My Two Cents on Rick Warren and Desiring God

This has been rumored for a while, but SharperIron confirmed with Desiring God yesterday that Rick Warren has indeed been invited to participate as a speaker at their 2010 conference. There will surely be a loud response to this from various perspectives in the days ahead. Phil Johnson’s brief tweet gives a taste of how it’s being received by some conservative evangelicals. Buckle up. There is a “red sky” this morning, sailors. The blogosphere is about to erupt with all things Piper and Warren, I imagine.

My two cents?Very quickly…

1. I’m disappointed. I’m surprised, though perhaps I shouldn’t be. Piper has shown in the past that he likes to push the envelope, as when he included Douglas Wilson and Mark Driscoll in the DG conference. The invitation to Warren just reveals how serious he was in comments to Mark Driscoll about how far he’s willing to bend for fellowship:

“Let me tell you how I think and how I decide who I’m going to hang with. As I look across the broad spectrum of Evangelicalism and all the different styles, what concerns me is doctrine. And if Mark Driscoll holds those nine truths firmly in his left hand, then I don’t care what’s in his open hand.”

I guess he means it. But…

2. This is different. Warren is the church marketing guru of our generation. He’s pushed decisionism and Finney-type tactics to new heights, and conservative evangelicals (such as Carl Trueman) have responded with concern, or indignation, or rolled eyes. In fact, he’s done things that are downright ecumenical. So this isn’t just a matter of “style.” He’s confused the “G” in T4G. To use Piper’s analogy, I’m not sure that what Warren does with his “open hand” makes real agreement with what’s in his “left hand” possible, despite what he may say in a doctrinal statement.

3. This could be a game-changer. It may not be as significant as Graham’s pushing fundamentalist unity to the brink via his LA and NY campaigns, but I think it could be a watershed decision. Will T4G-type evangelicals agree or defend it? I can’t imagine that, even as influential as Piper is. Will they speak out publicly? Will they look the other way? Probably all of the above; they’re a diverse bunch. It will be interesting to see. But as much as MacArthur-types love Piper, this sort of thing could push their tolerance and even their collaborative efforts to the breaking point.

4. This demonstrates that there are still very significant differences between even Calvinist-leaning separatists and conservative evangelicals, or at least with Piper. I love the man. I’ve grown from his teaching ministry more than anyone else’s, bar none. Still, this is a big deal. Though separation from fellow believers is often maligned, this demonstrates what happens in its absence.

That’s not to say that we need to revert to trench warfare between “them” and “us.” As I’ve said (here and elsewhere), I think the fundamentalist and new evangelical categories are so outdated and simplistic as to be essentially useless in our day. I’ve said that I’ll endeavor to make alliances on fidelity to Scripture, not labels. That’s still true. But issues like this aren’t mere “turf protection.” It’s not a matter of “this guy met with that guy who once had dinner with a guy who spoke for that guy.” This is an overt endorsement and fellowship with a man who has famously and consistently led Christians and non-Christians in the wrong direction on crucial topics. It is about truth, and alliances with the likes of Warren are indefensible.

All that to say, I think this could cast a long shadow.

Update: If you’re not inclined to read through the comments section (and I don’t blame you), I’ve offered a response to the videos of Piper’s explanations here.

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79 Responses

  1. Hope you’re not holding your breath on #3.

    I disagree with you about the categories, they are still useful terms. What we are seeing is revelation of their ongoing usefulness.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  2. What, then, do similarly ill-advised speaking relationships like those Doran mentioned here reveal about the categories, Don?

    They’re worse than useless. They end up promoting unity (under a title) where there should be none.

  3. Good thoughts. I am saddened and disappointed by this as well.

    I agree with you on #3. It will be interesting to see how it pans out. I pray that Piper will change his mind. I really do think this is a matter of defence of the gospel.

  4. fwiw, I disagree on the labels thing too. I think this issue highlights the difference between conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists.

    The labels explain why two groups with so much in common will have so much difference on this issue.

