Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Still a Bad Idea

I am still aghast at John Piper’s decision to invite Rick Warren as a guest speaker at this year’s Desiring God Conference. And receiving the email advertisement this month for the conference just stirred me up a little more. Yes, I have listened to Piper’s reasons for inviting Rick Warren, but it is still not convincing. Rick Warren may claim to believe many of the same things, but in practice through his pragmatic methodologies, he distorts the message of the gospel. The practice of his ministry actually undermines what he professes to believe. Warren constantly misquotes and mishandles Scripture, and as a result, he has a tendency to obscure the meaning of Scripture. As to Rick Warren’s profession to believe what Piper believes; Rick Warren, as Phil Johnson aptly pointed out in a post awhile back, has a tendency to be “chameleonic”, changing his stance whenever the situation demands it, in an attempt to be liked by everyone by telling them what they want to hear.

Do I think that John Piper should not try and influence Rick Warren in a positive manner if he has the opportunity? No. But inviting the man to be a guest speaker at your conference is not the best way to achieve this. This sends a confusing message that somehow Rick Warren is OK, and that we are in agreement with his ministry methods, even if that perception is unintentional. Carry on a dialogue behind the scenes, but please, do not invite him as guest speaker.

Now, I still like John Piper and his ministry has been and will continue to be a great blessing to me. This situation does not change that. But I still shake my head in disbelief. Seeing Rick Warren’s picture along with men like Al Mohler and R.C. Sproul is…well…like a weed sprouting up on an otherwise well manicured lawn.

7 comments:

Dillo said...

Eric,
So, could you give specifics on how Warren mishandles the Gospel? I felt the same way you did but I've never spoken with RW and Piper has...

AuthenticTruth said...

It should not take much effort to examine Rick Warren’s teaching and draw the conclusion that he is proclaiming a message of self-fulfillment rather than teaching that the gospel centers on the person and work of Christ, denial of self and a life-long quest for the glory of God. Warren’s methods actually undermine the message of the gospel, and despite claims otherwise, focus more on self-fulfillment. Make no mistake; repentance is germane to the gospel and Rick Warren’s emphasis is very lean on that. If you listen carefully to what Piper says of his interview with Warren, he seems to readily admit to that. Just because Rick Warren claims to believe the same things means nothing; what he actually practices speaks louder than words. He may “believe” those things at least on an intellectual basis, but if he really believes it, he needs to readjust his ministry methods to reflect that. The problem is that Rick Warren wants to be accepted by everyone, so he tends to shift his language to adjust to the situation to blend in. So it really comes as no surprise that he says all the right things when he interviews with someone like John Piper.

If you examine his work in the Purpose Driven Life, around page 58 is where he actually gets around to giving a very short and incomplete presentation of the gospel. He mentions sin, but I am afraid that he does not spend enough time really defining sin and emphasizing its devastating consequences, and how it has separated man from God, placing man in danger of God’s wrath. It is a shame that even in the 50+ pages leading up to his gospel presentation, no real time is spent explaining the sobering reality of man’s lost condition. As far as the presentation of the gospel and how to receive Christ, it is presented as a quick prayer, merely repeating a simple phrase, but again, no emphasis on repentance.

GoogIe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kris Wessels said...

Hi Eric,

I came across your blog today and found that we have a kindred spirit in regards to Rick Warren. I, too, found that he has a tendency to water things down when it comes to the truth of scripture.

TRUTH459 said...

Christ Jesus spoke about The Rick Warren Type...!
***(Matthew 24:24-25) For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders; so much so that, if it were possible, they would deceive even the elect.
(Matt 24:25) Behold, I have told you beforehand.
...AND...
*** (Matthew 15:14) Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
Thanks, In Christ, Roger
http://truth459.blogspot.com/
Ende...!

Fritz Lang said...

long time without a post, is this blog still active?

AuthenticTruth said...

Fritz, Unfortunatley I have not had much time lately to update the blog, but I hope to start again soon.