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Chad

Chris,

What has happened to you,man?

Now you have to resort to making stuff up to propel your venom against someone who showed nothing but grace and hospitatlity to you?

This is pathetic and nothing but childsplay. New blog title for you Chris: Extremely Childish Theology.

Kairos

Chad,

Are you the guy who argued against the virgin birth at .info and the guy who said that Genesis was allegory?

Jim

Hey man. Don't forget to make the calculator to objectively score the value of a sermon by how many time the right Christian words are said. They should teach that in seminary! That should chalk up score for rewards in heaven.

Don't forget what the Gospel is about and the reason the church exists, Chris.

Chad

Kairos-

You mean the guy who affirmed the virgin birth and believes that Gen 1 and 2 is a profound truth that extends beyond literalism? If so, yeah,that is me.

What does that have to do with Chris making up things to slander another Christian pastor?

Or are you one of those guys who because you disagree with someone on one theological point you disagree with them on everything? Do you have the integrity to admit that Chris is wrong to post such garbage about another Christian or do you think this is perfectly acceptable behavior?

Chris Rosebrough

Chad,

I'm sorry you don't like my calculator.

In my opinion, it makes an important point regarding the fundamental differences between how Rick Warren and other Purpose-Driven preachers misuse God's law and as a result are misleading people into pietism and self-righteousness.

The goal of the calculator is use God's law the way it is supposed to be used. Scripture is clear. The law neither saves nor sanctifies us. The purpose of the law is to show us our sin.

Rom. 3:19   Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

Gal. 3:1   O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

BTW, how did your good works measure up and how good is your obedience? If you faired as badly as I did then I have great news for you. Jesus Christ died for your sins, even the ones you committed today as a Christian. Repent of your self-righteousness and your sins and believe the good news. Christ has secured your salvation in total. Therefore, God doesn't need your good works and neither do you. Your neighbor needs them. Therefore, in Christ you are set free. You are freed from sin and its consequences and free to love your neighbor for the sake of Christ.

Chad

Chris,

It is indeed good news for you, Chris, that the division you cause, hate you stir up and the slandering of Christians you commit can be wiped clean from the slate. But where grace abounds, sin should not.

Your calculator is a shining example of all that is wrong about the church in these days of of the lack of piety in most Christians.

You should be ashamed.

Kairos

Chad,

i think Chris' calculator is brilliant. I've already emailed it to all my friends.

Chad

Of course you would, Kairos. Birds of a feather. Misery loves company.

I love how you guys have to now make stuff up like this and word clouds in order to have something to speak out against.

How about speaking out against how many children are dying everyday from lack of food? Or how many chiildren are orphaned everyday due to HIV? No. That stuff can't even make your radar when you are too busy "defending" your own self righteousness.

Chris Rosebrough

Chad, what exactly should I be ashamed about? I took the typical laundry list of Purpose-Driven good works and combined it with nine of the ten commandments and then provided people a way to rate their obedience.

I then provided clear passages of scripture that speak to what rewards we should expect for our obedience and gave people Biblical feedback that points them to Christ and the Biblical Gospel of the forgiveness of sins won by Jesus Christ on the cross. Furthermore, I made the very good and loving suggestion for people to find a church that preaches Christ Crucified for sinners every Sunday rather than practical steps for achieving obedience in order to earn rewards.

Furthermore, I've provided you with clear passages of scripture that show that I was using God's law the way it was intended to be used and a clear passage that shows we are not sanctified through the law.

Again, how does your obedience measure up? Are your good works good enough? How many heavenly rewards did the calculator say that you earned through your own merits and righteousness? Any? Did you score a perfect 10 on any of the categories? I bet you scored better than I did. But is that going to be good enough?

Chad

Chris and Kairos-

Does Warren teach and believe that one is saved by the Law and obedience to the law rather than the shed blood of Jesus Christ? Yes or no?