  5. Wait for it…wait for it…

    Sam Hendrickson

  6. Hilarious, Sam.

  7. Our church contains many people who have left congregations where Warren’s tactics and philosophies have taken over. Some complain over the music and some complain of the difference in leadership styles and methods. All, however, are concerned about the gospel. Repeatedly I have heard the cry, “Our church used to be a place where they preach the gospel clearly.” Now the gospel is minimized to “how to fix your life” sermons. As someone who lives in the greater Minneapolis area whose people will be affected by the decision, this deeply disturbs me.

  8. Chris, if the labels are meaningless, why would it bother you if someone wondered whether one of them applied to you?

    I will grant that there are some problems on the other side of the coin. I have had some direct discussion with some of the principals and understand their reasoning. I am not sure that the reasons given always warrant the decisions made, but that isn’t up to me to decide.

    Regardless, in my opinion, Warren takes this discussion to an entirely different level.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jerimiah 33.3

  9. FWIW… IDOG (http://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/2010/03/john-piper-to-feature-rick-warren-at.html) posted about the Warren engagement before SI did, but, for various reasons, we considered it to still be in the rumor category until we could verify it ourselves.

    For my part, I think it’s interesting that they’ve decided to do this and I’m eager to here what the rationale is.

  10. Chris:

    I know you want to be fair and accurate. For that reason alone I share the following.

    For the record it was I who first received confirmation from Bethlehem BC and posted, “that Rick Warren has indeed been invited to participate as a speaker at their 2010 conference.” I posted it yesterday at 10:45am.

    John Piper to Feature Rick Warren at 2010 Desiring God

    SI site publisher, Aaron Blumer, viewed this article twice yesterday after I published it. Later SI posted the same story in their Filings.

    In the beginning Blumer did post proper attribution (a hat tip) to my site for having been the source of the report on the Piper, Warren, DG meeting. A short time later, however, Blumer deleted that attribution. An associate of mine captured the attribution image just before it was deleted. SI now gives the appearance that it (SI) is the originator of the story, which is demonstrably untrue.

    This morning I wrote Aaron about this issue, no response as of yet.

    LM

  11. Will they speak out publicly? Will they look the other way?

    IMO some of the high-profile ce men will speak out and then look the other way for the sake of unity first.

    LM

  12. Re: “The blogosphere is about to erupt ”

    I don’t think it will erupt until people understand it is not an April Fools joke! It’s just too unbelievable.

    One wonders if Piper has got a screw loose

  13. Good news! Just a moment ago Aaron restored proper attribution.

    LM

  14. Wait for it…Wait for it…And there you have it–almost 2 hours…thought it would happen sooner.

    Prosit!

  15. Fight for your rights, Lou. Congratulations.

  16. Chris:

    It was journalistic malfeasance. Aaron was made aware of it and he did the right thing. I’m satisfied and he now has clear conscience. Good for all parties.

    Jim:

    Why is this unbelievable? Piper’s charismatic theology, hosting a RAP artist in his church. No one saw this coming???

    No one can truly understand or explain why Piper embraces Rick Warren except Piper himself. 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.

    LM

  17. “No one can truly understand or explain why Piper embraces Rick Warren except Piper himself. ”

    According to Justin Taylor’s blog, one of y’all could ask Piper “why?” tonight: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2010/03/31/ask-john-piper/.

  18. I’ve deleted a comment with suggests that Mormons(!) are more orthodox than the men in this discussion. It’s absurd. It’s sinful. The situation is grievous enough without turning it into a witch hunt complete with unsustainable charges. Any similar posts will be erased, as well. Nor will I tolerate posts which take this as an opportunity to treat Piper as a piñata for reasons totally unrelated to this decision.

    For the record, fundamentalists do their share of “looking the other way” when fellow fundamentalists made indefensible decisions. Even the concept of “I understand their reasoning” and “that isn’t for me to decide” is one that we reserve for “our own.” Giving the benefit of the doubt amidst overtly poor fellowship decisions can only be directed to the right, it seems. Ugh.

