Friday, October 8, 2010

Chris Rosebrough and James White Dismantle Rick Warren's Disaster At Desiring God 2010

So, as I’m sure you’re aware, last week Rick Warren spoke at John Piper’s Desiring God Conference. A lot of people have asked questions about why, and the answers have been less than convincing. Like many others, I was rather surprised when it was announced that Warren would be speaking at Desiring God. I just could not understand why piper would subject the good people who attend this conference with Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Platitudes. I still don’t. I think John Piper has exhibited a deplorable lack of discernment in his support of Rick Warren.

And now Desiring God 2010 has come and gone. I’ve listened to Rick Warren’s “talk” a few times now, and I think that the number of verses taken out of context and "interpreted" without any regard for proper hermeneutics is exceeded only by the number of clichés uttered with a straight face. Each time I’ve listened I am more and more aware of the errors that he is propagating.

Chris Rosebrough did, I thought, an excellent job of pointing out the vast majority of warren’s theological errors in mishandling of God’s Scriptures when he reviewed warren’s talk on his radio show, Fighting for the Faith. Chris took about 2 ½ hours in analyzing warren’s 1 hour talk, and it is well worth a listen.

James White also discusses Rick Warren’s Desiring God appearance on the No Compromise Radio program. This is a much shorter analysis, at only 25 minutes, and is also worth a listen.

In his talk, Warren said that he listened to and learned from his critics, but, it seems, his skin is a bit thinner than he would like to admit. He recently tweeted what appears to be a fake “retweet” on his twitter account, going after his critics. Specifically Chris Rosebrough, Ken Silva, and Ingrid Schlueter. (I have blurred the twitter accounts that Warren was supposedly retweeting, since there is no evidence that they tweeted anything like this.)

For a broader look at the problems with the whole “Seeker Sensitive/Purpose Driven” church model, I would point you towards Is the Gospel Seeker Friendly? & Straight Talk About the Seeker Church Movement, both from John MacArthur and Grace to You.

And here's a bit of evidence of Rick Warren's dishonesty and penchant for man-pleasing...

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terriergal said...

The twitter accounts that he supposedly was retweeting belong to people who set up accounts to mock Ingrid, Ken, and Chis, so no need to protect them.

Good observations. This whole thing is like watching the Titanic as it crashed in slow motion into the iceberg... we tried to warn them but they were asleep at the helm. Now all we can do is try to pull the perishing to safety. And the captains of the ship all still seem to be oblivious.

The Squirrel said...

Yes, I knew about the twitter accounts... Honestly, I just didn't want to send them more traffic...


JIBBS said...

I don't understand why he was ever allowed to speak at DGC. I don't get it. It's so frustrating.

Why isn't it obvious to everyone that Rick Warren is not preaching the Gospel? It's not even close to the Gospel. What's next, the president of the Mormon church at Desiring God?

I'm so disappointed in Desiring God right now. I truly feel sick to my stomach.

Barbara said...

I'm at about 57 minutes in, and honestly what I am hearing coming from him right now, at this point in the talk, is the stuff that made up the revelation to me in my very earliest days as a regenerate Christian, having fallen at the feet of God in utter helplessness realizing my own complete inability to do anything right, and then the Scriptures opening up to me and confirming that and telling me why....after coming out of the modern mush that you get in the UMC/ECUSA. And I probably annoyed a lot of people as I had to immediately share this revelation with everybody. At this point in the talk, Dr. Warren sounds like me 2-1/2 years ago as a baby Christian scratching the surface of depravity, but he's talking to a room full of Calvinist theologians, most of whom likely go waaaay deeper. The irony astounds.

Okay, un-pausing and moving on.

Barbara said...

aaaaaaaaaaand then we have this concept of fruit=bearing, ignoring the root, aaaaaargggghhhh...

Matt Chandler's rebuke at the SBC 2010 is appropriate here.

One question, which I fear may be rhetorical: Does RW even grasp the concept of the regenerate soul with a new nature that hates sin and loves God and the power of the Holy Spirit in the true believer?

JIBBS said...

No, Barbara. It is more fundamental than that with RW. Listen very closely to him. He is spewing Pelagianism at every turn. The guy denies original sin altogether. And he calls himself a Calvinist. It's pathetic.

The Squirrel said...

Barbara said...

"One question, which I fear may be rhetorical: Does RW even grasp the concept of the regenerate soul with a new nature that hates sin and loves God and the power of the Holy Spirit in the true believer?"

Barbara, it sure doesn't seem like it. Warren's message is entirely anthropocentric and devoid of the power of the Cross of Christ. I remember when I first read - heard, actually, as someone had given us the audio book on CD, and my wife and I listened to it during our commute together - The Purpose Driven Life thinking that it was entirely too simple (MacArthur called it "sub-Christian") and that there never was a full presentation of the Gospel in it at all.