Chris Rosebrough

Chad,

Not so fast. I have asked you quite a few questions here. You haven't answered them.

catransplant48

Chris: Chad asked you a simple question. Does Warren teach and believe that one is saved by the Law and obedience to the law rather than the shed blood of Jesus Christ? Yes or no?

Chris, what are you afraid of? You know the answer is no! C'mon, bro, get real.


catransplant48

I see you removed my post. Chris, that is sad. As is your calculator. Just plain sad. What are you afraid of? I'm serious.

catransplant48

Sorry, now it's back up. But will you answer the question, please???

And I stand by what I said about the calculator.

Chris Rosebrough

Catransplant,

1. I did not delete your comment even for a second.

2. I have not made the claim that Warren teaches salvation by works. I have made the claim that he teaches sanctification through the law and through human efforts and through behavior modification. I also maintain, vigorously, that this emphasis in his preaching is wrong and is not the correct Biblical doctrine of sanctification. One reason it is wrong is because Christ is clear that the twofold message of the Christian faith is repentance AND the forgiveness of sins in Jesus' name. Warren constantly preaches a form of the law but he withholds the gospel and only on rarest of occasions does he mention the forgiveness of sins and even more rarely does he extend Christ's forgiveness to believers.

I discussed this with him face to face. He even defended his preaching methods and we dialogued about it at length and I am even more convinced that his preaching philosophy is at odds with the scripture.

BTW, I'd like to know how you scored on the rewards calculator. Are your good works and obedience going to be enough for you to earn heavenly rewards based upon your own righteousness and merits? Has Purpose-Driven preaching been able to produce the obedience that God's law demands? Did you score a perfect 10 in even one of the good works categories? Do you think you'll be able to pull that off before you die?

chris c.

this is awesome. i think you just started the best new internet forward of the year.

Chris Rosebrough

Jim,

Don't forget what the Gospel is about and the reason the church exists, Chris.

Well let's see here...

2Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Is this what you had in mind?

How about?...

1Cor. 15:1   Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

1Cor. 15:3   For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures

or

Luke 24:46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

or

1Cor. 2:1   And I, when I came to you, brothers,did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Jim Pierce

Chris,

Aside from convincing myself of a few little lies... I scored perfectly!

Chris Rosebrough

Jim,

I always knew you were far more pious than I was.

BTW, I love your blog.

Chad

Chris,
You being a Lutheran I am not suprised in the least that you would argue over sanctification. Just be aware that your limited view of sanctification (or negative view) is not the only view. I used to be Lutheran myself and am now a Wesleyan in large part because I disagree strongly with Luther's lack of theosis in his theology.

Warren teaches people who to be more Christ like. You imply in your posts and in this stupid calculator stunt that it is all about works to get closer to God. That is just not true and you know it. Being a disciple of Christ, however, means we learn how to appropriate the teachings of Jesus to our lives because we believe Jesus came not only to give life but life abundantly - and that is not just some future hope, but a hope that we can taste today by the Holy Spirit working in and through us. It is because we have been reconciled to God that we are to now take on the ministry of reconciliation and BE reconciled. We are to BE in frienship with God and live as though we are children of light, not darkness. This takes relearning some things and dropping some bad habits/sins (what Wesley calls negative sanctification) and taking on new habits or virtues (what he called positive sanctification). In all, we should be able to say that we are growing and moving on to perfection (a command of our Lord).

Your hang up is on the word perfection and your posts show your ignorance to the full teachings of sanctification by Wesley and others. Don't let your ignorance be a stumbling block for others. Your questions to others about how well are they living up to the law miss the point entirely and show a person who would rather beat someone down into their sin and rejoice in it rather than lift them up and encourage a fellow brother or sister along in the faith.

THAT is why you should be ashamed.

