Archive for the ‘John Piper’ Category

I’ve been reading various blogs about John Piper’s endorsement of Rick Warren’s false gospel this week. The one thing that stands out to me is that so many people are willing to accept Rick Warren as a “misunderstood” preacher of the gospel just because of John Piper. This is a disturbing trend within those who should know better! They are quick to compromise the truth because they are in love Piper instead of being in love with the Word. Years ago, when Piper endorsed the “cussing” pastor Mark Driscoll, this act should have sent red flags out to all who love sound doctrine, but instead of standing up for the truth those who follow Piper just made excuses. Now we fast forward to today and Piper has endorsed a false teacher as a teacher of the Gospel!

Mark 13:21-23 (NASB) 

21 “And then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ’; or, ‘Behold, He is there’; do not believe him;
22 for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect.
23 “But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.

Rick Warren is a false teacher and John Piper has become a Judas goat. When will the excuse making stop? When will people who love sound doctrine stand up for the truth and call out John Piper instead of compromising?

2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NASB)
1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.


I simply do not see how people can defend John Piper’s poor judgement in endorsing Rick Warren. I just wag my head when I read other Reformed people defending Piper and Warren. It’s one thing to try to reach out to a person in error, but it’s not right to endorse them as “sound in doctrine” when it’s very clear there are problems. I guess the old excuse of “No Perfect People” pardons Piper for failing to see the dangers Rick Warren presents to the body of Christ. – David J

*I found these videos at Apprising Ministries.

You invited Rick Warren; would you say he exemplifies “thinking”?

No, I don’t think he exactly exemplifies what I’m after. But he is biblical. He quoted 50 Scriptures from memory. Unbelievable, his mind is Vesuvius. So I asked him what impact reading Jonathan Edwards had on him. What these authors like Karl Barth and Edwards do for him is give him a surge of theological energy that then comes through his wiring. What I wanted to do with Rick is force him to talk about thinking so pragmatists out there can say, “A lot of thinking goes into what he does.” (source)

Is the ability to quote Scripture from memory a litmus test for determining if a person is Biblical? Does the fact that Rick Warren puts a lot of thinking into what he says and does make his actions and words Biblical?

You received some negative feedback for inviting him.

It was real risky. I don’t even know if I did the right thing. If somebody said, “Are you sure you should have invited him?” “No.” I think the first thing I’d say—maybe the only thing—is I think he’s been slandered. I think we probably need to work harder at getting him right. (source)

Slandered? Ok, let’s hear Rick Warren in his own words to see if he has been slandered by people who say he preaches a false gospel.

Matthew 24:23-25 (New American Standard Bible)

23“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him.

24“For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.

25“Behold, I have told you in advance.

(Online source)

Then in a panel discussion immediately after Warren’s video message for DG 2010 Dr. Piper said:

(Online source)

Finally in piece published online yesterday at the Christianity Astray Today website Dr. John Piper said in his response to the questions below:

(Online source)

My friend and AM correspondent, Daniel Neades of  Better Than Sacrifice, has written Enough! Scripture twisting is not ‘doctrinal and sound’ concerning the message of Rick Warren at DG 2010; and today we were discussing the comments which I highlighted above. I told him I’d been reading again what Dr. Piper has said about Warren, as well as the alleged ”slander” of Rick Warren.

The comment by Dr. Piper, “I think we probably need to work harder at getting him right,” is a little vague. Some I’ve talked to thought Dr. Piper meant “we,” whoever that is, need to make Warren “right” because his pragmatic Church Growth Movement techniques are “wrong.” However, this would then be in contradiction with Dr. John Piper’s view that Rick Warren “is biblical.”

Like I shared with Neades, I think that when Dr. Piper said, “we probably need to work harder at getting him right,” most likely he means: Work harder to get people to understand Warren correctly like Dr. Piper apparently feels he does. And as far as the broad-brush charge of some slander by unnamed sources goes, the following cogent response from Daniel Neades is dead-on-target:

The major problem here is that Rick Warren refuses to engage his critics or defend his ideas. Unless he is willing to argue for, say, his handling of Scripture, there can be no development of the critics’ understanding of his position.

This is not the fault of the critics, who have shown themselves to be very willing to engage; but rather of Warren, who refuses to enter into the conversation.

Thus, the plea to ‘work harder at getting him right’ is misdirected if it is aimed at Warren’s critics. Rather, it must be aimed at Rick Warren himself. If he is misunderstood, let him answer his critics and show that he is actually exegeting Scripture in a faithful way consistent with the historic orthodox Christian faith.

