April 1, 2010

John Piper Explains Why He Invited Rick Warren to Desiring God

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

On Tuesday morning I posted- John Piper to Feature Rick Warren at 2010 Desiring God. In less than 48 hours that article has had well over 3,000 hits and counting. It triggered a significant number of like-minded articles at other blogs. Since then two videos have surfaced, in which Piper explains why he invited Rick Warren to speak at the 2010 Desiring God (DG) conference.

Here is a somewhat dated recording of John Piper explaining why he Invited Rick Warren to speak at Desiring God (4:36). I don’t think [he’s] a pragmatist...I don’t think he’s emergent. At root I think (Rick Warren) is theological and doctrinal and sound.” Really? You decide.

The following video is a recent web cast from the Desiring God site.

For an edited version of this video, which contains excerpts from Warren, see below. There are elements in each commentary from Piper that will be highly disconcerting for those who recognize:

Rick Warren embraces deliberate pragmatism of the worst kind; routinely misuses Scripture to cover his own ideas with a veneer of divine authority; promotes extreme ecumenism; redefines ministry in terms of social activism and accepts the worst sort of evangelistic reductionism.
Knowing these things and then hearing Piper’s attempt to legitimize his invitation to Warren leaves one to ask: Does Piper not recognize or understand the harm Rick Warren has done to the New Testament church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Has John Piper lost touch with or knowingly decided to trample the Scriptures that forbid this kind of fellowship?

IMO, no matter how John Piper tries to legitimize hosting Rick Warren

No one can understand or explain why Piper embraces Rick Warren except Piper himself. IMO, this is a huge disconnect from what Piper writes in his books. One must question that Piper believes what he writes in his own books.

From these companion statements from John Piper one can reasonably assume he will not be responsive to those who will “admonish him as a brother” in Christ. He appears set in his decision and will not repent of it. If Piper is unrepentant, keeps Warren on the roster, other DG speakers who want to obey the biblical mandates will “withdraw from” Piper and pull out of the DG conference rather than share the platform with Warren. Others will refrain from attending this conference in which Piper will have them set at the feet of Rick Warren to learn from him.
Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears,” (Acts 20:30-31).
I want to be wrong, but I suspect for the sake of unity, some conservative evangelicals will raise a form of protest and then will or be willing to happily sit on the platform with Warren and Piper. Al Mohler and R. C. Sproul are also scheduled to speak at DG. Sorry, but don’t count on Al Mohler who: 1) Knowing Billy Graham has turned thousands of (alleged) converts over to Roman Catholic and modernistic churches when he accepted the chairmanship of Graham’s 2001 Louisville crusade, and 2) Signed the Manhattan Declaration (along with Ligon Duncan), which gave the Roman Catholic Church Christian recognition. See- Al Mohler Signs the Manhattan Declaration: Was this a First-Time Foray Into Ecumenism?

Finally a reiteration of questions (from the previous article) to my brethren in the Independent Fundamental Baptist community: Kevin Bauder and Dave Doran. The men who are among Fundamentalism’s most vocal advocates of tolerance for and acceptance of the so-called conservative evangelicals.

Will John Piper’s hosting Rick Warren finally be enough for you to raise a genuine alarm to our next generation over Piper’s theology and practice? You men claim a heritage of and commitment to Gospel-Driven separation. Is this finally enough to openly call for separatism from Piper in unvarnished terms? Will this be enough to personally cease from and discourage lavish praise of Piper’s ministry apart from any serious ministry of warning?
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us… And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed,” (2 Thess. 3:6, 14).

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them,” (Rom. 16:17).
Will Piper’s hosting Rick Warren be enough for self-proclaimed biblical separatists to finally “withdraw from” and “have no company with,” to “mark” and “avoid” John Piper? Or just as his charismatic theology, hosting a RAP artist in his church, etc., will this be tolerated, allowed for and excused for the sake of increased exposure to and fellowship with him?


See the third in this series, What are the T4G Men For to Do?

I believe separation from believers who are disobedient is a loving response to their disobedience. John Piper has, however, abandoned this biblical principle. Piper prefers fellowship at the expense of ignoring what the Bible calls for when we encounter the disobedient among us, and Rick Warren is among the disobedient.

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us…. note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother,” (2 Thess. 3: 6, 14-15).

IMO with his invitation to Warren, John Piper joins the ranks of the disobedient. We, therefore, have no subjective decision to make. If Piper rejects the admonition of brothers, and remains unrepentant, believers who desire to live in fidelity to the Scriptures must “withdraw from...and have no company with him” because of it.


  1. ...acceptance of the Church's mission being to change the world....

    ...qualified by the performance of the members of his church.....

    ...willing to compromise with the two most controversial doctrines in modern times...

    These are the reasons Piper feels comfortable with partnering with the man.

    I would partner with a person who;

    ...having read the Bible knows that the world and all it's systems will be changed by the Lord long after the Church's ministry in the world is through and instead accepting that the Church's mission is to preach the Gospel to every creature, and remember the Lord's death until He comes....

    ...qualified by gifting, and rightly dividing the Word of Truth.....

    ...not willing to compromise on doctrines he knows are true, and not willing to partner with me if he knows I'm wrong.....


  2. There is a link at Sharper Iron to an audio that predates this video and also has Piper discussing why he invited Warren. It was one excuse after another.

    Now we have him progressing from excusing Warren to defending him.

    He wants to present Warren as Reformed, or nearly so (and he thinks he can get him the rest of the way there), as if that would legitimize him. But this is not about Reformed. We who are not Reformed do not find Warren acceptable even knowing he is not Reformed. It is Warren's worldly Dominionism that is the issue.

    And incidentally, Warren is not being wholly truthful when he says politics is not the answer. He believes the "answer" is a three legged stool, where the church works WITH the governments as well as the business sectors in a society to bring about "God's kingdom on earth as it is in heaven." A more truthful answer is that politics is not the WHOLE answer.

    Even Reformed people see that Warren's idea is in line with the coming kingdom of anti-Christ. Reformed radio host and blogger Ingrid Schlueter says this in her blog at www.crosstalkblog.com on March 31:

    Additionally, one wonders exactly what doctrine undergirds Mr. Warren’s latest outrage, his involvement with Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation and its “North American offensive”, as Blair put it, with a purpose of “uniting all faiths.” That would be the doctrine of anti-christ.

    And that Tony Blair would be the European politician Tony Blair.

    So as usual, Warren is spreading his deceiving half truths.

    And now it looks like he has a new disciple.


  3. Jan:

    Thanks for that.

    Frankly, I don't see why anyone should be surprised with Piper's embrace of Rick Warren. All the signs, including his belief in the charismatic miraculous sign gifts, point this way.

    FWIW, in this article, 2nd paragraph, I link to that audio which the pseudo- fundamentalist SI offers.


  4. Hi there,
    here's my analysis of Piper's defence of Warren, I hope it's useful/helpful for you:


  5. Joseph:

    Thanks for the link, I was able to peruse it briefly.