crew.

    1. Daniel says:

      And have you been to Phil Johnson’s church and met with any one of his crew?

      1. Scott says:

        Yes. I’ve read his blog on a consistent basis, including excerpts of his messages – sufficiently enough to realize that one has to take the over-the-top polemic with a serious grain of salt. That’s especially true when he “kindly” describes anyone with whom he disagrees.

      2. Daniel says:

        Well, those guys also read what Warren wrote and believe that his ministry methodology and teaching of easy-believe-ism is harmful to the church body. If you don’t agree with their assessment, you’re free to do so and share why you disagree but there’s no need to take down Phil Johnson and the rest of his crew label their work as “hostile & arrogant junk.” Millions of Christians, like myself, have been helped by their work, and I’m very thankful to God for their ministry.

        Plus, those guys are not the only ones who have criticized Warren. Many other solid Bible teachers have expressed their concern and criticism on Warren over last several years as well.

    2. “Scott,”

      You appear to be an anonymous troll.

      1. Scott says:

        How so Stan? Because I say something you disagree with? Like it or not, the “pyro” guys are consistently arrogant and needlessly antagonistic, particularly when it applies to men like Rick Warren. I should not have called their material “junk” but it’s mild in comparison with their frequently over the top, childish antics.

  46. DJ says:

    Just want to say I am proud of Piper for inviting a brother in Christ like Rick Warren, who has done tons of good around the world in Jesus’ name, to speak at his conference. I echo the words of Ed Stetzer when he tweeted yesterday:

    “Proud of @johnpiper & wish other Calvinists would learn from him how to build bridges #GrowingWearyofAngryCalvinists”

  47. Matt Haney says:

    If you are concerned about Rick Warren speaking at this conference, please, by all means, do NOT attend this conference… by doing so, you will just be supporting the bad decision to invite Warren. Wait this one out and download the audio/video when they post it.

    I am going to write out a well thought out email to Piper, but also to Mohler and Sproul to plead with them to step down from speaking along side Warren. This mars the reputation of all the speakers, not just Piper. If Warren is not removed, and the conference happens, I hope one of the speakers has the boldness and faithfulness to openly rebuke Warren (not for what he claims to believe, but for what he has actually written in his books and preached from the pulpit).

    1. DJ says:

      Matt, I hope you write that email, and then I hope that Piper, Mohler, Sproul, and others write a joint statement rebuked the immense PRIDE that everyone is exhibiting in not welcoming a solid brother to preach alongside them.

      I pray Mohler echoes his “levels of doctrine” teaching that there are absolutes, convictions, and opinions, and that the differences with Warren and all the others fall under the 2nd level of doctrine, convictions, and not the absolutes of the gospel. Therefore fellowship with Warren should not be broken like so many are saying on here.

      I pray all three of those men openly call out the Pharisaical pride exhibited by statements like the one you wrote Matt and many others on here have written.

      1. Matt Haney says:

        Any man who writes a book like this, is not a solid brother:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLoLlP2vsuA

        If your method of sharing the gospel (via books and sermons) is one that deceives people into thinking they are saved, when they are not, and if it leads many people to hell… that is not a secondary issue. You know what men believe, not simply by what they profess, but by what they practice. You can claim to believe the Gospel, but if what you practice leads people to hell, your practice is what you should be judged by, not your profession.

  48. Alan K says:

    The theological police-state mentality is a poor witness to the love of God in Jesus Christ. The culture of mistrust and insecurity betrays a glaring lack of confidence in the power of the gospel. Why are we so busy trying to vindicate ourselves by placing our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ under judgment? Judgment most certainly has been taken out of our hands by Jesus Christ, thank God! We were horrible judges and our incapacity was killing us–trying to vindicate ourselves by judging others. Let us follow the lead of Jesus and go hang out with the sinners (which as we know is pretty much every one of us!–including Piper, Warren, and the et al of the conference, and don’t forget N.T. Wright as God loves him too).

  49. Jackson Watts says:

    I wonder if Dr. Piper has ever actually read Arminius. I feel rather confident if he and other Calvinist brothers would read him, and actually understood classical Arminianism, they wouldn’t make these passing comments about Arminians.

  50. Gage Browning says:

    Just because he has a “huge church” and a “huge” ministry like the “Peace Plan” doesn’t mean he’s a brilliant man. Has anyone seen brother joel osteen’s church? brilliant? uh uh.

    While were at it, why doesn’t JP get Joel…and let’s find out what makes him tick?

    cmon brother John!

  51. Val says:

    I wonder what “solid” doctrine it was that caused Rick Warren to join Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation on the Advisory Board along with Hindus, Muslims and every other pagan adherent they could drag in. Last week Blair announced he’s seeking Warren’s help in North America to unite all religions. That’s real solid theology there, John Piper.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/mar/14/tony-blair-faith-foundation-america

  52. B says:

    Quote from Stan Mccullers Blog (the guy who is trashing Rick Warren and replying to every possible post)

    “Sometimes I love Vladimir Putin. Today, speaking of the terrorist wimps who planned the bombing of the subway system, he vowed to “drag (them) out of the sewer.” I like that. Before killing them I think he should disembowel them and fill their stomach cavity with pig intestines. Call it a personal preference.”

    This is a brother full of grace and love for enemies. So I’ll trust his judgment on Rick Warren…nope.

  53. Don says:

    Am I the only one who finds humor in this situation? Piper creates (or had a big hand in creating, or has cultivated) a group of self-righteous, Pharisee-esque Christians; Piper catches an absurd amount of heat for reaching out to a Christian who holds sway over millions. Oh the irony. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. I genuinely feel bad for some of the (probably very nice, devout, and passionate) people behind some of these comments.

    I’ll save you all the trouble – what a pompous thing to say. Wow I come off like a jerk. Do I actually read Piper’s stuff? (yes). Oh, by the by, I’m not a Calvinist. There’s your answer. Because it’s either calvinism or hell. So just ignore this post. I’m probably going to hell.

  54. tomas says:

    Alan K said
    [i]The theological police-state mentality is a poor witness to the love of God in Jesus Christ[i\]
    Amen to that.
    I think some of the tears in heaven that Christ wipes from our eyes will be the result of us seeing how frivolously we spent our time and energy brow beating each other into some kind of doctrinal submission.
    Piper’s book “Dont Waste Your Life” needs a follow up called “Don’t Waste Your Time in the Bloggers Comments Sections!”
    I’m outta here for good!

Comments are closed.