I am not a Rick Warren aficionado. I don’t have the foggiest idea what he does on Thursday afternoon, nor do I listen to his sermons (I’ve heard one). I’ve never read any of his books. And I don’t follow his tweets.
This means that what I’m about to say concerning John Piper’s interview is strictly limited to what I heard in this interview. I’m judging it solely on the basis of the content found therein.
So let’s start with the big question. Is Rick Warren, based on what he said in this interview (3rd time’s a charm), a heretic? No. Not at all. He’s a conservative, monergistic Evangelical. And for that, I’m extremely thankful.
Let’s back up now. The interview was very interesting. Piper covered a lot of subjects, touching on everything from limited atonement to Scripture to hell to prevenient grace to the sovereignty of God. Rick Warren answered the questions forthrightly and often with Scripture. There weren’t any howlers, on Warren’s part. His understanding of the New Heavens and New Earth might be a little quirky, but then again, he said that he hadn’t studied the issue at great length. Fair enough. For the most part, Piper and Warren could heartily agree (although I suspect that Piper communicates doctrine differently than Warren, not to mention emphasizes it more).
Clearly Pastor Warren is a man who likes to boil things down into succinct and often pithy statements. For example, he said towards the end of the interview,
“I believe there are two great themes in scripture: Salvation and stewardship. You know, I believe that one day we’ll stand before the Lord and he’s going to ask a couple questions. The first one is, “What did you do with my son Jesus?” That’s it, “What did you do with my son Jesus?”… The second one is the question of stewardship which is, “What did you do with what I gave you?”
Is that how you would put it? Perhaps not, but it’s certainly clear and biblical.
Much more could certainly be said, but I’ll leave it to you to make up your own mind. But as for myself, I’m thankful that America’s most well known pastor isn’t a flaming liberal.
Must Listen Factor: Moderate.
Difficulty: Moderate to High. A certain measure of theological acumen will be required to grasp the subtleties in this interview.
Length: 90 minutes
To Download: For some reason, the audio file is a wave file. So it’s like 1 gig. Uhg. Not sure why they did that. Anyway, I watched the interview- a truly rare moment for me. You can find it here: LINK.