Monday, April 5, 2010

John Piper, Rick Warren, and the Hoopla

The blogosphere is abuzz because of the invitation by John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, to Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Orange County, California, to speak at the Desiring God National Conference on the topic, "The Life of the Mind and the Love of God."

A bit of that last sentence, as wordy as it is, is overstatement.  The blogosphere is not abuzz.  There are some conservative, reformed followers of Jesus who are abuzz.  And for the four of you who are reading this, you probably have no idea what the heck this is all about.

For the record, I don't either.  I thought we were all on the same team here.  Warren is known for his best-seller The Purpose Driven Life.  Piper is known for his prolific writing, his seminal work being Desiring God.  They both love Jesus.  They lead their churches differently.  Why the ugliness and name-calling?

My problem with the hubbub is this:  how can you dare stand up in the pulpit or blog in your pajamas about pathetic level of political discourse when you do the exact same flippin' thing in this situation?  We have a name for someone who does that:  hypocrite.

It strikes me that there is a lot more to be worried about in the world than who is speaking at whose conference.  But that's just me thinking thoughts.



  1. I guess I can see the cause for concern from some. While Piper is a strong theological, exegetical, expository preacher, Warren seems to just come up with things out of his head that don't really have "proper" biblical interpretation behind them. That and he's highly criticized as "seeker-friendly" and watered-down.

    Having said that, do I think it's a huge deal? Not really. As a huge fan of John Piper I trust his wisdom and his discernment and I believe that he has a reason for inviting Rick Warren to speak. Some years ago he took a young pastor in the Emergent Church under his wing, and I believe Mark Driscoll is all the better for it. Now, if he had invited Rob Bell to speak...

  2. Actually, I think the greater concern - from what I've seen - has been because Piper is a vocal Calvinist and Warren is apparently not a Calvinist. (I think it's pretty hard for Calvinist to be "seeker friendly!)

    That being said, people need to get over it.