And yet, all the churches around were doing their "40 days of this" and "40 days of that" all over the place. I didn't get it then, and I still don't.

And now, Warren seems almost old fashioned and quaint by the likes of Rob Bell and Perry Noble and Rob Furtick. Man-centered heresy, it seems, keep marching on...


Sir Brass said...

If RW is a calvinist then John Wesley is a supralapsarian and Bill Clinton is innocent entirely.

I still find the argument that RW is Pelagian to be unconvincing. The arguments tend to stem, it seems, from what he is NOT saying rather than what he is saying. Now, one can easily or mistakenly infer pelagian doctrine from what RW is saying but not if one already has a different theological grounding, say in typical Arminian or even Reformed thought.

I would say that RW is far more just plain semi-pelagian arminian than pelagian, and I think the distinctive is important. We don't want to misrepresent the man because we are very concerned about the TRUTH, including the truth about our enemies.

With that in mind, I respectfully disagree about the Pelagian charge against RW. Doesn't make his presentation any less noxious (something I didn't hear Dr. White or Chris mention was RW's atrocious inference that what Jesus offers is merely shelter from the Devil's temptations... as if one is truly tempted while an unbeliever and that believers don't suffer serious temptation, and as if that was all Christ did), though.

What I would rather like to hear, though, is someone doing a presentation that is addressed to John Piper about HIS words after RW's presentation. We already know RW is out to lunch. The bigger problem is the shepard who has up until now been impeccably dedicated and devoted but who now let the wolf INTO the sheep pen and doesn't seem to be aware of it still.

What do we say to John Piper? And WILL anybody do this aside from possibly a 3rd-person address. And I mean get personally in touch with Piper and lovingly ask questions and call foul when he utterly misses something about RW or gives the guy too much credit. Our brother needs to be seriously confronted and challenged here.

And, him being the senior pastor, the one to address him OUGHT to be a pastor or elder (depending on your ecclesiology) as well. People keep bringing up John MacArthur, RC Sproul or Al Mohler..... sure, right, expect the three quite possibly busiest men in evangelicalism to handle this. YEAH RIGHT. These men have more pressing issues that are closer to their people who they are directly responsible for to actually do this.

What about a group of reformed pastors, writing as one to a fellow workman whose public actions have been less than helpful to the body? Just because these men wouldn't be big names doesn't mean that a joint letter wouldn't have a serious impact.

I'm less concerned about RW than I am about Piper.... seriously. Where are the fellow workmen who will seriously endeavor to bear him up, even if in doing so it sounds harsh or overly critical? Shouldn't we care about Piper enough to keep him accountable for these things when his ministry and the Bethlehem elders will not?

Barbara said...

So, basically, there's no place for being born again in his theology. All that keeps coming through my mind as I listen to this and the follow ups on it, is ..."You are the teacher of Israel, and you don't know these things?" that something that one can reject and still be considered a brother in the faith?

Don't get me wrong, I grew up in a lot of this stuff too - before I moved into something far more liberal and then left altogether. I was a de-churched preacher's kid. It wasn't until I was 40 years old that the concept of being born again became very real and dynamic and true, because it happened to me. And if there's one thing I know from that time before the throne in Ezekiel 1 and the dramatic change in my heart and the life that flows out of it now, is that I was not a Christian all those years that I thought I was. I am amazed. And I want to be charitable to this man and hope and pray that maybe he's coming to a knowledge of the truth, I do pray for his repentance, especially considering the scent of the widespread fruit that's being borne from this.

Victoria Lynch said...

I must say Sir Brass, your comment is an arrow to the heart.

Piper did an interview with Christianity Today-and I do not think that he still sees having Warren was wrong- although he did say it may have been a mistake. Here is a quote from Piper from that interview "It was real risky. I don't even know if I did the right thing. If somebody said, "Are you sure you should have invited him?" "No." I think the first thing I'd say—maybe the only thing—is I think he's been slandered. I think we probably need to work harder at getting him right."

Here is the link to that online interview

Nora said...

Hey All,

I was actually at the Desiring God National Conference and listened live. Yeah, it was just as bad in person as it is on tape. I'm pretty sure that I fell asleep and briefly dreamt that I was at my high school graduation again. Blech.

Anyhow, Warren wasn't actually at DGNC. He stayed in CA due to some family emergencies. To be fair, that might've been the reason why he stayed home, but my conspiracy theorist nature believes Warren was dodging the Reformed dressing down he would've gotten from the audience at the Q & A session right after.

AmericanMan said...

This is like Jehoshaphat joining up with Ahab. Check out the following link for an excellent series of sermons on the matter: