Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"Dream Theology" - Rick Warren's Sermon At Desiring God (Part 14)

The following commentary corresponds to the following video from 45:46 to 54:13

This section includes the standard fare of man centered moralisms, absence of God's Sovereignty, self promotion, self serving use of bad Bible translations, and your stock standard Rick Warren Scripture twisting. Most of these things have been covered ad infinitum in this series but I thought Daniel Neades had some helpful insights into Rick Warren's "dream theology". How ironic that Warren would choose to close out this nightmare of a message with his self-invented dream theology.

This aricle courtesy of Daniel Neades from the Apprising Ministries website.

Much of modern evangelicalism seems to be fixated upon the idea that we can only progress as individual Christians and the church if we are pursing a dream or vision. This tendency is epitomized in these two claims by Rick Warren:

Nothing happens till somebody starts dreaming. What we need today are great dreamers.

Now, where exactly does the Bible teach any of this? Ah, I see we are helpfully given two Scriptures. Let’s look at those.

Where there is no vision, the people perish. (Proverbs 29:8)

Actually, that’s Proverbs 29:18, not 29:8. But, no matter. It’s easy to make a harmless mistake like that. But there’s another, more serious, problem. Proverbs 29:18 does not teach that ‘what we need today are great dreamers’. Here’s a more accurate translation, with the second half of the verse included:

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.’ (Proverbs 29:18, NKJV)

That’s better. It is now plain that this verse talks neither about our dreams and hopes for the future, nor of some leader’s ‘vision’ for a better tomorrow. No. Rather, it refers to prophetic revelation from God. And specifically, as is made clear by the second half of the verse, it is referring to the revelation of God’s Law (torah), which of course we have in the Scriptures by the prophets. Here’s a tiny snippet about this verse from a reputable commentary:

[Janzen] adds: “The conviction in Prov. 29:18a semantically and syntactically parallels that in Prov. 11:14a, ‘Where there is no guidance (tahbūlôt), a people falls.’ There can be no doubt that tahbūlôt refers to the guiding power of wisdom received from God (cp. Prov. 1:1–7), and as such is generically synonymous with tôrâ (“teaching”). Anyone capable of holding the conviction expressed in xi 14a is capable of holding that ‘where there is no vision the people fall into anarchy.’ ” In sum, hāzôn [‘revelation’] refers here to the sage’s inspired revelation of wisdom. (Waltke, B. K. (2005). The Book of Proverbs. Chapters 15-31. The New International Commentary on the Old Testament p. 446).

What Proverbs 29:18 says about this revealed Law is that, without it, people will ‘run wild’ (as HALOT succinctly puts it). In other words, this verse teaches us that God’s Law acts as a curb on the base instincts and desires of our sinful nature. This understanding is exactly in keeping with orthodox Christian doctrine, and is what Lutherans call the ‘first use of the Law’:

…the Law was given to men for three reasons:

First, that thereby outward discipline might be maintained against wild, disobedient men [and that wild and intractable men might be restrained, as though by certain bars]; secondly, that men thereby may be led to the knowledge of their sins;
thirdly, that after they are regenerate and [much of] the flesh notwithstanding cleaves to them, they might on this account have a fixed rule according to which they are to regulate and direct their whole life… (Epitome of the Formula of Concord, Article VI

Proverbs 29:18 thus has nothing to do with letting ‘God stretch your imagination’, or our need for ‘great dreamers’, but rather with one beneficial use of the revelation given by God through His prophets.

Thanks for that Daniel. Tim Challies says that Rick Warren is an abuser of Scripture and here is one classic example out of a very long and growing list.

More to come . . .

Go On To Part 15
Go Back To Part 13
Go Back To Part 1


Anonymous said...

What do I want to be, Pastor Warren? I want to be obedient to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

What do I want to be in 10 years? More obedient to Him than I am now.

And I'll be both only by His Grace and mercy and Holy Spirit guidance in my life.

Good grief... this man is absurd.

James Sundquist said...

A pastor friend of mine posted this question to me, which ties right into the dialogue on Rick Warren:
"Do you think that Rick Warren is a demon or wolf or misdirected minister?"

My response:
Not to turn the question back on you, but just for the fun of it, what would you call someone who:

1. Has stolen, split and taken over or whose philosophy precipitated entire churches, denominations, and countries?
2. Puts Christians back under the law with compulsory covenants, tithing...the very thing Paul twice eternally damned the Judaizers in Galatians for?
3. Teaches and makes compulsory for members the practice of sorcery (i.e., his Carl Jung occultic-based SHAPE Personality Profling temperament divination?
4. Calls Fundamentalist Christians (the 1920s correction definition) "enemies of the 21st Century"?
5. Calls Christians who are simply trying to be good Bereans "Sanballats from Hell"
6. Forms unholy alliances with heretics like Leonard Sweet, Richard Foster, Ken Blanchard, Joel Osteen, Tony Blair, Peter Drucker, Rupert Murdoch [porn king], Bono, John Maxwell (the first E in Warren's Peace who promoted Edward Thorndike, evolutionist, eugenicist, humanist and atheist) PlanNew Age Authors (right from his pulpit) RC, Muslims?
7. Defies the Great Commandment and tells Jews and Muslims he is not trying to convert them?
8. Lies, waffles, or speaks out of both sides of his mouth re homosexuality...tells leading gay activist Eric [Sawyer] “what can I do to help you get your message across? ...
9. Calls evil good and good evil (as does his partner Piper who slandered authors opposing Warren without a shred of proof...and who still refuses correction, and his pastor and church protect him)?
10. Blesses in an Inaugural Prayer a President who is not a brother in Christ, prays it "Isa", but a socialist, promotes abortion, and now endorses homosexuality?
11. Is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations?
12. Speaks well of spiritists, like New Ager Bernie Siegel who promotes guided visualization, without even a disclaimer?
13. Shuts up his bowels of compassion to all "resisters"...the opposite of 1Jo 3:17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
14. Promotes a Roman Catholic version of his PDL programs?
15. Denies the Doctrine of Justification and Total Depravity? :

"But going back to this thing about heaven and getting into a perfect place. Let’s say we got a scale of 1 to 100. Let’s put Hitler at zero and Mother Teresa at 100 OK. And Steve you’re at 85 and Larry’s at 65 and I’m at 45. The truth is, some people are better than others, there’s no doubt about it. Some people are more moral than others, they’re nicer, they’re less selfish, less self-centered, things like that. But the truth is, nobody makes [it] to perfection… And so somebody’s got to make up that difference. And that’s the gift I believe Jesus came to – to make up the difference between my zero and my 100 or my 45 and 100 -- somebody’s got to make up that difference. " RICK WARREN

I am sure I can come up with 100 points...but this is good for starters.

I certainly pray that Warren repents, I would that NONE perish. But I think it is not so important what I would call Rick Warren, but what Jesus Christ, Paul, Peter, John, and Jude would have said about him, based on similar teachings they are condemn.

Cameron Buettel said...

James, I can't say I know if all 15 are true but certainly several of them. If you have a good surf around on my blog you will get a good grasp of my take on Warren. For the sake of brevity, I would call him a theological chameleon. Most of us don't know what he actually believes because he continually says different things to different people in different situations. I am just amazed that he has survived so long with that continual schtik!