John Piper Explains – March 31, 2010

Posted on April 1, 2010

By Justin Edwards

John Piper took some time yesterday to explain why he has invited ecumenical ear-tickler Rick Warren to his Desiring God 2010 conference. While I disagree with Piper’s decision to invite Warren, I will remain in prayer that Rick Warren is exposed for who he is, that the truth about him will be revealed and he won’t be able to slither out of tough questions, that the Holy Spirit convicts him unto repentance, and that God use this time for His glory.  Until then, we will have to wait to see how this pans out.

Here, John Piper gives a detailed explanation as to why he is inviting Rick Warren to speak. A lot of my friends who agree with me about what rotten fruit the purpose driven life is, and the whole pragmatic approach to church growth are very angry about this whole idea of inviting Warren to speak. I have to admit, it is not a choice that I would make if I were inviting people to speak.

I am not, however, going to judge Piper’s whole ministry according this move, or even the Driscoll or Wilson move. As a Pastor, I have personally bungled many things and made poor decisions that I have later regretted (and even had to repent of some). But the whole of Piper’s ministry over time, and the respect he has among peers such as RC Sproal, and Albert Mohler, I personally must cut him some slack concerning this decision.

That means that I will not cut off affiliation with John Piper, and I might still attend the conference with a critical ear towards seeing if Piper does in fact ask the hard questions and Warren does in fact satisfactorily answer them. But just like in the Christian walk, we must do more than say words and what we believe, we must walk them out. I am eagerly anticipating to see Warren walk out his beliefs and use his huge worldwide pulpit to declare them, even hoping against all hope that he repents publicly of his pragmatism, his ecumenism, and, indeed, his system which he has intended for good, but has been used to take over and to decimate churches, turning Pastors into CEO’s and Elders into board members of a fortune 500 company.

There is much that has been written and documented about Warren, and his beliefs. There is much more that has been recorded both on video and audio that demonstrate how those beliefs translate into the public sphere. The man Piper believes he is inviting is 167 degrees different than the public presentation; which I believe demonstrates what he (Warren) really believes.

I am going to cut Piper some slack. I am still going to read his books. I am still going to listen to his sermons. I am not going to break fellowship with him because he invited Warren. But I will have a keen eye to see if this will change the public personna of Warren, and a listening ear to see if Warren throws off the pragmatic, man centered approach to ministry. Here is hoping that he does.

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