Chad

After Jesus tells the crowds to love God with all your heart soul strength and mind and also love your neighbors as himself and then drops a bomb by exhorting them to be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect, I am trying to imagine who it might have been that went jumping around the crowds whispering in their ears, "so how's that working for ya, huh? huh? huh? are you doing it perfectly? are you getting all 10's? How's this stuff Jesus said working out for you, huh, huh?" Hmmm. Gee, who might have had the motive to act in such a way and instill within the faithful doubt? *insert Dana Carvey's Church Lady skit*


This, Chris, is exactly how you come across, intentional or not.


catransplant48

Chris: My post was up and disappeared and then came back on...thus my apolgy. No biggie.

You say: "I have made the claim that he teaches sanctification through the law and through human efforts and through behavior modification."

You are entitled to your opinion, Chris. But you are wrong. He teaches salvation through the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin, and he talks about things that help us serve each other and the lost, dying world. Since when has that been unbiblical? We aren't saved to sit on the sidelines. But I could. Rick Warren is not twisting my arm to do anything. But in listening to what he has to say I am motivated to take the gifts God has given to me and use them in my own, unique way to serve the Body and to help the lost hear the Good News. Tell me what in the world is so God-awful wrong with that?

You say: "Warren constantly preaches a form of the law but he withholds the gospel and only on rarest of occasions does he mention the forgiveness of sins and even more rarely does he extend Christ's forgiveness to believers."

Again, you are flat out wrong. It is offered at every service I've attended at Saddleback.

You ask: "Did you score a perfect 10 in even one of the good works categories? Do you think you'll be able to pull that off before you die?"

According to Jesus, I not only never will achieve perfection here on earth, I don't have to; so what is the point? What does it prove? No one - including Rick Warren - tells me this is what I need to do.

Your attempts to justify your opinions are simply not based on fact.

Chris Rosebrough

Catransplant,

I live very close by to Saddleback. I have attended many services over the past couple of years and listen to every single sermon Warren preaches. I have heard him preach the gospel. But again it is rare. As far as the obedience piece. Take it up with Warren. He is the one who laid out his philosophy regarding purpose-driven preaching and he is the one who laid out his belief that preaching should produce obedience. That is what his preaching is ALL about. Read my notes from the purpose driven community conference. I quote Warren verbatim.

Chad

his belief that preaching should produce obedience.

What should Jesus' Sermon on the Mount have produced? Is "turn the other cheek" optional for Christians? If I do as Jesus asked in that sermon, am I being obedient?

You dont have to make everything so exclusive of each other. You admit he preaches the gospel (no doubt the way YOU think the gospel should be preached). The rest of the time perhaps he preaches the gospel in a way you don't recognize or understand, yet one that reaches many people.

What should preaching produce, Chris, if it should NEVER produce obedience? Do you think Christians should be disobedient?

Chris Rosebrough

Chad,

Wesley teaches Christian Perfection. I think you should pick up a copy of his "Plain Account of Christian Perfection". BTW, I grew up in Wesleyanism (Nazarene). I know all about it. It is another form of pietism and works righteousness and it mis-uses and mis-applies God's law. It produces pharisees, hypocrites, atheists, liberals and suicides.

As for Theosis. I reject that theology out right. It is not Biblical.

Chris Rosebrough

Chad,

What should Jesus' Sermon on the Mount have produced?

Answer: Faith

Chad

lol Chris.

Well, none of us will ever fault you for trying to reach Christian perfection. I was a Naz once too (PK). Methodist now. I preached a sermon series once based on Wesley's Christian perfection. My guess is, due to how you have mischaracterized it, that you have the same illusions that most congregations in the Wesleyan tradition have. Sorta like most Calvinists not really understanding Calvin.

Not everyone agrees with what you reject, Chris. Try to show some humility in how you talk about the lofty things of God and others who profess Christ as their Lord and Savior. Oh wait - that might require you to be obedient to God's Word. Nevermind.

Chad

What should Jesus' Sermon on the Mount have produced?

Answer: Faith

The Gospel according to Chris R:

When you come upon your neighbor and see them bruised and beaten on the side of the road your response should be, "I have FAITH that someone will come along and help you. Peace be with you." Now go and do likewise.

Chris Rosebrough

Chad,

Will you point me to one reference in the Gospels where Jesus healed a person because of their 'great obedience'?

