Is Rick Warren A Calvinist?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Hardsheller, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
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    Well let him answer the question.

    A portion of an interview with Rick Warren that was conducted by Modern Reformation Magazine and appears in the Jan-Feb 2004 issue.

    MR: Does the "Forty Days of Purpose" campaign reflect any particular theological stance or is it theologically neutral?


    RW: It is impossible to be theologically neutral. However, it is possible to love, respect, and appreciate the ministry of godly brothers who have theological differences with you. On earth we "see through a glass darkly" so we all need a large dose of humility in dealing with our differences. God's ways are awesome and far beyond
    human mental capabilities. He has no problem reconciling the supposed theological conflicts that we debate when ideas don't fit neatly into our logical, rational systems (Isa. 58:8-9).

    Theologically, I am a monergist and firmly hold to the five solas of the Reformation. It's pretty obvious from the book that I believe in foreknowledge, predestination, (see chapter two, "You Are Not An Accident") and, especially, concurrence -- that God works in and through every detail of our lives, even our sinful choices, to cause his purposes to prevail.

    Proverbs 19:21 (NIV) is one of my life
    verses.

    But rather than categorize myself with a theological label, I want to be known -- like Jesus -- as "a friend of sinners" and -- like
    Paul -- as simply "a servant of Jesus Christ." In the past sixteen years, God has allowed me the privilege of helping encourage and
    train over 300,000 evangelical pastors from a wide spectrum of denominations and 137 different countries. (I am aware that some of
    my Reformed brothers believe that only they have the right to legitimately be called "evangelicals," and I playfully disagree.)

    It's been fascinating to see how people interpret my book through their own theological lenses. On the same day this week I received an email from a Presbyterian brother accusing me of "being an
    Arminian" and another email from a Lutheran brother criticizing me for being "too Calvinistic!" I just remind myself that even Jesus
    could not please everyone, and I refocus on living for an audience of One.

    I'm a fourth-generation Baptist pastor. My great grandfather was led to Christ by Charles Spurgeon, attended Spurgeon's college,
    and was sent by Spurgeon to America to pastor. So I guess God predestined me to be a Baptist! I would ask readers for grace in three areas:

    First, the book contains much of what I believe, but it does not contain ALL of what I believe about any particular doctrine. I actually removed over 400 pages of material that I wrote, but
    decided not to include. Exhaustive studies exhaust people. The book is a devotional, not a dissertation.

    Second, the book is not intended to be a systematic theology. Saddleback's systematic theology is another book called Foundations.
    It is a nine month doctrinal course, written by Pastor Tom Holladay and my wife Kay, for our congregation. To my knowledge, Saddleback
    may be the only church in America that requires a nine month systematic theology course for anyone who wants to serve on our staff or as a lay leader in our church. Over 5,000 members have
    completed Foundations in the past ten years, and we have over 3,000 more members studying the course right now. Saddleback members are
    doctrinally astute.

    Third, the book is about the Christian's walk, not justification. I did include a simple call to Christ in case unbelievers picked up
    the book (which thousands have). But to know my full view of the doctrines of grace, you'd need to have heard my two year, verse-by-
    verse exposition through Romans. We've gone through Romans twice since I started Saddleback.
     
  2. webdog

    webdog
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    If he is, then the "purpose" that every human being has according to him, is a lie. From the preface..."This book is dedicated to you. Before you were born, God planned this moment in your life. It is no accident that you are holding this book. God longs for you to discover the life He created you to live - here on earth, and forever in eternity." To write the book without a warning that it is only for the so called "elect" is careless, untruthful and deceiving.
     
  3. Hardsheller

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    How is this careless, untruthful and deceiving?

    How do you know this is not written for the elect?
     
  4. gb93433

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    Nobody is truly 100% Calvinist or 100% Arminian. If they were they would not believe the Bible. The Calvinist would not believe James and man's obligation. The 100% Armininan would not believe God.
     
  5. webdog

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    Warren's statement "...God longs for you to discover the life He created you to live - here on earth, and forever in eternity.", implies that anyone who reads the book has equal chance of coming to know the Lord, a direct contradiction of reformed theology.
     
  6. Johnv

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    I think he adheres to many Calvinist views, which is fine. He's not a hypercalvinist by any means.
     
  7. Hardsheller

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    Warren's statement "...God longs for you to discover the life He created you to live - here on earth, and forever in eternity.", implies that anyone who reads the book has equal chance of coming to know the Lord, a direct contradiction of reformed theology. </font>[/QUOTE]No - that's what you interpret it to mean. I don't interpret it that way at all.

    When two people read the Bible do they both have an equal chance of becoming Christians?
     
  8. Johnv

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    I agree with you (and I'm glad you said it first :cool: )
     
  9. Hardsheller

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    Webdog

    If I were to hand out Bibles and say to people as I handed them out.

    "Reading this book may change your life forever. As you read you may discover that God is speaking through the words just as though it was all written for you."

    Would this fit your idea of Reformed Theology?
     