  19. Chris,
    thanks for posting this. I recall during the Open Theism issue how Piper et.al wrote excellent defenses against OT, yet in reading his viewpoint on pushing Boyd to some sort of “stay or go” situation, Piper’s theology seemed to lack a mechanism for saying “go.” Maybe his position has changed since then, but I don’t think it has–nor have his theological underpinnings for that choice. I’d want to hear more of his reasoning on this. So far, not good.

  20. Gentlemen:

    I just posted the following at Justin Taylor’s blog.

    Will Dr. Piper accept questions about why he is hosting Rick Warren at this year’s Desiring God conference?

    I don’t Twitter, so maybe one of can Twitter him with that question; OK?

    LM

  21. I do hope Piper will take that question. Then y’all can bash him for what he actually said, not for what you think he might be thinking. :-)

  22. Thank you, Chris. Thank you for the excellent reminder. I am troubled by this, but we should be equally troubled by John Vaughn or Ron Hamilton speaking at the places they are speaking at. BJU has some odd folks speaking in chapel for them. We should be fair in our assessments.

  23. I’d hope y’all could tell my last comment was meant to be tongue in cheek. Truly, I am often grieved at the way so many of you seem to delight in berating and bashing your brothers in Christ here on this blog. I sometimes wonder how much your sermons suffer on a Sunday after a particularly controversial topic is discussed at length here. Perhaps our time could be better spent praying for Piper, especially as he is taking leave of his church for a time to do battle against the sin of pride he has seen and been grieved at in his life. If you feel the need to separate from him in some way, fine. But surely even separation can be done in a spirit of love and meekness.

    Ok, sorry. Just felt the need to say that.

  24. Chris: characteristically good, solid, thoughtful.

    Thanks. I’ll update HT.

  25. Warren is a Christian who acts like one.

    He idolizes Criswell and quotes Edwards (Calvinists), goes on CNN, Fox, NBC and stands firmly against abortion, homosexuality, etc. Also, takes no salary from Saddleback (paid his 25 years worth back to them a few years ago) and gives away 90% of his earnings.

    So he prayed at Obama’s inauguration (they needed it), what else ya got against him? Petty preferential non-sense?

  26. As I recall, Lou discovered it because a commenter on his blog mentioned Warren’s inclusion at the DG conference at his blog on a comment on one of the many articles Lou complied countering Kevin Bauder’s article on CEs since deleted (or at least no longer visible that I could find). Unfortunately, I don’t have a friend who preserved a screen capture, so you will have to take my word for it (and no, I’m not joking, though I acknowledge it is possible my memory recall could be erroneous- a fact that I’m sure our DLF* will correct if I am). Regardless, the announcement was made publicly to the attendees of the DG Pastor’s Conference February 1-2, 2010, so it has been publicly acknowledged for some time (if not in electronic print).

    *DLF- a phrase used in CS Lewis’s book Prince Caspian by the Pevensie children for Trumpkin, the dwarf. In their case, it was an abbreviation for “dear little friend.” I prefer to think of it as our “dear ‘Lordship’ friend” in the current case in question. So there you go.

  27. I knew DLF (in the Lewis sense) right away! My wife and I have used that. Hm, wonder what other little sub-connectors we share….

  28. Okay, okay, okay. All discussion about who scooped who will now move to Lou’s blog, which I’ve affectionately dubbed Loudicrous.

    No more. I mean it. Don’t make me pull over.

  29. (Greg, I pop on here after just reading (no kidding) a powerful, conclusionary comment by Matthew Henry on Hebrews 5:9 (p. 733). I wonder if our DLF would consider Henry teaching a false gospel. Wow – that statement by Matthew Henry is stronger than anything that I have ever read by John MacArthur.)