Have you not read Hebrews 11? Is that about obedience or is it about faith? How about Paul. Was he excited about his perfect obedience through the law? NOT AT ALL he considers it rubbish.

Have you never read Philipians 3?

Phil. 3:2   Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith

Warren actually thinks he is producing obedience through his preaching. But he is not. He is relying on his 'applications' and 'applied principles' but he is not teaching the obedience of faith.

Chris Rosebrough

Chad,

Again you are dead wrong. This not the gospel according to Chris Rosebrough. This IS the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Chad

Chris,
You hangup is your myopic view of faith and the work of sanctification wrought in us by the Holy Spirit as we walk in step with him. Warren does not believe it is HE that produces obedience but the Holy Spirit through the teaching of the Word.

You have sat with Warren. Would Warren deny that it is faith in Christ that brings about righteousness? Yes or no?

Will you point me to one reference in the Gospels where Jesus healed a person because of the 'great obedience'?

There you go again, Chris, setting up a false dichotomy. When you ask a question like this you are making the implication that it is our obedience (works) that saves us or heals us. You have already admitted that Warren does not teach we are saved by our works but that this is about sanctification. Why do you keep mixing them up?

Now, the better question is AFTER Jesus healed them, how often did he say, "now go and sin no more." How have you done with that, Chris? That is part of the nugget of sanctification teaching you don't seem to get and is what is missing in most churches today. We simply ignore most of what Jesus has said and taught in favor of what Paul has said. Can you at least admit that you are doing this?

And speaking of Paul, what he considered RUBBISH was all the stuff he tried to keep to MAKE him righteous before God (i.e. save him). None of that is necessary because salvation is free gift - it is grace. However, that does not excuse us from then picking up our cross and FOLLOWING Christ. That requires obedience, Chris. And your nice, amorphous talk about faith and the holy spirit, while dropping the right words (yay for your word cloud) do little to teach a new Christian how to now LIVE as a Christian. Warren is speaking to that obvious gap in your theology.

Could it be the reason you protesteth so much is because you feel convicted?

grace and peace,
Chad

Chad

This not the gospel according to Chris Rosebrough. This IS the gospel of Jesus Christ.

My bad. According to Chris R, THIS is the gospel of Jesus Christ:

When you come upon your neighbor and see them bruised and beaten on the side of the road your response should be, "I have FAITH that someone will come along and help you. Peace be with you." Now go and do likewise.

Is that really what you meant to say, Chris? We must be reading very different gospels.

Chad

James 1:27
Pure and undefiled religion before God our Father is this: to visit the orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

As a good Lutheran you may never had read James. But should you come upon this passage what should it engender in us? Is this something we should try to obey? Or do you think orphans and widows are "spiritual entities" and we all just need to have more faith and they will disappear?

As I said before, you should direct all your energies against Warren towards being obedient to what James calls pure and undefiled religion - take care of the orphans and widows. If you would like tips on how to do this I think Warren might have a few.

Chris Rosebrough

Chad,

Now, the better question is AFTER Jesus healed them, how often did he say, "now go and sin no more."

Actually, Jesus only said that ONCE. It occurs in John 5:14. (The only other time it occurs is in John 8:11 but that passage is NOT in the earliest manuscripts of the New Testament.)

The one time Jesus says go and sin no more in John 5:14 is very interesting because the person who Jesus healed didn't really want to get healed and the man who was healed ratted on Jesus for healing him on the Sabbath. Jesus actually said to him "Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”

Again your beef is not with me it is with the scriptures.

Gal. 3:1   O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?

Gal. 3:7   Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

Gal. 3:10   For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

Chris Rosebrough

Chad,

I have been talking this entire time about the obedience that comes from faith. I love the epistle of James! James is SPOT on when he says that faith without works is dead. You cannot say that you have faith without works. Such 'faith' is not Christian faith. Good works are the fruit of faith and they are for your neighbor's sake not your own.

