Monday, April 12, 2010

Piper and Warren: Ego Endorsing Enterprise

John Piper's video on why he invited Rick Warren reveals an " I " problem.

What John Piper conveys is his confidence in his personal ability to qualify Warren's theology by asking theological questions. John Piper apparently believes that he is immune to deception because of his theological brilliance.

Smugness is revealed when John Piper laughs when he says "I’m gonna need help to know why I should feel bad about this decision."

It seems pride may be blinding John Piper's discernment.

"So I made a list"

"I think Rick Warren meant it when he began the Purpose Driven life with “It’s not about you."

"I could even tell you other things he said he’s not but that… that might offend uh… too many people."

"I… I’m uh… I’m uh… I need … I’m gonna need help to know why I should feel bad about this decision. (Laughs)"

"And uhm… I’m real eager that this glorious thing God is doing in the young, restless, reformed, whatever uh this this thing is called that God’s doing – awakening people’s love for the supremacy of God in all things – I’m real eager that that not become a… a brittle, narrow, ugly, excessively separatist movement and so I am not devoting my life to finding a lot of enemies to attack. I’ve got some and I like to do it by simply hammering on truth. I… I’m gonna hammer on truth."

"I don’t put Rick Warren in the group that I am gonna hold at arm’s distance."

"... I’m not gonna push somebody like that away when they’ve got so much to offer."

"So uh, I am not gonna draw the circle there and suppose you disagree with me on that."

"The way I have chosen to live my life for the sake of reformed to give all my energy to putting them in a positive, aggressively, uh, spreadable form...I think I have uh, got some work to do with my marriage, and my kids, and my soul, but I do not regret that approach to.. to Reformation advance."


  1. Reckon why when Piper makes a call on RW's orthodoxy that it is smugness, but when other's make an opposite call, it is correct?

  2. Well done! Its exactly what I am seeing. His defiance is CLEAR--this in the wake of his mia culpa about his "character flaws" and pride. This is why his mia culpa (timing is everything) rings so hallow. His immediate action right after this is to continue in pride and defiance of a wolf.

    A.W. Pink said, ""If pride and haughtiness are to be reprehended; then mock humility or even an undue occupation with our own frailty and faultiness, is not to be commended."

    Billy, good question. When Phil Johnson gets snarky and calls us "shrill" and "hysterical" its godly, but when we rightly deal with his pal Piper, he calls us "insulting" and that we need to be respectful toward Piper. I guess we aren't worthy of respect from Johnson. Its ok for him to insult us---we're nobodies in his little universe. This is the sin of favoritism James talks about:

    Jas 2:3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, "You sit here in a good place," while you say to the poor man, "You stand over there," or, "Sit down at my feet," 4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

    Jas 2:8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

    While the passage is about the rich vs. the poor, we can apply the same thing to those of in circles of the elite vs. the rest of us. Partiality or favoritism is the issue of sin here.

  3. Denise,
    Perhaps I wasn't too clear on my response. I simply tried to point out that a person who makes the judgment that RW is an apostate is judging rightly, while a person who makes the judgment that he is orthodox enough to address Piper's conference is smug. That kind of thinking smacks of the very thing it criticizes!

    And btw, if you want to rebut somebody's statement, don't pull others into the mix. What Phil Johnson says was not the issue. The issue is the the hypocritical nature of accusing Piper of not being able to judge RW, while those who oppose RW are spot on.

    Further, your attack on Piper is dramatically uncalled for, unless, that is, you know the issues that led him to his leave of absence. To accuse Piper of a hollow explanation of character flaws is judgmentalism of the highest order. You can only judge what you know. I suspect you know neither Piper's personal situation or his motives.

    Lastly, I suspect neither Piper nor Johnson consider themselves any more favorable in God's eyes than He considers you.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.