    Chris, thanks for deleting the Mormon comment. Richard Abanes wrote an interesting biography on Rick Warren in defending him. Abanes had ministered under the umbrella of Saddleback as a Creative Arts Director. I don’t agree with a lot of ministry philosophy of both Rick and Richard. But I don’t ignore the valuable input of Richard’s two books, One Nation Under Gods (2003) and Inside Today’s Mormonism (2007) for my ministry in the I-15 Corridor. And I told Richard that in a blog thread exchange.

  30. Oops sorry. I drop my case.

  31. All I know is, I gave all ya’ll attribution. ;-)

  32. [...] Posted on March 31, 2010 by Chris You can find a brief explanation of the reasoning behind John Piper’s inviting Rick Warren to speak at this year’s Desiring God Conference [...]

  33. Don wrote:

    “I will grant that there are some problems on the other side of the coin. I have had some direct discussion with some of the principals and understand their reasoning. I am not sure that the reasons given always warrant the decisions made, but that isn’t up to me to decide.”

    Goodness, I don’t if I should say “amen” or stick a fork in my eye. This is exactly why so many in the fundamentalist “movement” have lost all credibility. Their buddies make an indefensible decision and it is charity for all. It is hypocritical to say the least. You would never have that kind of response for a decision made by a ce.

    And btw, I am not defending Piper. I cannot at this point, at least, see any plausible defense for having Warren. But let us not have this sickening double standard: one for the “leaders” in the fundamentalist “movement” and one for those in conservative evangelicalism.

    Lou,

    My word, “man,” you sound like my 8 and 5 year old battling over who told us first about the dead frog on our back porch. I seriously called Chris to see if you were joking about all that. Sheesh.

  34. Chris,

    I really appreciated your thoughts on this, they were spot in.

    FWIW, I was the first to create the internet, and I’ve got the screen capture to prove it.

  35. *spot on

  36. [...] one of my favorite pastors, Chris Anderson, offers some characteristically solid thoughts on DG/Piper/Warren [...]

  37. Chris (and Andrew)

    You may not be satisfied with the way I am looking at the Crown College situation. That’s fine. I would suggest you do your own investigation, talk to some of the people involved, and make your own evaluations. I can say there is a reason why those decisions have been made. The reason has some value, but I am not sure it would have enough value for me to make the same decision. I am not defending the decision or approving of it. I have adopted a ‘wait and see’ position on that for the moment.

    You can like my view or lump it, it’s all the same to me.

    What is more interesting to me in this post is the new mantra that the term “fundamentalist” is useless anymore. … Sure it is.

    It makes me wonder what Piper will have to do for some to really say, “enough is enough.”

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  38. [...] My Two Cents on Rick Warren and Desiring God This has been rumored for a while, but SharperIron confirmed with Desiring God yesterday that Rick Warren has indeed [...] [...]

  39. Wow Lou. Just because you published the story, you now own it? SI did their own investigation. They wrote their own story. Stop being childish.

  40. Don, why do you equate rejection of two labels with defending Piper? I was very clear that I reject his lack of what I believe to be biblical separatism. That was the whole point of the post.

  41. [...] there are people who have credibility to criticize Piper. And there are people who don’t [...]

  42. Hi Chris…

    I don’t think I said you were defending Piper. I said this in my most recent comment:

    It makes me wonder what Piper will have to do for some to really say, “enough is enough.”

    Are you saying “enough is enough”? Or are you just saying something like “This incident is very very bad.”

    So I don’t think I am equating rejection of the two labels as defending Piper. Perhaps I said something else in an earlier comment that implied that, if so, please point me to it.

    I think I get the point of the post, but I keep wondering if this incident will bring you to the point of saying, “I really can’t endorse or recommend Piper in spite of the good things he says. His actions are too inconsistent with faithfulness to the Gospel.” That’s what I mean by “enough is enough”.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  43. Chris,
    Another great article. You are right.