My point is that Christian preaching MUST always include BOTH law and gospel. The law to convict us of our sins and wickedness and drive out any delusions of self-righteousness, show us what a good work is, and the gospel to comfort us and direct the focus of our faith to Christ.

True saving faith always is accompanied by fruit and good works. But naked obedience to the law is something completely different than faith and its fruits.

Chad

True saving faith always is accompanied by fruit and good works. But naked obedience to the law is something completely different than faith and its fruits.

Well, glory to God. Since you have already confessed that Warren preaches salvation by grace through faith alone and not by works then you really should let this go. "Naked obedience to the law" is NOT what Warren is advocating and you know it.

There are plenty of things in this world to get upset over Chris and put some righteous anger towards making a difference. Creating a strawman to topple is not one of them.

Take care.

Chris Rosebrough

Chad,

No you are dead wrong. Warren IS preaching and teaching naked obedience to the law. That is my opinion after reading and listening to hundreds of Warren sermons, conference lectures and just about everything he has written from books to magazine articles and emails as well as a personal face to face meeting with him.

this is not a straw man. Warren said he preaches to produce obedience and that the he believes the Bible is a guidebook for living. Those are his words, his arguments not mine.

catransplant48

Chris, you wrote: I grew up in Wesleyanism (Nazarene). I believe the Nazarenes teach that you can lose your salvation.....interesting.

You say: "Warren said he preaches to produce obedience and that the he believes the Bible is a guidebook for living."

Yes, he does. Yes it is. But you conveniently left out the other biblical doctrines he preaches....like the gospel. Like salvation through faith in Christ alone. Like the fact that we all need a Savior and Jesus is the One Way, the Truth and the Life.

Here's the outline from Saddleback last weekend:

The Roots of Our Faith – Part 1
Rick Warren
July 12-13, 2008

APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived
by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius
Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended into hell. On
the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at
the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living
and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of
saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the
life everlasting. Amen

“For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 (NIV)
___________________________
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Genesis 1:1 (NLT)
___________________________
“Every good and perfect gift … is from the Father who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 (NIV)
___________________________
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who honor Him…” Psalm 103:13 (NIV)
___________________________
“If my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.” Psalm 27:10 (NLT)

“Jesus is the kind of High Priest that meets our needs. He is holy; he
has no fault or sin in him...” Hebrews 7:26 (TEV)
BORN
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born for you; he is Christ
the Lord.” Luke 2:11 (NIV)
SUFFERED
“But he took our suffering on him and felt our pain for us... He was
wounded for the wrong we did and he was crushed for the evil we did.
The punishment, which made us well, was given to him, and we are
healed because of his wounds.” Isaiah 53:4-5 (NCV)
CRUCIFIED
“Now God has made you his friends again. He did this through Christ's
death in the body so that he might bring you into God's presence as
people who are holy, with no wrong, and with nothing of which God can
judge you guilty.” Col. 1:22 (NCV)
DIED & BURIED
“Jesus became like men and he died so that he could free us. We were
like slaves all of our lives because of our fear of death.” Heb. 2:15 (ICB)
DESCENDED & ROSE AGAIN
“If Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless, and you are
still under condemnation for your sins.” 1 Cor. 15:17 (NLT)
ASCENDED
"When he ascended on high, he led a parade of captives, and he gave
gifts to people. When it says, "He went up," what does it mean? It
means that he first came down to the earth.” Eph. 4:8-9 (NCV)
IS SEATED
“Will Christ condemn us? No! For he is the one who died for us and
came back to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next
to God, pleading for us there in heaven.” Rom. 8:34 (LB)
WILL COME AGAIN
“When he comes back, he will take these dying bodies of ours
and change them into glorious new bodies like his own, using
the same mighty power that he will use to conquer everything,
everywhere.” Phil. 3:21 (LB)

Pretty subversive stuff this Rick Warren guy preaches, isn't it? And BTW, he DID speak about the Good News of the saving grace of Christ and how one could receive the free gift of eternal life.

