Desiring God Ministries has posted John Piper’s long-awaited interview with Rick Warren. This has brought to completion the invitation Piper extended to Warren to speak at the 2010 Desiring God National Conference. The interview was supposed to happen at that event, but in the end Warren was unable to travel to Minneapolis and the interview was postponed. The men got together on May 1, 2011 and this video is the result.
Today I want to offer up some thoughts on it. I do so because over the years I have come out as a bit of a critic of Rick Warren and his ministry. This is not something I am entirely comfortable with, but it was no surprise to me that when the interview was posted I began to receive questions; people wanted to know what I thought of it. And, frankly, I wanted to know what I thought of it. So what I intend to do in this article is simply let you into my mind as I wrestle through the interview and its implications.
Before I begin, let me say a word about critiquing Warren. Many people seem to imagine that there is some kind of a Calvinist conspiracy against Rick Warren. I will grant that there are many outrageous critics out there who seem to put Warren in the same league as Jezebel and Judas. Despite such people there are many others who have good, legitimate critiques of the man and his ministry. I think we need to be careful that we do not combine these 2 groups—that we do not ignore legitimate critiques because of the outrageous ones.
Having said that, let me tell you where my mind went as I watched and read the interview. I am very glad to hear from you whether my thinking has gone off-track or if I am just plain wrong. The comments are open and I will be reading them as I am able.
I find myself aware of my youth. As I begin to think through this issue I immediately realize that both of these men are old enough to be my father and I want to be very careful that I do not play the role of the impulsive, self-assured, prideful young(er) man. The Bible commends age and maturity and this leaves me inclined to doubt my own interpretation when it conflicts with those who are older than I am. Both of these men have far more knowledge of Scripture than I do and both have much greater ministry experience. Both have obviously been used by the Lord in unique ways.