The Battle for your Mind – Rick Warren (2010 Desiring God National Conference)

I have to admit, I was very much surprised.  Rick Warren gave a solid message.

I guess I’m like a lot of Reformed folks out there.  I’ve looked at Saddleback from a distance.  I’ve read snippets of his stuff here and there.  Heard him in short interviews.  Watched the presidential debate he hosted.  But I’ve never really listened to him.  I pigeon-holed him.  I thought, “Ah, he’s one of those mega-church types who love skits and only interact with 30% of the bible.”  So when I heard that he was invited by Piper to speak at the Desiring God Conference, I was a little taken back. 

But in a short video clip, which can be found here (link), Piper defended and explained why he invited him.  It is good.  Nevertheless, I was still quite intrigued by the move, and I looked forward to hearing Warren speak. 

Fast forward to now.

This past Sunday, I eagerly downloaded the message and listened to Rick Warren first.  Next I listened to the panel discussion following his message.  One of the first questions directed to the panel was what they thought of Rick’s message.  Burk Parsons and John Piper answered.  Here’s what Mr. Parsons said.  I think it sums it up nicely. 

“Well, David, I’m almost afraid to say what I think I should say, because I’m afraid of what people I love and think highly of me when I say that I was actually just amazed by how much biblical content and just helpful, simple, straightforward admonition and challenge I received from Rick this evening.  I had never heard Rick preach before.  I don’t know if I’ve ever heard him speak.  I’ve read Purpose Driven Church.  I’ve read portions of the Purpose Driven Life.  And I’ve read different articles he’s put out, but I’ve actually never heard him speak.  And what I think amazed me was I saw… a man and his simple child-like faith and dependence on Christ.”

It’s true. 

Let me add a couple other details.  Rick couldn’t speak at the conference in person because of several unexpected family emergencies.  So he recorded his message at like 10 o’clock at night from his desk.  That is tough.  Really tough.  And yet, it was a challenging and stirring message. 

I commend it to you.

P.S. Having said all of this, there are still some elements of Rick Warren’s philosophy of ministry that concern me.  Nevertheless, I’m not going to snipe him.  He’s doing much good.  Let each servant answer to the Lord.

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Must Listen Factor: Moderate… although the intrigue factor for many of us will propel this to near must listen heights. 

Length: Around an hour.

To Download: Click Picture.


3 thoughts on “The Battle for your Mind – Rick Warren (2010 Desiring God National Conference)

  1. Most people who think Rick Warren never preaches a solid message either have never or rarely heard him preach, or they just guzzle down the koolaid of his jealous or “the church is only for believers” critics.

  2. Happy to find you by following Challies’ A La Carte posts. I don’t fully agree with you on this one, in that I would not have called Warren solid. I found Warren scattered, works-based and as a first-time listener I can kind of see what all the fuss was about. That being said, there were a ton of great presentations at Desiring God and I’m very grateful to Piper not only for that but also for all the fantastic sermons and books he’s given us over the years. I like that you refuse to “snipe” Warren, and wish more would lay off of Piper as well…

    Looking forward to your listening recommendations. BTW, I think you’d dig Chan’s “Forgotten God” audio book. I’ve been listening at the gym, but it would be perfect for walking the mail!

    1. Thanks, Miriam! I’ll see if I can’t track down Chan’s book.

      As for Warren’s message, sure, there were some points in the talk where I thought “Hmmm,” but I tried to approach the message with a charitable spirit. For example, the whole “don’t resist sin but replace it with righteous/holy/godly actions or thoughts” probably wasn’t the best way to phrase things. And I suppose the message did stress works, in the sense of encouraging Christian action, but I guess I was fine with that.

      Anyway, I appreciate the comment. I’ll certainly take it to heart. And I hope this website proves helpful to you. Check out the “Must Listens.” Look under categories on the sidebar to the right.


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