*UPDATE* Since this article went online at Apprising Ministries the page to the interview of Rick Warren by John Piper appears to have vanished.

However, I was able to retrieve the video page—at least for now. AM already has the pdf transcript on file and put it at the bottom of this piece, but unfortunately right now it doesn’t seem to appear at the website.

Unfortunately well-respected evangelical pastor Dr. John Piper exhibited a real error in judgment when he invited Dr. Rick Warren who, because of bullying tactics so often used in hostile Purpose Driven Church takeovers, I refer to as The Purpose Driven Pope[1] to be the keynote speaker at the Desiring God Conference 2010.

For too brief a time it opened up a bit of a Warrengate across the blogosphere as more and  more people found out; and as a precious few of the big “names” within evangelicalism weighed in. Apprising Ministries has been keeping you apprised as to it all as best I can. As a former Roman Catholic, and currently a Southern Baptist minister—as is Rick Warren—it’s no secret that I’m on record as saying that Warren is heretical in, at least, his double-minded stance concerning the Roman Catholic Church.

And I chose that issue carefully because while Warren can possibly hide in the weeds concerning his Church Growth Movement-tinged Purpose Driven/Seeker Driven methodology or his chameleon-like teachings, or his obviously man-centered pragmatism, he has absolutely nowhere to hide from his sinful embrace of the Church of Rome as being “in God’s family.”[2] But there’s more; previously in Saddleback Church, Rick Warren, And Spiritual Disciplines I told you that I’d become greatly concerned about the spread of corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM); particularly within the neo-liberal cult of the sinfully ecumenical Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church, which had this centered on the self CSM as a core doctrine from its evil inception.

This was a Trojan Horse that squishy evanjellyfish leaders would bring into their own camp and then proved to be the vehicle from which this spurious spirituality, a romanticized version of the Counter Reformation (hello) spirituality of the apostate Roman Catholic Church, would be unloaded into the mainstream of the visible church, which such as these have been pawning off for years now as so-called Spiritual Formation. I’ve also pointed out it’s an incontrovertible fact that the main purveyors of CSM would be the Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster, along with Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard; who is quite literally Foster’s spiritual twin.

In additon, in no uncertain terms I told you that it’s well past time for recognizing the inclusive, and increasingly universal, fruit of the Emerging Church and the spiritual skubalon of Foster-Willardism. Ok, but what does this have to do with John Piper? I’m glad you asked. Dr. Piper’s choice to advance Rick Warren into the Reformed camp has had the rippling effect of people, even outside of any discernment ministries, beginning to look a little closer at his theology, educational background, and associations; e.g. his charismatic bent, his connection to Fuller Theological Seminary, and with the late Ralph Winter.

I had received a tip from a source back in June of this past year; and as I followed up on it, it would eventually lead me to discover some disturbing information which I orginally began sharing in Questions Concerning Dr. John Piper and Dr. John Piper And Unanswered Questions. As I told you earlier this year in Mark Driscoll, Acts 29 Network, & The Emerging Church I have some serious reservations about so-called New Calvinism. And there’s very good reason for such concern as Mark Driscoll and his Acts 29 Network are growing in popularity and influence within the younger sector of the Reformed Camp; being blessed as they are by Dr. John Piper, who’s seen as a father of this New Calvinism.[3]

Dr. John MacArthur, a long time friend of John Piper, expressed his own concerns about this New Calvinism himself to Reformed blogger Tim Challies in 10 Questions with John MacArthur. Being that I’m not a strict cessationist I would offer that what MacArthur says below applies as equally to the spurious CSM of the supposed spiritual formation of Foster-Willardism because of the very real problem of personal “revelation” from God outside of Holy Scripture in the Bible. MacArthur says:

I would affirm my love and appreciation for C. J. Mahaney, Wayne Grudem, John Piper, and other conservatives in the continuationist camp. I consider these men to be friends and allies for the sake of the gospel. Charismatic Chaos was primarily written against the excesses of the broader Pentecostal and Charismatic movements. And those excesses are not what these men are best known for.

But, I would still challenge these men to reconsider their position on the charismatic gifts. I am convinced that the charismatic movement opened the door to more theological error than perhaps any other factor in the twentieth century (including liberalism, psychology, and ecumenism). That’s a bold statement, I know. But once you allow experientialism to gain a foothold, the results are disastrous.

