John Piper and Rick Warren… and John MacArthur   13 comments

In light of the recent controversy surrounding John Piper’s choice of Rick Warren as a speaker for Desiring God 2010, I want to share one thing that I’m thankful for. I’m thankful that for the first four years of my Christian life, I sat under the teaching and shepherding of John MacArthur.

(BTW… for those of you unfamiliar with the Piper-Warren controversy, or for those of you who want to hear a more in-depth commentary on it, you can find a faithful and balanced commentary here from Phil Johnson.)

Now, back to Dr. MacArthur. The reason why I’m thankful for Dr. MacArthur is that in the four years that I’ve sat directly under his ministry and the nearly 7 years I’ve been a follower of Jesus Christ, I have never seen MacArthur surrounded in such a controversy. He has never had to defend that he has let go of an essential doctrine of the gospel in order to align with others. MacArthur has never tried to dilute the gospel of Jesus Christ in order to find commonality with Catholics, and he has never made an appeal to unite with Muslims. (Neither has Dr. Piper, but he has seemingly aligned himself with someone, Warren, who has.) The only things where I’ve had any sort of differences with MacArthur is whether I’d draw a clear line in an area I saw as gray–an area that I did not think was essential and commonality could be found. But that, for a shepherd, is a correct course of action. MacArthur has clearly articulated his reasonings for many of his stances–it’s to protect his flock. He doesn’t want those he has been put in charge of to be deceived and misled. For that, I am immensely thankful. And I believe I am able to discern between shades of doctrine because of the way MacArthur clearly discerned and analyzed them.

This is not a knock on Piper’s actions, and I regret all the harsh criticisms and ungracious responses that have come his way. I merely wanted to add that I was thankful for MacArthur’s absolute unwillingness to compromise on doctrine, and for the way he has shepherded those under him to likewise be careful of compromising doctrine for the sake of unity.


Posted April 9, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

13 responses to “John Piper and Rick Warren… and John MacArthur

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  1. Didn’t see your name
    My teacher and mentor for the last ten years Dr.William Lane Craig recently signed up for a ten year apologetics course at Warrens Church .After a three meetings with him I broke fellowship with him.
    I have done over 4 years of research on Mr.Warren his actions are not acceptable for a professed Minister of the Gospel.
    Any professed Christian who does not break with Warren and anyone who would turn their pulpit over to him are enemies of Christ period.

    May God help give Dr.Macarthur discernment in these trying times
    Robert L. LeBus

  2. My name is Mitchell… Although I disagree that “any professed Christian who does not break with Warren and anyone who would turn their pulpit over to him are enemies of Christ period,” I do agree with your concern over Warren and hope that the Lord would give MacArthur much grace.

    I understand and appreciate your zeal over separating from Rick Warren, but as far as separating from anyone who associates with Rick Warren… that’s a slippery slope from associating with Christians who affirm a biblical and complete gospel. What about all those who associate with Piper? And what about those who associate with those who associate with Piper?

    I suggest you read the link at the top of this blog by Phil Johnson. It’s a fair assessment of all that’s going on. Thanks for your response… I am humbled that you’d bother to read this. 🙂

  3. Mitchell, thanks for sharing this. I had no idea about this until this morning, and it is deeply troubling for me to hear this. I always thought of Piper as a strong number two after MacArthur, too, as Phil Johnson wrote.

    You know, my church also taught Purpose Driven Life, before my pastor, a fundamentalist, dismissed it as being seeker-sensitive. I’m sure you’ve heard that last word, and I believe that Warren is just that – sensitive to those who need a consistent feeling of goodness – catering to the immediate needs of the people instead of preaching repentance and grace with a hope for the future and abandonment of the past, as Ephesians 4:22-24 tells us.

    Here’s the thing that kicks me – according to Piper, Warren can defend himself well, but does he repent for the many people he has misled by not mentioning repentance as often as he should? Having the right doctrine in the head doesn’t mean much when those doctrines are not manifested into action. What about the seminars he taught wherein he told non-believers that they are God’s children as well? Jesus told us that if men are not children of God, they are of the devil.

    Again, thanks for sharing this. I’ll go to God in prayer.

  4. I actually been going to pipers church and was disturbed to hear about him allowing warren in the dg conference i hope the ol lad gets to his senses and repents from his association witht the warren

  5. Please carefully and prayerfully listen to the recent interview that John Piper did with Rick Warren (May 2011). I first met Rick nearly 40 years ago as a fellow student in college. I was so touched by his spiritual depth and passion for the Lord. I haven’t studied Rick – I know him. It has been the Lord who has been leading Rick and Kay in their ministry and marriage. Rick has grown through the years and continues to grow. Rick truly lives God’s grace. God has planned Rick’s life and is using him to reach many that would not have been reached by many other pastors.

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