Friday, April 9, 2010

Name Change, Piper, Warren, etc.

Hey guys. I know that it's been a while, but I am back, with a new name, a new description, and a new story: John Piper and Rick Warren. Don Johnson at Pyromaniacs has a great blog post today about the whole situation (very simply, Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, liberal Evangelical, etc., has been invited to Piper's Desiring God conference in October of this year).

I am concerned when I hear something like this happen. I remember the first time I heard of John Piper; I was in my society Sunday School class at Bob Jones, and our chaplain brought up Christian Hedonism by John Piper. I didn't think very much of it at the time, because I didn't know anything about him, and I had other problems (still KJV only at the time, didn't know squat about the Bible, didn't have a proper understanding of the great Reformed doctrines or Calvinism, etc.). As I went through school, I found many people who were reading his books, and really, and I mean REALLY, enjoying his Puritan Reformed emphasis. A professor at the school, and a good friend of mine, whose church I attend here, has mentioned on more than one occasion that many students have a "love" for all things Piper. I have a friend that works at the same place I do, who has a great enjoyment of some things Piper. I link to his blog (! :) Desiring God is a link on my blog here.

The Bible is specific when it says to be separate and come out from among them (2 Cor. 6:16-18), and yet, many people want to step back, and see what will happen. My concern is that people, for their love of a man, will overlook a serious compromise in the stance of Evangelical Christianity, and it will cause serious problems. Rick Warren is weak on stances of the gospel, and he hasn't (to my knowledge, at least) been consistent in any way in having a clear gospel message at his megachurch. To have the Desiring God conference have the potential to turn into the Purpose Driven Life seminar is very saddening. As HFs (note: any time you see HF, I am referring to Historical Fundys, which is what I am sort of, I guess, maybe straddling that and CE, which is Conservative Evangelical, if you are into labels), we need to be careful. My exhortation in this case is very simple, and it is from the Bible.

I Corinthians 1:11-13
For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, "I follow Paul," or "I follow Apollos," or "I follow Cephas," or "I follow Christ." 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

We can't be so blinded in following men, that when things like this happen, we turn a blind eye. May we be diligent in pursing Godly, helpful relationships, and praying that God gets the increase (I Corinthians 3:5-7).

A Hymn by Charles Wesley

O for a heart to praise my God,
a heart from sin set free,
a heart that always feels thy blood
so freely shed for me.

A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
my great Redeemer's throne,
where only Christ is heard to speak,
where Jesus reigns alone.

A humble, lowly, contrite heart,
believing, true, and clean,
which neither life nor death can part
from Christ who dwells within.

A heart in every thought renewed
and full of love divine,
perfect and right and pure and good,
a copy, Lord, of thine.

Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart;
come quickly from above;
write thy new name upon my heart,
thy new, best name of Love.