    Don,

    I don’t want to pile on. I did my own investigation into the Vaughn/Phelps issue. I will withhold public comments but I still see this as very inconsistent. I really wouldnt be bothered if the FBF meeting wouldnt have gone the way it did last summer.
    I love and respect Dr. Vaughn, but I have to say I am really seeing a disconnect on these issues

  44. Hi Chris,

    Please don’t take my comments as pertaining to you or MTC. I appreciate what you are doing and the way you do it. But…

    It seems to me that conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists alike have become enamored with hearing themselves talk. It really is pathetic. Here we are in a week where we should be focused all the more on the suffering of our Lord on our behalf and then rejoicing in His subsequent resurrection, and what are we talking about?! John Piper, Rick Warren, John Vaughn, Jack Schaap, Paul Chappell, etc., etc. ad nauseum. And then after we get done with that we talk about this conference and that conference etc., etc., ad nauseum. I hope this doesn’t come across as overly pious because I struggle with these things just like everybody else. But something is wrong with this picture, IMO. We need to get over ourselves.

  45. I really don’t see how Piper inviting Warren to his conference is such earth-shattering news. Piper doesn’t pretend to be a fundamentalist and doesn’t embrace separatism, as far as I can tell. He is what he is. No one should be shocked that he invites Warren or Driscoll or whomever to speak with him. I’m not. There aspects of his ministry, such as this and others, that would prevent me from having koinonia with him in joint ministry activity. I could not be a member of his church or join the denomination of which he is a part. I’m not a Piper groupie but I have benefited from some of his books and I would be happy to hear that people in my church are reading him because he does have genuinely helpful material that point people to the glory of God. It would be good for people to read Let the Nations be Glad or God’s Passion for His Glory. A balanced fundamentalist ministry should have their people trained well enough to discern the errors of non-separatism and non-cessationist ministry, while still being able profit from really good material that do not promote those objectionable elements. Yes, there are some guys that I probably wouldn’t recommend no matter what. I’m not saying this to defend Piper, I think he is completely wrong about this, but I don’t find it an aberration in his ministry, either. It doesn’t change who he is or how I view him.

    On the other hand, I am much more troubled by those in “our circles” that fellowship with heretics. Honestly troubled and disheartened. It is like we are intentionally self-destructing. Somebody has hired a special demolition team and we are watching the implosion in slow motion on YouTube – you see a spark here and then there and then someplace else and slowly the whole building falls in on itself. I loved that building but it is falling, people are evacuating, and I wonder what will be built in its place.

  46. Chris,

    Thanks for this post. I fully agree with your position, which is mine as well. Your blog is the first I’ve heard about the Warren invitation. I appreciate Piper, but have long been uneasy about his inclusiveness in several areas.

    I have a hard time appreciating Warren at all. He seems so pragmatic. What he says is usually pretty solid (though with notable excptions). What he practices seems geared to “whatever it takes to grow and be popoular” philosophy. As always, we need to think these things through carefully. The more one is committed to the Gospel, the more one is discouraged with Rick Warren’s antics.

  47. Hi there Heresy Busters,

    Thank you all for reminding me why I am neither a Fundamentalist nor a Calvinist. At least Piper had the decency to step down for a time.

    - Leo

  48. Mark,
    I won’t answer for Chris. As to the idea that fundamentalist Christians might discuss this matter–specifically Piper/Warren–during this week, it is not too hard to extrapolate that such a discussion makes sense now.

    Why? If our best motives are driving our concerns, then our interest in this matter should be something like “what does Piper ‘having Warren on the dais’ tell us about Piper and his statements about the high priority of the Gospel vis a vis his actions?” Maybe it says less than we think, maybe more. At this point, I am not revealing my hand–such a revelation is irrelevant.

    But, many of us, and our people, (I’m a pastor) are influenced by Piper/BBC/DG; and what he says versus what he does regarding the Gospel has significant import. If this is part or most of what motivates our interest in the matter, what more apropos time than now?