Moreover, I am thoroughly convinced that the biblical description of the charismatic gifts is incompatible with the charismatic gifts practiced in Pentecostal and Charismatic churches today. For example, Acts 2 is explicit in describing the gift of tongues as the ability to speak previously unlearned foreign languages. The rest of the New Testament affirms this same understanding (as does the testimony of the church fathers). But that is the very opposite of the nonsensical gibberish that characterizes modern glossolalia.

So I would challenge them to explain why they hold on to a modern practice that, in reality, has no biblical precedent—especially when that modern practice is the gateway to all sorts of theological error. (Online source)

As evidenced by what I document for you e.g. in Mark Driscoll And Neo-Reformed New Calvinist Contemplative Spirituality there appears among this young, restless, and Reformed crowd a developing postmodern form of Calvinism. One that—at the same time—confesses Reformation theology while also embracing the Counter Reformation spirituality of apostate Roman Catholicism roundly rejected by the Protestant Reformers; who, by the way, were contemporaries of Roman Catholic mystics who were leaders in the Quietist movement within the Church of Rome e.g. Teresa of Avila. And early Reformers like Martin Luther also lived in the same time period as Ignatius of Loyola, who was the founder of the militantly pro-Roman Catholic Church spiritual Gestapo Unit known as the Jesuits.[4]

This postmodern and more mystical Calvinism provides good reason to be concerned when we see John Piper tweet rather peculiar things like this as he did yesterday:

(Online source)

Looking at the urban emphasis of Piper’s tweet reminds me of Dr. Tim Keller, who’s another well-respected mentor among these New (postmodern?) Calvinists. As I’ve already shown you in Tim Keller Recommending Roman Catholic Mysticism and Tim Keller Giving You A Roman Catholic Way Keller’s been teaching this spurious CSM—including its meditation in an altered state of consciousness known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer—to the leadership of his Redeemer Presbyterian Church since around the time the Emerging Church movement began coalescing in the late 1990′s. However, some key questions come emerging: If this CSM is so valuable to the spiritual life of the Christian, then why did the Lord’s Reformers eschew it and instead teach sola Scriptura as the proper approach to Christian spirituality?

And if these vaunted Roman Catholic mystics really were in such deep communion with God, then why is it they never discovered the actual Gospel of Jesus Christ—salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in the finished work on the Cross of Christ alone—and remained slaves to apostate Roman Catholicism, which  John MacArthur has rightly stated is, “Satan’s best front for the Kingdom of God.” That’s why as one God delivered from this kind of foolishness I find it rather odd that people, who would tell us they are Protestants in line with Reformation theology, would be so quick to recommend this kind of Counter Reformation spirituality to their church planters and to the younger section of evangelicals so influenced by this new postmodern form of Calvinism.

This is the backdrop you need as I now point you to the website of Rick Warren and the Piper & Warren Interview, which you view on that page itself right here:

(Online source)

As you can see Saddleback’s spin is that this “inspiring interview gives us deeper insight in to” Rick Warren. I’ll also suggest we’re beginning to also gain deeper insight into John Piper as well as he apparently feels it necessary to try and repair the image of Rick Warren and advance his ministry into this new postmodern Calvinist camp.

Lord willing I’ll have more on this another time; but for now, let’s consider a the following sample from the PDF full transcript of this May 1st chat between John Piper and Rick Warren:

[PIPER]: I want to focus on The Purpose Driven Life.

[WARREN]: Okay.

[PIPER]: Everything I have to ask comes—all these pages here are—from The Purpose Driven  Life. I read it with a fine-tooth comb.

[WARREN]: All right…

[PIPER]: I read The Purpose Driven Life very carefully. This is 20 pages of notes.

[WARREN]: Wow.

[PIPER]: And I have read critiques of it. And one of my agendas is to do an appreciative critique.  And it will, I think, feel to you—

[WARREN]: Okay.

[PIPER]: I hope it does—mainly appreciative. Because frankly, I’m appalled at the kinds ofslanders from Dr slanders that have been brought against this book by people whose methods of critique, if they were consistently applied to the Bible, would undo it as the Word of God. I really—I’m one of these reformed types and my type tends to get on your case pretty often. And when I read the book, I thought, “What’s the issue here?” So I want to get you—I want to  just get you talking—

[WARREN]: Good. (Online source)

Really? Dr. Piper’s a reformed type “appalled at the kinds of slanders that have been brought against” Warren’s PDL. Which works are those which slander Rick Warren? I wonder, is Piper referring to the commentary of his friend John MacArthur in the video below where MacArthur says that Warren’s gospel in the PDL:

is an inadequate gospel. That is a gospel that I will tell you will contribute to apostasy.

It’ll contribute to defection.

