Friday, August 22, 2014

Against Fuzzy Gospels

The article by Brian Johnson that I posted yesterday mentions Rick Warren's anemic presentation of the Gospel. This problem should not be minimized, especially when it risks plunging people into false conversions. Johnson writes:
Warren’s weak theology and misuse of scripture is significant and replete throughout his material.  Conspicuously absent in “The Purpose Driven Life” is a clear definition of what it is to be born-again. There is no question in my mind that this is one of the reasons it remains on the best-seller lists.  Perhaps the following quote is as close as Warren comes to explaining what it is to be redeemed:

“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?” (Warren: 34).

Really?  If that is true, then the Mormons should take great comfort.  After urging his readers to believe God chose them and receive the Holy Spirit for power to “fulfill your life purpose” (Warren 58), he offers a little prayer that will save people. According to Warren, here is how you are saved: “I invite you to bow your head and quietly whisper the prayer that will change your eternity, ‘Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you.” Then he makes this promise, “If you sincerely meant that prayer congratulations! Welcome to the family of God!” (Warren: 59) 

Where is the wrath of God against sinners?  Where is the atonement of the blood of Christ?  This is one example of Warren’s weak theology.
Compare Warren's wishy-washy prayer to this powerful Gospel presentation by Steve Lawson:

Lawson faithfully presented the complete Gospel message, sharing the bad news that makes the Gospel good news. Notice how much doctrine He included. The doctrines of man's sinfulness, Christ's substitutionary atonement, His resurrection, hell and others make up this message. These doctrines are necessary...essential.  Contrary to Rick Warren's warm and very fuzzy assurances, God indeed will ask if we depended on these doctrinal truths.

We must take salvation much more seriously than Rick Warren seems to. False conversions may fill pews and offering plates, but the eternal implications make me shudder.

1 comment:

  1. Always enjoy your posts...always encouraged to do what is right in my own life. Enjoy both the teaching and the sharing from your own story.

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