    If our interests are prurient, pugnacious, etc., (and I think there might be some of that revealed here) this will reap its own reward. Clearly it is of great interest far outside the fundie sphere. Regardless of whatever conceit some of us may have, I am guessing that JP’s response to the issue had little to do with some fundie’s diatribe (or legit question) and more to do with the fact that John knew he would need to explain this move.

    In one sense, it is heartening to see the (however large) ripple of concern it caused throughout American Christianity. Maybe most of the concern (in the fundie sphere and outside of it) is misguided and pharisaical–that would be sad and dishonoring to God. I hope my interest is honorable.

  49. Hi Sam,
    I am speaking in much more general terms than I probably communicated earlier. I see this whole incident with Piper and Warren as a microcosm of a much larger problem. I will say again, there seems to be an unhealthy (IMO) appetite for hearing ourselves talk within the ranks of conservative evangelicalism and fundamentalism. All the conferences…all the books…all the blogs. Many of these are presented as opportunities to feast on the sovereignty of God, or to hearken back to the foundations of the faith, or to unify around some central theological or philosophical theme. But I fear that far too often they turn into popularity sessions. Much has been said in recent years about the atrocity of “man-worship” within the ranks of fundamentalism in years gone by (and even continuing to this present day). Such criticism is warranted and valid. I fear that we have fallen into the same trap. The only difference is our idols have changed. Their names are different. But we still have throngs of people flocking to defend men above all else – and I am not just referring to Piper here. I am referring to the recent flurry which includes Piper, Warren, Vaughn, Chappell, Sexton, and others. This affects us all. I realize that I say all of this at the danger of sounding pious or “holier than thou”. So I reiterate that all of these things are battles within my own soul. I must constantly remind myself that I am first and foremost a follower of the Good Shepherd. As such, I must constantly guard my tendency to become enamored with under shepherds to the point that I am blindly loyal.

  50. What is your source for this quote? Very revealing.

    “Let me tell you how I think and how I decide who I’m going to hang with. As I look across the broad spectrum of Evangelicalism and all the different styles, what concerns me is doctrine. And if Mark Driscoll holds those nine truths firmly in his left hand, then I don’t care what’s in his open hand.”

  51. [...] Chris Anderson:Piper Invites Rick Warren to Speak at His Bible Conference This has been rumored for a while, but SharperIron confirmed with Desiring God yesterday that Rick Warren has indeed been invited to participate as a speaker at their 2010 conference. There will surely be a loud response to this from various perspectives in the days ahead. Phil Johnson’s brief tweet gives a taste of how it’s being received by some conservative evangelicals. Buckle up. There is a “red sky” this morning, sailors. The blogosphere is about to erupt with all things Piper and Warren, I imagine. MORE [...]

  52. [...] Chris Anderson: Piper Invites Rick Warren to Speak at His Bible Conference This has been rumored for a while, but SharperIron confirmed with Desiring God yesterday that Rick Warren has indeed been invited to participate as a speaker at their 2010 conference. There will surely be a loud response to this from various perspectives in the days ahead. Phil Johnson’s brief tweet gives a taste of how it’s being received by some conservative evangelicals. Buckle up. There is a “red sky” this morning, sailors. The blogosphere is about to erupt with all things Piper and Warren, I imagine.   MORE [...]

  53. [...] More on John Piper and Rick Warren Posted on April 1, 2010 by Chris I’ve watched to both videos in which Piper explains his thinking in inviting Rick Warren to speak at the 2010 Desiring God Conference (here and here) Though I’ve spoken often of my appreciation for Piper, neither video encourages me. Neither really alters my initial take. [...]

  54. Breaking news…

    Jack Hyles to preach at BJU! Don’t forget to let everyone know you heard it here first. :)

    Seriously, any basic class in the history of fundamentalism will reveal glaring examples of people preaching in conferences together when their own ministries have little in common. Just look at the speakers at Winona Lake.

    I don’t blog much and frankly, think a lot of the blather is much ado. I wonder if those who are against what is happening are going to formally separate themselves…and how are you going to do that anyway, write John Piper a letter?