Call me crazy but it sure seems to me he isn't saying anything offensive or unbiblical here.

Chris, as Chad accurately wrote: "Since you have already confessed that Warren preaches salvation by grace through faith alone and not by works then you really should let this go. 'Naked obedience to the law' is NOT what Warren is advocating and you know it. There are plenty of things in this world to get upset over Chris and put some righteous anger towards making a difference."

Amen.

JDart

Chris,

I was at Saddleback for a conference and have read as much as I have time to read from Rick Warren, and I agree with your assessment wholeheartedly.

Forgive me for coming late to the game. A couple of observations, if I may, with the apology in advance that I may have limited internet access for the continuing conversation, though I will certainly make every effort to participate if my thoughts are deemed response-worthy.

Thoughtful public critique of public statements is not the same thing as slander. Defamation is not the same thing as argument, even if an instrument of argumentation seeks to be witty. I guess I don't see the excel sheet as much more than the logical application of the heart of the message that Rick Warren puts forth.

Secondly, the word clouds from a previous post are helpful in visually displaying quantitatively what was being said. There's not much getting around the fact that much of what Warren and the Saddleback crew preach is focused more on ME and less upon JESUS. "I" am the center of those sermons. I'm the important part. I'm generally the subject of the verbs, rather than the object. That said, application is good. Application of the Gospel to me is crucial. This is why we preach. But I'm not the point, or rather, I oughtn't to be the point. To say it another way, anywhere you cut the Scripture it bleeds Jesus; it doesn't bleed "me." Preaching in the churches ought to be the same. Anywhere you cut a sermon it ought to bleed Jesus and his death and resurrection for the salvation of the world.

I also take issue with the notion that the Bible is somehow a handbook or guidebook for righteous living. Certainly righteous living is good, but we simply don't do that, try as we might. With Isaiah we must confess that even our righteous acts are as filthy rags. No one is righteous, nor can we be. We can merely be wrapped (passive voice) in the righteousness of Christ for us. I think this is exactly where Jesus is going with the Beatitudes. Blessed are the poor in spirit. What is that but a descriptor of one who is confronted with the reality of his own unworthiness and sinfulness and inability to pull himself up by the bootstraps and make it all better? And why are they blessed? For theirs is the reign of God--the reigning activity of God: Jesus Christ, crucified and risen from the dead in victory over that sin. While the scriptures do give us guidelines for the conduct of our lives, if I had to attach a definition to them I would simply quote Paul's letter to the Romans: "it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes."

I think I've rambled some. Forgive me. Writing in a time crunch, not having fully read every preceding comment.

Chris Rosebrough

Catransplant,

I already said that I have heard Warren preach the gospel. I can provide other examples that are even better than his recent series on the creed. In fact, Warren informed me that he would be preaching the gospel during the Creed sermons weeks ago. And I am always thankful when Warren does.

The problem again is that his fundamental preaching philosophy is that he believes the purpose of preaching is produce obedience and he believes the Bible is a handbook for living.

I believe that the scripture clearly teaches that the purpose of preaching is twofold. The first part involves exposing and condemning sins through the preaching of God's law, this produces contrition and sorrow for sins and destroys an notions of self-righteousness. The second part involves preaching the gospel to both believers and unbelievers. The gospel tells us that we have a loving and merciful savior who conquered sin, death and the devil and suffered and died for every sin that we've committed and will commit. The preaching of the gospel produces repentance and faith through the power of the Holy Spirit as promised in the scriptures. In fact, the life of a Christian is a life of continual and daily repentance. Obedience and good works are the fruit of faith and they are cultivated in a Christian's life through the hearing, reading, learning and meditation of God's Word and through the Lord's Supper.

Therefore, if a pastor wants to produce 'obedience' in a Christian's life then he does so by opening God's Word and preaching both God's law and the gospel. He must terrify and comfort. Destroy and build. This is only accomplished through faithful and careful preaching and teaching from the scriptures. Oh and by the way, the entire Bible is really about Christ and his rescue of humanity. Therefore, you can preach Christ and the gospel from literally any passage of scripture both Old and New.

