John Piper has invited Rick Warren to be at the Desiring God national conference in the fall. I have never been a fan of Warren’s. Other than the first page of the Purpose Driven Life, I thought it was awful (but I’ve never tried to write a devotional book). I’ve heard sermon snippets that were awful (but I’m sure I’ve preached some awful sermons myself). I think the whole 40 Days is awful…
I was interested to hear Piper’s reasoning (the two video’s below), and I think it’s sound. I had no idea Warren was a Monergist/Calvinist. I had no idea he was so committed to theological learning (as Piper quips, “He’s never said anything that would make me think he’s read theology”). My big question for Warren – how do you reconcile your pragmatic approach to church life with your monergistic view of salvation.
I like what Piper has done here for a few reasons. One, it’s easy to be ghettoized – to only read, listen, speak to those with whom you share much in common. That’s a problem. As we invite seminar speakers to ECC, I think it will be healthy to invite people from theological perspectives with which we might take umbrage. I wouldn’t ask them to preach on a Sunday morning, but to learn from them. Second, and Piper gets at this in the second video, has to do with separation. I’m sure Piper will loose some ‘fans’ for this, as he lost some when he invited the ‘vulgar Driscoll’ a year or two back. Warren is certainly different that Piper and the DG crowd, but must Piperites separate from Warrenites?
I’m sure I’ll still take my pot shots at Warren every once and a while. Hard not to. But again, I like what Piper has done here. Now if he invites Osteen next year, I’m off the Pipe bandwagon for good!