Or maybe John Piper is referencing the following “slanders” from Dr. Michael Horton:

I believe that his message distorts the gospel and that he is contributing to the human-centered pragmatism that is eroding the proper ministry and mission of the church… the radical condition of sin is reduced to negative attitudes and behaviors and the radical redemption secured by Christ’s propitiatory death and resurrection are reduced to general and vague statements about God giving us another chance… His central message seems to be that you were created for a purpose and you just need to fulfill it…

His best-selling book, The Purpose-Driven Life, begins by announcing that it’s not about you, but about God, and then the rest of the book is about you.  There seems to be a contradiction between the God-centered theology that is professed and the basically human-centered orientation that dominates much of his message and methods… Pastor Warren tailors his appeals to his audience.  To Calvinists, he stresses his support for the “solas” of the Reformation.

Yet he tells prosperity evangelist David Yonggi Cho, “I’ve read your books on Vision and Dreams – speak to pastors about how you hear the voice of the Holy Spirit?…What advice would you give to a brand new minister?…Do you think American churches should be more open to the prayer for miracles?” (“Breakfast With David Yonggi Cho And Rick Warren,”

In a June 2006 article in, editor-in-chief Rob Eshman reported on a speech that Warren gave for Synagogue 3000, after Rabbi Ron Wolfson became involved in the Purpose-Driven pastoral training seminars. “Warren managed to speak for the entire evening without once mentioning Jesus — a testament to his savvy message-tailoring.”

When USA Today asked him why Mormon and Jewish leaders are involved in his pastoral training programs, Rick Warren reportedly said, “I’m not going to get into a debate over the non-essentials.  I won’t try to change other denominations.  Why be divisive?” (USA Today, July 21, 2003).  Rick Warren endorses a host of books, from New Age authors to Emergent writers to conservative evangelicals.  So why not include Calvinists? (Online source)

In closing this, for now, a little further on in the Piper & Warren conversation we see this exchange:

[PIPER]: So I’m going to do a bunch of quoting from the book–

[WARREN]: That’s fine.

[PIPER]: —and then I’m going to pitch you the ball and let you talk a little more about it. So let’s start where the book starts and where I love to start, namely, the glory of God.

[WARREN]: The glory of God, that’s exactly right.

[PIPER]: Page 17, “It’s not about you. If you want to know why you were placed on the planet, you must begin with God.”

Page 53, “The ultimate goal of the universe is to show the glory of God.”

Page 53, later on, “What is the glory of God? It is who God is. It is the essence of his nature, the weight of his importance, the radiance of his splendor, the demonstration of his power, the atmosphere of his presence.”

Page 54, “We are commanded to recognize his glory, honor his glory, declare his glory, praise his glory, reflect his glory, and live for his glory.”

Page 268, “Our goal is to make God look good in the universe.”

Page 101, “Heartless praise is not praise at all. It is worthless, an insult to God.”

So there is a sampling that makes my spine tingle with gladness, okay. (Online source)

With all due respect, and our highly subjective tinglings aside, for the proper perspective perhaps Dr. Piper may wish to check out “the kinds of slanders” offered below by Dr. Gary Gilley from his The Gospel According to Warren, which I cited last year in my The Inadequate Gospel Of Rick Warren:

No one has exemplified the market-driven approach better than Rick Warren, pastor of the huge Saddleback Church in southern California and author of The Purpose-Driven Church and The Purpose-Driven Life.

While Warren is open and up-front about his philosophy, strategy and methods, nevertheless things are not always as they appear.

For example, “purpose-driven” sounds better than “market-driven” but it is basically the same thing. In his book The Purpose-Driven Life, his opening statement is, “It is not about you,” then turns around and writes a whole book about “you.”

He belittles pop-psychology then repeatedly promotes it by simply calling it something else. He publicly cuts ties with Robert Schuller, then regurgitates some of the most odious things that Schuller has been teaching for thirty years.

He claims commitment to the Scriptures then undermines them at almost every turn. He will tell his followers that he is not tampering with the message but only reengineering the methods, when in fact he has so altered the message as to make it all but unrecognizable.
(Onlinesource, emphasis mine)

I think it’s time we begin asking ourselves: Why is it Dr. John Piper feels such a need to promote Rick Warren?

John Piper Interview Pastor Rick Warren Transcript

[1] For more I refer you to DanSoutherland And Cult-Like Hostile Takeover Tactics OfPurpose-Driven/Seeker-Driven Church Transitioning.

[2], accessed 5/18/11.

[3], accessed 5/18/11.

[4], accessed 5/18/11.

See also: