Rick Warren and the Desiring God Conference

Last week, it was announced that Rick Warren will be one of the speakers at the 2010 Desiring God Conference. Tim Challies has an excellent post today on the concerns over this decision. His conclusion:

I believe [Piper] has shown a lapse of discernment in inviting Rick Warren to his conference and onto his platform. And that’s the thing about platforms–once built, they need to be nurtured, preserved and protected. John Piper must know that he is massively influential; this endorsement of Rick Warren ultimately strengthens Warren’s platform and weakens his own.

…Warren’s critics have not always been fair to him and yet neither have they been without justifiable and significant concerns. His ministry is in so many ways antithetical to Piper’s. It surprises me and maybe disappoints me a little bit that he has been invited to share that platform.

I recommend Challies’ whole article to understand how he arrives at his conclusion. You may also want to read his original book review of The Purpose Driven Life.

While Piper’s decision probably was a “lapse in discernment,” there is no sense in us pulling our hair out and separating from Piper or unleashing more vitriol into the blogosphere.

I suspect that if the Apostle Paul were alive today, he would neither endorse Rick Warren nor spend a lot of time attacking him. Rather, he would probably say something like he did to the Philippians:

“Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife [or, we might add, social concerns and evangelistic pragmatism] … What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice” (Phil. 1:15, 18).


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