I also pointed out that Dr. Piper seems to be making a distinction between “pragmatists” and Rick Warren (the King pragmatist) by saying, apparently unlike them, Warren does a lot of thinking. Dr. Piper says:

What I wanted to do with Rick is force him to talk about thinking so pragmatists out there can say, “A lot of thinking goes into what he does.” (Online source)

The above reads to me as if Dr. Piper is actually coming to the defense of Rick Warren as opposed to whoever these pragmatists supposedly are. That’s why I believe these comments following from Daniel Neades are also helpful here as well as he brings out, “And thus Dr. John Piper seems to be taking upon himself responsibility for Warren’s errors. That’s not a position I’d want to assume.”

Nor would I.

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He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:8)

Why Are Evangelical Leaders Silent About Warren’s Sin?

Unfortunately Dr. John Piper made an ill-advised decision to bring in Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren for the Desiring God Conference 2010 as the keynote speaker. The online apologetics and discernment work Apprising Ministries has been among those who’ve been reporting on Piper Warrengate, which is making some otherwise fragile associations a bit more fragile; especially when one sees who, and what, he’s promoting in Dr. LaVerne Adams And Rick Warren Driven By Destiny?

As another telling example, I have previously showed you Warren’s sinful double mindedness concerning apostate Roman Catholicism in Rick Warren And Purpose Driven Roman Catholics. As one who is myself a former Roman Catholic, whom the Lord graciously delivered from the religious bondage of the Roman Catholic Church into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, I’m going to continue taking issue with Dr. Piper telling us that Rick Warren is “doctrinal and sound.” [1]

Just the other day in Rick Warren Teaching The Law Of Attraction we see, not only has he done the foreward to a book by a positive confession Word Faith flake Dr. LaVerne Adams, who has direct ties to the New Apostolic Reformation, but his own teachings are starting to sound more and more like those of the New Spirituality. That said, in the case of Rick Warren and Roman Catholicism, we begin with an interview for Modern Reformation in 2004 where Warren states, “Theologically, I am a monergist and firmly hold to the five solas of the Reformation.” [2]

With this in mind then I bring to your attention again that Rick Warren has said: “I see absolutely zero reason in separating my fellowship from anybody.” [3] Now consider the following from a USA Today piece from July of 2003:

Warren is part of the ultra-conservative Southern Baptist Convention, and all his senior staff sign on to the SBC’s doctrines, such as the literal and infallible Bible and exclusion of women as senior pastors. Yet Warren’s pastor-training programs welcome Catholics, Methodists, Mormons, Jews and ordained women. (Online source, emphasis mine)

There have been those who’ve attempted to refute the above statement saying the reporter erred; but Christian apologist Chris Rosebrough has documented that, the very week this USA article in question was released, it was even advertised on Warren’s website. [4] For the sake of argument though, let’s leave out “Warren’s pastor-training programs” with “Methodists, Mormons, Jews”; the problem doesn’t go away. For you see, we’re still told that he is/was training Roman Catholic churches, which according to Reformation theology—which Warren says he believes—are preaching another gospel. [5]

Here’s what Rick Warren believes about the Roman Catholic Church, which long ago placed its anathema upon the very Gospel of Jesus Christ:

“I am talking about the fact that about a hundred years ago, Christianity split into two wings… The small group structure is the structure of renewal in every facet of Christianity — including Catholicism.” (Online source, emphasis mine)

“Now I don’t agree with everything in everybody’s denomination, including my own. I don’t agree with everything that Catholics do or Pentecostals do, but what binds us together is so much stronger than what divides us,” he said. “I really do feel that these people are brothers and sisters in God’s family. I am looking to build bridges with the Orthodox Church, looking to build bridges with the Catholic Church,….” (Online source, emphasis mine)

“Most readers will be surprised to learn that the largest international network is…the Christian Church. The Church, in all its expressions—Catholic, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Protestant and many others—has 2.3 billion followers.” (Online source, emphasis mine)

In Rick Warren Awards Purpose Driven Roman Catholics you see that at “the 2006 Purpose Driven Church conference” Warren actually presented a “Church Health Award” to Family of God Church of Tacloban, Philippines; its “denomination” we’re told is “Roman Catholic.” Because this Roman Catholic church used Purpose Driven methods, even though they went about “evangelizing” with the false gospel of the Roman Catholicism, it would be given one of Rick Warren’s 2006 Church Health Awards. [6]

How could an organization that doesn’t preach the Gospel even be considered a “church” in the first place; let alone a healthy one. And so, the question now before us is: Which Rick Warren do we believe?