    I’ve thought it through. Here’s my letter…

    Dear Pastor Piper,

    You don’t know me at all but we do have something in common. We both grew up on Bradley Blvd. in Greenville, SC. In gradeschool I used to cheer for Basil though it pains me to admit it. You probably cheered for Nikonian. Anyway, I know that neither of us would have been for Chi Delt because that was Billy Graham’s society. I do appreciate your ministry even if your second chapter in Desiring God is a lengthy, somewhat unintelligible love poem to your wife; and even though you are going to have Rick Warren (is he any relation to “hey buddy” John Warren?) at your conference and even though you are more Calvinistic than I am I still think you’re a great guy. However, I do have to now separate from you because, the last thing I want is for someone to use the seven laws of separtion and connect me through you to Rick Warren and along to President Obama, even if I’ve been invited to the White House for July 4th.

    Matt

    More breaking news…

    Sharperiron just confirmed that Matt is not actually invited to the White House this July. Stay tuned. :)

  55. I think It is a great move on Pipers account. I love him a great deal and this only strengthens that love even though I am NOT a Calvinist and do not agree with him theologically or exegetically on several points. His integrity is strong, his passion for the gospel is strong. I also love Rick Warren and I do not agree with him on many points but still appreciate his passion for Christ and for the Gospel.

    Kudos to John Piper. Now I wish I could attend the conference!

    Rev. Glen Wagner
    Good Shepherd Church
    Consultant for Vivid Leadership Group

  56. @ Roger Carlson:

    You said:

    Don,

    I don’t want to pile on. I did my own investigation into the Vaughn/Phelps issue. I will withhold public comments but I still see this as very inconsistent. I really wouldnt be bothered if the FBF meeting wouldnt have gone the way it did last summer.
    I love and respect Dr. Vaughn, but I have to say I am really seeing a disconnect on these issues

    Well, I should be clear here. I am not defending the decision and like you see it as inconsistent. However, I understand what these guys are trying to do and am willing to wait and see if they are likely to be successful in what they are trying to do. I have my doubts, and it certainly isn’t helpful at such a time as this.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  57. [...] ago, Cesar posted a link regarding Rick Warren speaking at the Desiring God conference.  I don’t think I’m [...]

  58. [...] John Piper is again the name on everyone’s tongue, this time due to the announcement that he has invited Rick Warren to speak at the Desiring God conference. I’m not sure why everyone is noticing this now, since this is actually old news. Recently, [...]

  59. If your blog is “My Two Cents” shouldn’t you condense your response to just 2 points? :) Lotsa subpoints to be sure.

  60. I’ve considered “My Twenty Cents” David. :)

    A quick word for those who wonder “Why bother?” I hear you. I don’t want to be a controversialist or a fault-finder. That’s bad for everybody. 1-2 Timothy warns against pointless controversy often. But since I’ve commended various books and messages from Piper over the years (and will continue to do so), it would be reckless of me to chime in only when I agree, then look the other way when there’s something I think is dangerous. Especially when it’s so public and (IMO) egregious. Neither black-balling nor white-washing Christian leaders is helpful.

    Now, on the more edifying things. Worship our sacrificed and risen Lord today. Piper is, I’m sure. :)

  61. I’ve been on vacation and missed the partay (that’s how we non-fundamentalists say party).

    For what it’s worth — which is less than 2 cents — I’m the one who mentioned the RW coming to DG to Lou. Wonder why Lou is giving me proper attribution here.

    To be clear — since we’re all worrying about records and journalistic integrity and such — I completely and totally disagree with Lou on just about everything (I think we agree that Jesus is Lord, but maybe even that is too lordshippy for him).

  62. That shoul’ve been, “why Lou ISN”T giving me proper attribution . . .”

  63. And that should’ve been “should’ve been . . . ”

    I think I need some more vacation.

  64. Very interesting. Piper’s statement about where he wants the ‘young restless reformed’ thing to go is quite revealing, I think.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  65. So you were the one who originally mentioned it to Lou, Keith?

