Rick Warren
Author: Professor Walter J. Veith, PhD
Publish date:
Summary: Thirty years after he founded Saddleback Church with his wife Kay, Rick Warren is pastor to close to 20,000 people. It's time to examine Warren's theology. Does it really line up with Scripture?
 
 

Dr. Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in California. Purposedrivenlife.com tells us this about Pastor Warren:

He is a pastor, global strategist, theologian, and philanthropist. He’s been often named “America's most influential spiritual leader” and “America’s Pastor.”

As a global strategist, Dr. Warren advises leaders in the public, private, and faith sectors on leadership development, poverty, health, education, and faith in culture.

He has been invited to speak at the United Nations, the World Economic Forum in Davos, the African Union, the Council on Foreign Relations, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, TIME’s Global Health Summit, and numerous congresses around the world. TIME magazine named him one of “15 World Leaders Who Mattered Most in 2004” and in 2005 one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Also in 2005 U.S. News & World Report named him one of “America’s 10 Best Leaders.”i

Some of Warren's statements about doctrine are concerning. Does the Bible matter most to Him, or does he think emotions are enough?

It is my deep conviction that anybody can be won to Christ if you discover the key to his or her heart...It may take some time to identify it. But the most likely place to start is with the person’s felt needs.ii

God won’t ask about your religious background or doctrinal views. The only thing that will matter is, did you accept what Jesus did for you and did you learn to love and trust him?iii

Warren is also taking part in the world ecumenical movement. According to Saddleback.com, "He built the Purpose Driven Network, a global alliance of pastors from 162 countries and hundreds of denominations who have been trained to be purpose driven churches.”iv Here are some of Warren's thoughts on unity across denominations and religions:

I really do feel that these people are brothers and sisters in God's family. I am looking to build bridges with the Orthodox Church, looking to build bridges with the Catholic Church, with the Anglican church, and say "What can we do together that we have been unable to do by ourselves?"v

I'm not talking about a religion this morning. You may be Catholic or Protestant or Buddhist or Baptist or Muslim or Mormon or Jewish...or you may have no religion at all. I'm not interested in your religious background. Because God did not create the universe for us to have religion.vi

I have known many people who believe in the Messiah of Jesus, regardless of what religion they are, because they believe in him. It’s about a relationship, not a religion. You’ve heard this many times.vii

Read about Rick Warren's PEACE plan, which mirrors the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals

 


 

i. "About the Author," PurposeDrivenLife.com

ii. Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995): 219.

iii. Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on earth am I here for? (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002): 34.

iv. "Our Pastor," Saddleback.com

v. Ann Rodgers, "Pastor urges Anglicans to unite and care for poor," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (November 12, 2005).

vi. Rick Warren at the September 2005 United Nations Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, as quoted in "The New Missiology—Keep Your Own Religion, Just Add Jesus," LighthouseTrailsResearch.com.

vii. Rick Warren, as quoted in Tamara Hartzell, In the Name of Purpose: Sacrificing Truth on the Altar of Unity (2006): 261.

This article is adapted from Walter Veith’s Rekindling the Reformation DVD The Jesuits and The Counter Reformation Part 2

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