1. As cited, accessed 7/13/10.
2., accessed 7/13/10.
3., accessed 7/13/10.
4., accessed 7/13/10.
5. Interesting to note here that in Galatians 1:6-9 the Apostle Paul advocates breaking fellowship with people such as this; and not training them how to potentially make more converts to their false gospel.
6., accessed 7/13/10.

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The Lord chose to raise up Apprising Ministries as an online apologetics and discernment work; as such, it’s a large part on my mission here to cover trends developing within the church visible. Unfortunately we live in a time where, in my opinion, a tsunami of apostasy—likely driven by 1 Peter 4:17 judgments—is rapidly heading toward the mainstream of, largely pretending to be Protestant, evangelicalism. Sadly, we’re watching the Reformation being undone as more and more people embrace corruptContemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM); particularly within the neo-liberal cult of the sinfully ecumenical Emerging Church.

One of the trends developing as the above happens is a neo-Reformed new Calvinism, which I touched upon recently e.g. in Mark Driscoll And Neo-Reformed New Calvinist Contemplative Spirituality. As I said in recent posts such as Acts 29 Network And Reformed Counter Reformation Spirituality? and Acts 29 Pastor Matt Chandler On Being A Reformed Charismatic, in my estimation, there’s very good reason for concern as these people are rapidly growing in popularity, and in influence within the younger sector of the Reformed Camp; blessed as they are byDr. John Piper, who’s seen by some as a “pioneer” of this New Calvinism. [1]

Now I will tell you that I’m really not very familiar with Dr. Piper as he’s never been my cup of tea; it’s not that I’d thought badly of his ministry, it simply wasn’t one that I felt led to follow. As I recall, one of the first posts in which I ever mentioned Dr. Piper was Doug Pagitt, John Piper, And Karma Kick-Back where heretical universalist Emergent Church pastor Doug Pagitt, part of the Emergent trinity along with his progressive theologian in residence Tony Jones and EC guru Brian McLaren, takes issue with Dr. Piper’s views of the Emerging Church and its new “big tent” progressive/liberal Emergence Christianity.

A couple of days later I would write Rick Warren To Be Featured At Desiring God 2010 where I was among the few who broke the story that Dr. Piper had made the ill-advised decision to invite Leadership Network’s propped-up Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren to DG 2010 as a keynote speaker. Then, as I shared in Rick Warren Doctrinal And Sound?, unfortunately it got even worse when Dr. Piper decided to defend his decision:

At root I think [Rick Warren] is theological and doctrinal and sound.
(as cited Online source)

So whether one even knows it or not, Warrengate is now still slowly simmering; Dr. Piper’s choice here 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, Fuller Theological Seminary, and the late Ralph Winter. To give you a peek into how someone like myself becomes aware of some of these issues, I received a tip from a source; as I followed up on it, it would eventually lead me to discover some disturbing information that I am going to begin sharing below.

It really becomes all the more necessary when I was sent a link today to a book review by Dr. Gary Gilley, pastor of Southern View Chapel, of Dr. Piper’s When I Don’t Desire God; in it Dr. Gilley brings out his own concerns with some of the theology of Dr. John Piper:

• Finally, Piper quotes favorably from a very disturbing stable of authors: Dietrich Bonhoeffer (popular liberal theologian, who, by the way, was executed not for his faith in Christ, but for his part in an assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler) (p. 90), Dallas Willard (leader in the unbiblical spiritual formation movement) (p. 119), G.K. Chesterton (Roman Catholic author) (p. 196), and Richard Foster (father and main promoter of the infiltration of Roman Catholic mysticism into evangelical circles) (pp. 192-193). He also speaks twice of the “dark night of the soul” which comes from counter-reformation Catholic mystic St. John of the Cross (pp. 217, 229).

Most disturbing is Foster’s quote calling for “new prophets to arise in our day” to which Piper responds, “And when they arise, one way that we fight for joy in God is to read what they write” (p. 193). After authoring a book which majors on pointing us to the Bible in our fight for joy, it is disconcerting to now read of an encouragement to read the words of modern prophets; and coming from Foster’s perspective and Piper’s theology on prophets, they are both referring to extrabiblical revelation through present-day prophets).
(Online source)

Most disturbing is right; you know e.g. from Steve Gladen, Saddleback Church Small Groups, And Quaker Mystic Spirituality and Saddleback Church, Rick Warren, And Spiritual Disciplines that the Emerging Church would end up being a Trojan Horse that squishy evanjellyfish leaders would bring right into their own camp as the vehicle from which this spurious CSM spirituality, which is a romanticized version of the Counter (hello) Reformation spirituality of the apostate Roman Catholic Church—which they’ve been pawning off for years as so-called Spiritual Formation—would be unloaded.