    I knew the story wasn’t original with Lou (especially since Piper announced it publicly in February). I remembered seeing it somewhere and I thought it was in the comments on his blog, but then it appears to be gone after he posted the story, because after he threw a fit about getting credit I went back to look because I was pretty sure someone else had mentioned it to him first. I found it mysterious that it wasn’t there, but I then I thought perhaps I saw it somewhere else but couldn’t remember which blog it was on.

    I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but did Lou delete your reference? If so, why?

  66. Larry,

    No need to slander Lou.

    Here is the comment you are remembering.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  67. Don,

    There was a comment on the DLF’s blog as well, I’m pretty sure.

  68. man, we are really wandering from the topic…

    I believe Lou made some reference to it in one of his posts that followed the comment above. I think he “heard it here first”.

    And I don’t think it matters who heard it or who said it first.

    I just thought Larry’s last line went a bit too far, that’s why I am responding at all. So with that, enough! I’ll leave this weird angle to the topic completely alone from here on.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  69. You read it here first, so I want proper citation when it all hits the blogs.

    Headline: “Ohio Pastor Pushed to Drunken Bender by Blog’s Comment Threads.”

  70. I’m calling Joe Tyrpak to confirm.

  71. Don,

    Where did you get the idea that I slandered Lou? Seriously, how in the world did you get that out of my words? I would ask you to go back and read them and let me know where you got that from. I asked a question (rather than make an accusation). I specifically said I didn’t want to jump to conclusions (rather than jumping to conclusions) and I said I couldn’t remember where I saw the comment (rather than insisting that I was right).

    How much more gracious can I be? What would you have wanted? I was far more gracious to Lou than he has been to me (much of which has been private communication of a rather distasteful nature), and to many others.

    But while I am here, I can’t think of anything more silly than demanding credit for something that was public information, particularly in a conversation that should be about the gospel. It is just kind of strange to me that someone insists on getting credit for something that wasn’t original with him and that wasn’t breaking news. That doesn’t seem to me to be a gospel-centered way of thinking and living. But I could be wrong. I just think insisting on credit and calling it “journalistic malfeasance” is somewhere between laughable and irrelevant.

  72. Hi Larry

    I think the way your phrased your last line was an unnecessary shot at Lou, implying that he had deliberately deleted a comment from his blog that brought the story to his attention. In my opinion, you didn’t need to ask the question in that way in order to get the information you needed.

    I agree that the whole desire for ‘journalistic credit’ seemed out of place and unnecessary. Bizarre even.

    And I know Chris is sick of hearing the argument about it!

    Would it help if I retract the ‘slander’ charge? that is a pretty heavy duty word. I did think you went too far, but I could have chosen a better word also.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jerimiah 33.3

  73. Don,

    Thanks for responding, but I am still confused.

    I asked a question: “Did he delete it?” There’s no implication there; I simply didn’t know. I went on to say, “If so, why?” Again, asking for information to inform my faulty memory. If “not so,” then the question was over.

    All that was needed was, “No I didn’t delete it. That conversation was at _____________.”

    How else would I get the information without asking? Since I don’t have the gift of knowledge, I actually have to ask things to find them out :). So I gave a brief history as the basis for my question (my faulty memory of a conversation that I could not recall where it took place at), and then I asked it. I purposely worded it to be a question, not an accusation.

    So I am not sure what else I would have said. I don’t know how I would not have gone as “far” (as in the “too far” you said).

    The charge of “slander” doesn’t even make sense to me.

  74. And BTW, Don, it’s fine. It doesn’t bother me. It was just a strange thing to me that made no sense. I won’t pursue it any farther. I was simply curious as to the basis for it.

  75. [...] Chris Anderson’s response (My thoughts exactly) [...]

  76. [...] “left hand” possible, despite what he may say in a doctrinal statement.Read the whole thing: HT Chris’ response to John Piper’s Q&A on Rick Warren: HT2. One that I haven’t [...]

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