Horton Comments on Warren at DGM

Nail, meet hammer.

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  1. Dr. Clark,

    Which do you think is worse: Piper asking Doug Wilson or Rick Warren to be at DGM? At least, Rick Warren doesn’t pretend to be Reformed.

    Jeremy K. Bowser

  2. I think it’s noteworthy that Justin Taylor, one of the chief proponents of “New Calvinism” and a staunch Piperian, tried to make it appear that Rick Warren was not really beyond the pale of what it means to be “Reformed.”

  3. Excellent piece. Horton is clear but gracious. I harbor no ill will toward Warren. I admire in him the very things Horton admires. I am however very concerned about his presentations of “the gospel” for the very reasons Horton mentions. The cross is not our “do over”. The resurrection is not about “God of second chances.” At the very least these things distort the gospel.

  4. Any time I see prominent theologians go out of their way to join forces with those touting global social and environmental issues I become suspicious. Agreeing with Horton, Todd Wilken wrote a nice little essay a few years ago that pointed out the motivation behind their views – he calls them “Bible-believing liberals.” Read about it here:


  5. I recall that a WSC professor spoke at the same DG conference where Doug Wilson spoke in 2009, and R.C. Sproul and Al Mohler are scheduled to speak at the DG conference this fall. If John Piper erred by inviting Wilson and Warren to these events, what responsibility, if any, do other conference speakers have when they’re placed in this situation? If John Piper is sending a mixed message, what about the other speakers?

    • Yes, Julius Kim spoke at the conference last fall. No one took his appearance as an endorsement of Doug Wilson’s theology. Our faculty has published a statement rejecting the Federal Vision theology:


      I’m still more disturbed by the lack of discernment DGM showed by inviting Doug Wilson to address thousands who probably have no idea what Wilson is about theologically or ecclesiastically. I agree entirely with Mike’s comments but I doubt anything terribly bad will come out of having Warren at DGM. It’s a mistake to have him there but not on the order of having DW there.
      I would be careful about setting up degrees of separation.

      We all speak at conferences with people with whom we have strong disagreements. Mike Horton is appearing on a World Evangelization panel at Saddleback later this year. I don’t think that means that Mike is endorsing Saddleback or everyone else at the panel.

      These conferences are not a church, at least not as I understand the visible, institutional church. They’re what Mike rightly calls a “Village Green.”

      • I know your criticisms of the FV will definitely color this, but what makes you more vehement in seeking to deny Wilson a place on the lawn? Is it because DGM is touted as a Reformed ministry? Just curious.

      • Dr. Clark,

        No disagreement with any of your points. And you would know better than me that theologians and academics often participate in panels and conferences where there are disparate opinions. However, I think my concern is that many of these conferences convey (explicitly or implicitly) that everyone is on the same page on the “big” issues. To take the “Together for the Gospel” conference as an example, any casual observer would assume (or should be able to assume) that whoever speaks at that conference is on the up-and-up as someone who proclaims the orthodox gospel. If Doug Wilson showed up at T4G, I think the other participants would have some obligation to oppose his participation.


  6. Warren,

    Could you link us to Justin Taylor’s comments? Are you referring to him pointing out the Modern Reformation interview? Or did he have more substantial comments than that?


    Isn’t that a hard question? Should Sproul and Mohler be so concerned about Rick Warren that they refuse to attend the conference? I don’t think so. I think it’s far more important that they attend the conference to present the real Gospel of Jesus to everyone who will also be hearing Warren’s “purpose-driven” baloney. Should they comment on Warren’s unorthodoxy? Probably. Should they pray for Piper and Warren? Definitely — and I’m confident they will. I’m speaking as someone who doesn’t have an issue with Doug Wilson (possibly because I haven’t taken the time to study FV + its implications), so this is Piper’s first strike with me. It’s hard to know where to draw hard lines (i.e. disassociating yourself with someone because of who they invite to their conferences). Horton’s article was very, very convincing to me, but I’m praying that Warren will come out and apologize for his distortion of the Gospel.

  7. They could send a very loud & clear message by telling John Piper publicly that it’s wrong to give false gospellers an invite to your pulpit.
    And then publicly withdraw from Piper’s conference.
    That’s what I hope will happen. But I’m not holding my breath.

  8. This just the lastest chapter of the downgrade of John Piper, DGM, and BBC

    1. BBC adopts Multi Site/Missional methodologies [ taken from Druckerites [Purpose Driven/Emergent folks] ]
    2. Piper embraces Mark Driscoll & Acts29 Network
    3. Piper gives Doug Wilson a national platform
    4. Piper embraces Rick Warren and appears to be giving him a Calvinistic makeover.


    Mohler is a political animal, he’ll wait to see which side of this issue gives him the most cred in his circles. ( ie. a few months ago when he wrote an Op Ed piece criticizing “The Shack” that was all the buzz all through out the Net and blogosphere. About 6 months earlier in a lecture @ Southern in front of students and alumni pastors in his “SBC must change” lecture, Al criticizes discerning men who made motions at 2009 SBC convention that Lifeway & Ed Stetzer should be held accountable for selling books like the “The Shack” at Lifeway.) FYI: Lifeway used to be The Baptist Bookstore and is the SBC’s publishing arm.

    Al will chose a side benefits Al the most, but if you look at the state of SBC and how to the Purpose Drivenism has infected it like a cancer. I’m doubtful we will hear much from Al on this.

    But, it will interesting to see what Dr. Sproul does now. Ligonier held their West Coast Conference, subject – Christless Christianity featuring Dr. Sproul, Dr. Horton, and Dr. MacArthur, last weekend. I think it would a little hypocritical for Dr. Sproul to share a pulpit/video screen [from my understanding Dr. Sproul will appear via recorded message] with a man who is the chief proponent of what his ministry held a conference against. I know if a flew to California, paid, and went to the conference. I wouldn’t be happy with Ligonier right now, if decides he to remain part of this. I hope that Dr. Sproul will wait for the blow back to die down and respectfully decline being apart of this conference.

    Because no matter what the conference’s original subject matter was, it’s now Rick Warren coming out party now, the celebration of two cult of personality preachers embracing each other. I’m sure the cross promotion will help book and DVD sales.

    Phil Johnson posted this prior to this in his weekly dose of Spurgeon this weekend.

    Shall We Fraternize with Those Who Bury the Gospel under Wagon Loads of Trash?

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