  10. webdog

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    Warren's statement "...God longs for you to discover the life He created you to live - here on earth, and forever in eternity.", implies that anyone who reads the book has equal chance of coming to know the Lord, a direct contradiction of reformed theology. </font>[/QUOTE]No - that's what you interpret it to mean. I don't interpret it that way at all.

    When two people read the Bible do they both have an equal chance of becoming Christians?
    </font>[/QUOTE]Yes they do.

    I don't understand whay you are asking in your second question.
     
  11. Johnv

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    Yes they do.</font>[/QUOTE]The strict Calvinist model is that one's election is set in stone regardless of whether one reads scripture or not.

    So when a strict Calvinist uses that same arguement to critique Warren, it carries the weight of a double-standard.
     
  12. webdog

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    Yes they do.</font>[/QUOTE]The strict Calvinist model is that one's election is set in stone regardless of whether one reads scripture or not.

    So when a strict Calvinist uses that same arguement to critique Warren, it carries the weight of a double-standard.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Exactly.
     
  13. Hardsheller

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    Two people who read the Bible have the exact same chance of becoming a Christian.

    Interesting.

    Several things this implies.

    1. That all men possess the same ability to believe the Bible and come to Faith in Christ.

    2. That the catalyst for Conversion resides in Man and how he interprets what he reads and hears.

    3. That there is no outside spiritual "cause" that does not work on all men equally.

    Several Questions this raises.

    1. What does the Holy Spirit do in a person's life prior to Conversion? Anything? The Same in every person?

    2. If the Holy Spirit comes into a person's life immediately upon Acceptance of Jesus Christ where was He the splitsecond before? Hovering? Waiting? Illuminating the Mind and Heart of the Reader or Hearer? Encouraging Faith?

    3. You've heard the term "Surprised by Faith" in which the new believer says he or she is awed by what they have done. If you've heard this or maybe you felt it yourself immediately after your salvation then why do you think people are "surprised" if they made the final decision?
    Does this not defy rational thought?

    4. Why are some folks more receptive to the Word and to the Gospel than others?
     
  14. webdog

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    Correct. This is not what man implies, but what God's Word implies.
    This stinks of strawman. If what you mean by this is all men have the same ability to exercise ourr inherrant faith given to us by God, this is correct. If you imply that there is something whithin man that on our own leads to salvation, this is false. The second half of the question is false. There is nothing within man that can interpret the things of God. The Holy Spirit who draws all men does this.
    This is a blatantly false strawman not worthy of discussion. Come on, HS, you know better!
    While I have never seen the Holy Spirit in action, I cannot predict what His actual doings are, as nobody could. The Bible does tell us that if Jesus Christ be lifted up, He will draw ALL men to Him. I take it, then, the Holy Spirit is working on the heart prior to conversion.
    If you are not "in", you are "out".
    :rolleyes:
    This is the logical answer, but since we cannot see the Holy Spirit, we cannot be certain what He "actually" does.
    This is the first time in my life I have heard this phrase.
    This is a good question. If we can resist the drawing of the Holy Spirit, which is obvious since "all those" drawn to Christ will not accept Him, we must have the ability to "choose life".
     
  15. Jarthur001

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    as to the OP..my thought is that Warren conforms to the crowd he is in. He wants to be loved by all.
     
  16. webdog

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    I agree. Saddleback is classified as a "seeker sensitive" church, which if he is a reformer, makes no sense.
     
  17. Jarthur001

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    Hi ya Webdog,

    The "strawman" is starting to be used as a strawman. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with you or HS. I just see this used alot with no backing. If it is a "strawman" then it would be easy to refute. As above...

    ***********
    This is a blatantly false strawman not worthy of discussion.
    ***********

    My understanding of strawman in the context of a debate is..

    " a weak argument... easily refuted...gains no points for your side."

    A "blatantly false strawman" sounds more like a lie to me. Where a "Strawmen" are true statements, yet they carry no weight in the debate...and do not prove the other side wrong.

    That is my strawman...and i'm sticking to it.

    In Christ..james
     
  18. Jarthur001

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    I agree. Saddleback is classified as a "seeker sensitive" church, which if he is a reformer, makes no sense. </font>[/QUOTE]Hey Webdog,

    This statement from the OP.....
    "But rather than categorize myself with a theological label"
    ..tells me he would NEVER call himself a reformer. He does not want to carry that label.
     
  19. webdog

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    Strawman: The author attacks an argument which is different from, and usually weaker than, the opposition's best argument.

    This comment is not one that is just weaker, but something totally untrue. This was never even insinuated before his reply, making it a "false strawman".

    There are arguments based on statements which can be refuted, then there are arguments made off the wall with little or no truth.
     
  20. Jarthur001

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    There are arguments based on statements which can be refuted, then there are arguments made off the wall with little or no truth. [/QB][/QUOTE]


    you have no argument from me... [​IMG]

    besides...i'm not the lord of grammer...i just use it in another way
     

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