May 27, 2011

Piper Warren Interview now posted at Desiring God

Desiring God has posted the warren interview.

John Piper Interviews Rick Warren on the Purpose Driven Life (Desiring God)

My comment on the Gospel Coalition posting about this:

My question is, isn’t Warren admitting his critics are right about the book? And that brings up another question. What minister of the gospel “throws in” a little bit about salvation? What on earth kind of attitude is that about the gospel!? It’s like 1. he doesn’t care about the couple unsaved people he thinks might read it – they may or may not get saved because he threw in just a smattering of allusion to the gospel — and 2. he doesn’t think believers need to hear it too! and 3. it’s the same smattering of ‘throwing something in about salvation’ that he does when he KNOWS he is talking to an unbeliever. I have NEVER heard the gospel clearly preached from him in 6 years of following his appearances and having listened to many Warren sermons online.

My next question for Dr Piper would be has he read the Purpose Driven Church and would he do the same sort of interview about that one? Because if you ASSUME the gospel is known, the PDL isn’t really horrible, but it isn’t something to have taken the church by storm. I read it and thought “what is all the fuss about?” But when I read the Purpose Driven Church I realized what the problem was. Then I went back and read PDL and thought “what’s missing here… what is assumed? What is not said?”

(speaking of assuming the gospel, people should look up and read the article “the Gospel Assumed is the Gospel Denied” by Rev. Herbert C. Mueller of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (not the squishy type Lutheran, mind you)

Warren does this like a pro, where he says things vaguely enough to create an illusion of unity between two disparate points of view. Then we have a great big crowd that all thinks they agree on the basics. It’s only in working out our faith in day to day life and in running the church that we realize that we have not even the basics in unison. Then the ones who actually do want the truth, those who do believe the Gospel, and want more of it, point out the problem and they BECOME the problem to everyone else. They get targeted, and because they are not wont to fight and demand their own way, they go away sadly, leaving the church to be run by false converts or shallow, immature Christians who DO demand their own way. What you have in Warren is a guy who wrote a book telling people who think they can be a leader that if they are convinced (however wrongly) that they have a vision from God, all opposition can be chalked up to Satan trying to discourage them, and so they should resist it and marginalize/ostracize/cold shoulder the opposition and remove all their influence in the church so that they will either change or go away, or die (yes he actually did say that –

“If your church has been plateaued for six months, it might take six months to get it going again. If it’s been plateaued a year, it might take a year. If it’s been plateaued for 20 years, you’ve got to set in for the duration! I’m saying some people are going to have to die or leave.”

(what does plateaued mean? It means it isn’t adding butts to the seats in greater and greater numbers, that’s what it means. Not a very Calvinistic way of understanding ecclesiology. His ecclesiology is, practically speaking, Pelagian or at best semi-pelagian. That is why no one believes him when he says he trusts God’s sovereignty like a good Calvinist, and why everyone wonders why Piper can believe him when RW says he believes the doctrines of Grace. He does not, or he wouldn’t be out there innovating in Christ’s church and doing “whatever it takes” and effectively making the church mission a worldwide competition for which someone’s going to get a pat on the back. If anyone doesn’t notice how frequently Warren focuses on the numbers game, demographics, and toots his own horn about what good works he’s doing, they’d have to be blind and deaf. We all know how he tithes, by now, what other pastor can we say that about? It’s almost like John Kerry’s trumpeting how he served in VietNam.

This whole approach has split up more churches and damaged so many people, the stories are endless. Suzanne Sataline of the Wall Street Journal even did a report on it back in 2007.