I’ve also pointed out that it’s an incontrovertible fact the main purveyors of CSM would be the Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster, along with Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard; who many people don’t seem to realize is quite literally Foster’s spiritual twin and teaches the same things. And I’ve also told you, in no uncertain terms, that it’s well past time for evangelical leaders to begin recognizing the inclusive, and increasingly universal, fruit of this spiritual skubalon of Foster-Willardism. So now you have the backdrop upon which to see what I am going to show you; and it just may also shed some more light upon what I already showed you above.

First of all, if you don’t know, Bethlehem Baptist Church (BBC) is where Dr. John Piper is listed as “Vocational Elder; Pastor for Preaching & Vision; Chancellor, Bethlehem College and Seminary.” [2] Under Resources at the BBC website we find the Library, and then at the bottom of that page under Linkswe find the Online catalog. Notice above that Dr. Gilley correctly expressed concern that Dr. Piper “quotes favorably from a very disturbing stable of authors”; two of which are leading proponents, and personal practitioners of, Quaker—and refried Roman Catholic—mysticism; and in addition, both Foster and Willard are hostile to Reformation theology.

Have you stopped to think, if someone knows another’s work well enough to be familiar with it in order to favorably quote from it, they are indeed reading it. The question is: What could a Calvinist holding to the doctrines of grace of Reformation theology learn about proper Christian spirituality from a Quaker mystic whose own prolonged practice of spurious CSM has led him into the sinful ecumenicism of, contra Reformation, considering the apostate Roman Catholic Church—which Dr. John MacArthur calls a front for Satan—as a genuine expression of the Christian faith; even though she long ago placed her anathema on the very Gospel itself?

The main vehicle for CSM is corrupt Contemplative/Centering Prayer (CCP); a type of meditation in an altered state of consciousness, which itself is a form of neo-Gnosticism that flowered in the antibiblical monastic traditions of apostate Roman Catholicism. I’ve also showed you that Foster’s “Christian” message, which is also the fruit of his own practice of CSM, is now so drastically diluted that he’s even listed as one of the gurus at something called the Living Spiritual Teachers Project. Over at the interspiritual website Spirituality & Practice you will find this Quaker mystic included; and since when were Quakers ever evangelical Protestants?

But there is Richard Foster listed right alongside such false religious teachers as Deepak Choprathe Dalai LamaEmergent Church EC guru Brian McLarenThich Nhat HanhEckhart Tolle, and Marianne Williamson. Do you think there’s any chance whatsoever that the aforementioned Dr. John MacArthur would ever find himself listed there; well, maybe about the time ice skates become standard issue in Hell. But I’m sorry to have to inform you it now gets worse concerning Dr. Piper. Look at the following one finds in the Bethlehem Baptist Church library as we search online. Richard Foster, Prayer Finding the Heart’s True Home:

(Online source)

Here, from my personal copy, is a little sample of what we learn about “prayer” from guru Foster:

Contemplative Prayer immerses us into the silence of God. How desperately we in the modern world need this wordless baptism… Contemplative Prayer is the one discipline that can free us from our addiction to words. Progress in intimacy with God means progress toward silence… It is recreating silence to which we are called in Contemplative Prayer…

A Warning And A Precaution

At the outset I need to give a word of warning,… Contemplative Prayer is not for the novice. I do not say this about any other form of prayer… Contemplative prayer is for those who have exercised their spiritual muscles a bit and know something about the landscape of the spirit. In fact, those who work in the area of spiritual direction always look for signs of a maturing faith before encouraging individuals into Contemplative Prayer…

I also want to give a word of precaution. In the silent contemplation of God we are entering deeply into the spiritual realm, and there is such a thing as a supernatural guidance. While the Bible does not give us a lot of information on that, there are various orders of spiritual beings, and some of them are definitely not in cooperation with God and his way! … But for now I want to encourage you to learn and practice prayers of protection. [3]

As I pointed out elsewhere, this couldn’t be clearer that what we’re actually dealing with here is a new form of Gnosticism. Can you see; above we have the “initiated” and “enlightened” ones who are the superior Christians, as they “work in the area of spiritual direction” (when was this ever part of Protestant practice), and then they are looking for those disciples “who have excercised their spiritual muscles” enough for initiation because this CCP—even though necessary for “intimacy with God—still “is not for” every Christian. This is a return to Romanist religious bondage; and an asceticism-lite form of Pietism.

