40 Days of a new Reformation?

During Rick Warren’s recent appearance on the Today Show he made the following statement. “I believe that we are possibly on the verge of a New Reformation in Christianity and another Great Awakening in our nation,” said Warren. “The signs are everywhere, including the popularity of this book.” Interesting that the popularity of Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life (PDL) is our gauging of whether or not a “new Reformation” is coming. I would prefer a resurgence of something like an increase Bible sales and theology books if we were to use books to gauge a new Reformation. I guess since Warren uses so many different bible translations in his book that this would increase Bible sales across the board? Okay, bad joke.

Quick story about Rick Warren’s church. I was having my after church lunch today with the two guys from church as usual. One of my buddies, Greg, told me about the time he attended Saddleback Church when he was in town for the Shepherd’s Conference. He said it was like Disney World there. He and another member of my church were two of only about four people who he saw with Bibles in hand. The other two people looked back and them and asked if they were also from the Shepherds Conference. I thought this was an interesting story.

Anyways, I have been unable to find a transcript of the Today Show with Rick Warren, but I did listen to my favorite Lutheran radio show called Issues, Etc. hosted by Todd Wilken. So far this has been my only real source for the interview. The interviewer, Ann Coury, asks Warren about what he means by God. She says, “God, any god? Does it have to be the evangelical Christian God or can it be the Jewish god?” Warren chuckles as he begins his response and says, “Well, this is the God of the Bible.” However, he goes on to say that he’s received letters from Jewish people, Muslim people, Hindu people and non-religious people. As well as stating that this has clearly broken out as more than just a Christian-type book. If all of these different religious types can use this book what does this say? Could be that either the Gospel isn’t offensive as the Bible says or maybe the Gospel isn’t presented or it’s very watered down. I am not sure the Gospel is presented from what I’ve read in some of the places in PDL where one is told to say a prayer and that’s it. Either way, Warren never answered her question as to which god. Perfect opportunity to talk about Jesus and the Gospel. Maybe this is just a book presenting the utility of feeling good about yourself. Wilken mentions of a story told to him by a colleague’s brother who is a Mormon who said about the Mormons that PDL is “what the mormons are all about.” The Mormon really touted the book. Interesting.

I will try and finish the review tomorrow with more comments. I wish Mr. Warren would take a lesson from Dr. Al Mohler or John MacArthur and present the Gospel the way they have done in the past when on these national TV shows. We often don’t get an opportunity like that with millions of viewers watching. Sad……very sad!

40 Sincerelys,
Mark

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in Church Issues,Culture,Evangelism,Southern Baptist,theology

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