Warren's believes that he can produce repentance and obedience by teaching you how to obey God's law. That utterly misses the entire purpose of the law. The scripture is clear about what the purpose of the law is.

Romans 3:20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

Giving people 7 easy steps to avoid temptation is tom foolery because I have 10,000 ways to give into temptation and have already given in to it a hundred times today and its only 7am. Rather than giving people steps to avoiding temptation Warren should be using God's law to convict and expose the sinfulness of giving into temptation and let people feel the full impact of what their disobedience means in light of the fact that God is just and threatens to judge and punish sinners. This is honest preaching that tells the truth and uses the law the way God intended it to be used. THEN, once everyone has been leveled by the law including you and including Warren, THEN you offer the good news. The good news is the message of the forgiveness of sins won by Jesus Christ on the cross.

I used to be an evangelical and this way of thinking and preaching didn't make sense to me because I mistakenly believed that the gospel was only something that was supposed to be preached to unbelievers in order to get them to make a decision to 'follow Jesus' and that once they were 'in' then they only needed the law and steps to keeping it. But, that is wrong, wrong, wrong.

We sinned yesterday, the day before and we've already sinned today. We must never be led to believe that the solution for our sin is for us to 'try harder' or apply 'three simple steps'. The solution to our sin is Jesus Christ and he conquered our sins by dying for them and forgiving them. We are called to abide in Jesus. That is only done by faith not by works of the law.

Ultimately, the law is not manageable. Galatians 2:21 is clear, "for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose."

Christians are not called to the righteousness of the law, we are called to the righteousness of faith. That faith is focused firmly on Jesus Christ, His cross and the forgiveness of all sins offered there for all who believe. We never get to move from under the shadow of the Cross. In fact, we are to daily take up our crosses and follow Jesus to Golgotha.

catransplant48

Chris:

So you have heard Rick Warren preach the gospel (are you listening, all those of you who have been blogging on this site, claiming "Rick Warren preaches a false gospel?) Yet you take issue with RW because he believes the Bible is a handbook for living? Are you serious? You honestly have a problem with that?? And if you don't believe that to be true, then would you please enlighten me as to what you believe the purpose of the Bible is?

My Bible is well-worn and well-read. It is cherished because through it God speaks to me. When I need answers I don't turn to man or self-help books. I turn to Scripture. I open my Bible and read. God's Word reveals the meaning of life and the responsibility of human beings to their Creator. God's inerrant, unchanging Word - the Bible - is indeed my guidebook for living and I'm not ashamed to say so. The truth of what God's Word - the Bible - says is that in Christ we have been set free. That is the truth whether we believe it or not. It is the truth whether we feel it or not. This is the key. We're not being called to act on our feelings, but on the truth of God's Word.

Now, if not in the Bible, where am I supposed to find that truth? Particularly if I am totally brand new to Christianity, where am I supposed to turn to for help in understanding how I should live? Where am I supposed to learn about the life of Jesus and what He said? Where am I supposed to find the truth, if not in God's Word?

Romans 8:1 gives me great peace and the Holy Spirit stirs my heart to help those who don't have it (through Christ Jesus) find it.

Bill

First off, Chris hit it on the nail with his calculator. Through the law there is knowledge of sins, the law crushes man as it's supposed to do. God designed the law for that purpose and not for self righteousness like Warren uses it.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Isaiah 64:6 6 But we are all like an unclean thing,And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags

Second Rick Warren, because of Robert Schuller, and all the self esteem theology (being positive, making people feel good) does not use the law in a proper manner which is to show our sinful condition. The law should be preached to show man's unrighteousness (the bad news tha we are sinners and lawbreakers deserving hell) and the gospel (the good news of salvation) to show god's righteousness.

