Thursday, April 1, 2010

John Piper and Rick Warren

John Piper has invited Rick Warren to speak at Desiring God's 2010 National Conference in Minneapolis (and Warren has accepted). To be perfectly honest, given what I know of Piper and Warren, one might have thought this to be an April Fool's joke; but it isn't.

Last night, Piper explained the decision, which is sure to cause many Reformed-type people to question (or downright attack) him. There is a lot of very engaging, thought-provoking content in this clip. Check it out and let me know what you think:


  1. Larry,

    For those of us who don't/can't follow and keep track of all of the leading theologians out there could you give us a little synopsis of Rick Warren. Honestly, I know that he's an author but is he even considered a theologian? I know that he wrote the best selling book called the Faith Driven Life (is that what's it called?). I've heard people say that he preaches a false gospel. What's false about the gospel he preaches? I would like to know a bit more about him since I personally know someone who is reading his book and I'd like to understand the concerns that people have about the book and about him attending this conference.


  2. I think that was "Purpose Driven Life" actually!


  3. Lindy,

    Here's how someone more concise than I am describes the problem with Warren's theology:
    "His central message seems to be that you were created for a purpose and you just need to fulfill it. Even at Easter he can say, “…And of course, that purpose now becomes greater — and in fact, I think that’s really what the message this week of Easter is, is that God can bring good out of bad. That he turns crucifixions into resurrections. That he takes the mess of our life, and when we give him all the pieces, he can — God can put it together in a new way” (”Larry King Live,” CNN, March 22, 2005). I heard him say on a network morning program last Christmas that Jesus came to give us a mulligan, like in golf—a chance for a “do-over” in life."
    His sermons--I've listened to several--leave you with the impression that Jesus' death was sufficient to get you into Heaven, but it's your own works that keep you in. In other words, the Gospel is only for unbelievers. Jesus didn't die on the cross to give us a chance to live with purpose and get it right this time. This is very dangerous.

    Hope this helps.


  4. Enjoyed the video. I appreciated his questions posed. They were solid,good questions with good answers from Rick Warren. I believe that we must carefully choose our words about other brothers and sisters and pray for them if we disagree with something. Someone may not want to attend a certain pastor's church and sit under their teaching,but if agreed on the solid foundational issues of faith, we should consider them a co-heir of grace and an eternal inhabitant of heaven whom with we will one day dwell together in eternity worshipping the same Jesus. They will know we are Christians by the love we have for one another. Steph

  5. Steph,

    I agree. However, I'm not sure that applies here. Paul does tell us to be careful about the Gospel. We can't ignore the fact that Paul tells us in Galatians 1, "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed."
    We should pray for him. We should love him. However, the most loving thing to do for our brothers and sisters is sometimes to point out when they are listening to someone preaching a false gospel. If this is the case here: love him, pray for him, but don't let him anywhere near your pulpit. His preaching sounds so close to the truth, and is Biblical in many ways; however, I've heard enough to know that that is if the gospel he preaches is not false, it is at least so obscured and distorted that he does more harm than good. I have personal experience with this--his teachings sent me the opposite direction from Jesus Christ, to relying on myself, for several years.
    Read this if you want to know more:
    There's also a lot of info here:
    We should not be afraid to speak up when someone is wrong on foundational issues of the faith. If that person is a Christian and you are as well, and he is not wrong, then he can show from scripture why he is not wrong. In this case, God was glorified through the discussion.
    We need to protect one another from false teaching. If I love a particular Christian author or artist, but they are teaching lies, I want my brothers and sisters to point that out. This is one way we can love one another.


  6. As someone who admire his writings greatly, I think that sadly John Piper has many questions to answer.

    Is John Piper Aware Of Rick Warren’s Political Connections With A Suspected Terrorist?