It seems peculiar to me that Dr. Piper would wish his flock to be exposed to Foster’s foolishness. Then there’s Foster’s clone Dallas Willard and his own ode to asceticism Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives:

(Online source)

Pastor Bob DeWaay performed a thorough, and biblical, dismantling of Willard’s twisting of God’s Word in his excellent Critical Issues Commentary article The Dangers of Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Disciplines: A Critique of Dallas Willard and The Spirit of the Disciplines; so here I’ll simply give you DeWaay’s conclusion as he completely blows up the central pillar upon which Foster-Willardism rests:

The spiritual disciplines are not taught in Matthew 11:29, 30 (Willard’s primary proof test), and even Willard admits they cannot be found elsewhere in scripture… As with most unbiblical approaches, the spiritual disciplines are based on the idea of innate human powers that can be harnessed for good. Holding a false concept of sin as a “disruption of that higher [spiritual] life,” Willard looks for a solution through finding our true potential, individually and corporately, through spiritual disciplines that will enable us to reconstruct the rule of God now

Starting with a serious misinterpretation of Matthew 11:29, 30, Dallas Willard built his entire system on the idea that Jesus’ “yoke” consists of various spiritual disciplines. The issue in Matthew 11 was Messianic salvation—finding true Sabbath rest in Christ rather than following meticulous religious rules decreed by the Scribes and Pharisees. The idea of practicing spiritual disciplines was imported to the text, not found there.

We live in an age of mysticism. People lust for spiritual reality and spiritual experiences. The danger is that unbiblical practices will give people a real spiritual experience, but not from God. (Online source, emphasis mine)

Notice the quasi-dominionism these debunked spiritual disciplines are supposed to enable us to start to accomplish; and now we consider that in the BBC library Online catalog we find five books from former professor of Church Growth at Fuller Theological Seminary School of World Mission C. Peter Wagner, including his infamous Third Wave of the Holy Spirit Encountering the Power of Signs and Wonders:

(Online source)

Christian apologist Sandy Simpson has collected some informative articles concerning C. Peter Wagner at his fine Deception In The Church website [4]; so for now I’ll just tell you that “C. Peter Wagner [is]Convening Apostle of the International Coalition of Apostles” [5], one of the spiritually nefariousKansas City Prophets, and “has long held to the heretical Latter Rain position.” [6] Again it would seem rather odd for Dr. Piper to appeal to a false prophet for teaching concerning “spiritual warfare” [7] and to actually encourage his flock to read his warped works [8]. Sadly, since Dr. Piper made his error of inviting Rick Warren to DG 2010, more questions are now arising.

In closing this, for now, let’a consider that Dr. John Piper and C. Peter Wagner were both quite taken with the late “mission engineer” Ralph Winter [9]; each associated with Fuller Theological Seminary, and as you can see in Influences: Rick Warren And C. Peter Wagner Of New Apostolic Reformation, it was Wagner who was Rick Warren’s mentor when Warren “wrote his doctoral dissertation at Fuller Seminary on his church growth ideas.” Now we remember when Dr. Piper said in his defense of the Warren invitation, “I just think he could put me to shame with his aggressively, in-your-life, transformative discipling of his church.” [10]

And we’re told that Dr. Piper met Rick Warren at Ralph Winter’s funeral; as we stop and consider all of the above, another question comes emerging: Could it be they all already had much more in common than we even knew?


[1], accessed 6/16/10.
[2], accessed 6/16/10.
[3] Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding The Heart’s True Home [New York: Harper Collins, 1997], 155, 156, 157.
[4], accessed 6/16/10.
[5], accessed 6/16/10.
[7], accessed 6/16/10.
[8], accessed 6/16/10.
[9], accessed 6/16/10.
[10], accessed 6/16/10.

From the very beginning the online apologetics and discernment ministry Apprising Ministries has been covering the slowly simmering Warrengate opened Dr. John Piper has made the ill-advised decision to bring Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren into the Desiring God Conference 2010 as the keynote speaker.

Today I was made aware of a very good commentary on this sad subject by Todd Friel at the Facebook page of Wretched Radio. He begins:

How many people have been deeply wounded because of The Purpose Driven Church? If I were a betting man, I would guess millions have been driven from their beloved church because of the writings of Rick Warren.

That is the second reason I absolutely hate the decision made by a man I love to invite Rick Warren to speak at the Desiring God Conference in the fall of this year.

As Purpose has seduced over 300,000 pastors (that is not a guess) to leave the Jesus Model and follow the Rick Model, faithful sheep have been forced out of their church by their shepherd to make room for the goats. Devastating.

If you are one of those people, I am very, very sorry that one of the men who probably served as an anchor during your storm has seen fit to use his national conference to figure out how Rick Warren ticks. Frankly, we know how Rick Warren ticks. He may have file cabinet orthodoxy, but his public works are nothing short of lethal… (Online source)

You can read the rest of this commentary right here.

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