Third, I get the impression that Rick Warren teaches a kind of free grace theology, which is false teaching. See the following two links if you want to read more about this false teaching that originated in dispensationalism, Campus Crusade for Christ, Dallas Theological Seminary etc.:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Grace_theology
http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/freegrace.html

This theology has the following flaws"

1) There's no repentance towards sin, you don't need to acknowledge that you deserve hell because of your sin. Instead all that's required to be saved is to trust in Christ, without acknowledging your sin. The problem with this is that people don't know what they've been saved from, since the law was never preached to them to show their sinful condition.

2) Free grace theology is antinomian. We can continue in sin and enjoy living in sin, without even having to acknowledge that sin is wrong and still be saved, they call it carnal christians.

3)There are carnal christians and good christians. They all go to heaven but they get different rewards in heaven based on their works. This is typical Rick Warren teaching who falsely teaches (see his Purpose Driven Life book and sermons) that belief in Christ no matter whether you repent of your sin or not gets you to heaven, but works determine what place you will have in heaven as Chris shows in his calculator).

catransplant48

Bill, unfortunately you are laying out a multitude of inaccurate assumptions and false accusations.

Haven't you ever read Ephesians 2:8-9? For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

You seriously, honestly believe Rick Warren doesn't teach this? Yikes.

Bill

So Warren;s false teachings are double (as per my previous post on free grace):

1) You can be saved without acknowledging your sin, simply by turning towards Christ. I'm telling this is the dead faith that James talks about or easy believism that we see today, and it will get nobody to heaven.

2) Warren teaches that your reward in heaven and position in heaven is based on your works. This is self righteousness and salvation by works. You reward in heaven is based solely on Jesus work on the cross, not on works like Rick Warren teaches.

You see, there's no such thing as carnal christians (those that trust in Christ but never acknowledge they are sinners and produced no good works) and good christians (those that produce good works that earned them a reward in heaven). There is only one type of christians and that is those saved from their sin by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ.

Bill

catransplant 48 said: "You seriously, honestly believe Rick Warren doesn't teach this? Yikes."

As per my last two posts I seriously believe Warren does not teach salvation from sin by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
His understanding of Law and Gospel is muddly.

Jim

Chris,
No, I was thinking about when Jesus commissioned the Church. Speaking to His followers after His resurrection, Jesus commissioned the church to make disciples and teach them what He had taught (Matt 28:16). The entire Book of Acts is the story of the early church's struggle to be loyal to this commission. As one reads this book, he is impressed by the reality that Christ, through the presence of the Holy Spirit, continues to direct His church as it carries out its commission, which is resulting in the growth of the Church. Nit picking on denominational differences is counterproductive - we end up not being known for our love, but our infighting. I'm just appealing to you to discuss theological points without publicly demeaning a fellow pastor that you disagree with.

"BTW, I love your blog." - Chris

Not sure which one you are talking about.

catransplant48

Bill, you just restated your opinions without citing one documented fact-based quote or reference from Rick Warren to back your claims against his teaching up. So unfortunately, what you've attempted to post as "proof" is not any more convincing than what you originally posted.

Bill

Catransplant: "Bill, you just restated your opinions without citing one documented fact-based quote or reference from Rick Warren to back your claims against his teaching up."

Here it goes again. This time from Saddleback's web page, Rick Warren believes that christians will be rewarded based on their works or amount of service.

http://www.sadhttp://dlebackfamily.com/membership/group_finder/faqs_saddleback.asp?id=7509

Question 44 Salvation:

Rick Warren: "I do believe very strongly that some Believers will have more rewards in heaven than others. But it is a funny thing; as long as I am doing it to get the reward I do not think that there is any reward in it. It is when I do it purely out of love for Christ that there is true reward in it."

Bill

Ok, here's all of Saddleback's salvation by works statement. Even the decision to accept Christ is a work according to Warren, he makes faith a work, by crediting a man's good heart instead of God for faith. And it he goes on further to say that believers will have different rewards in heaven based on their works. Read it below from http://www.sadhttp://dlebackfamily.com/membership/group_finder/faqs_saddleback.asp?id=7509


Salvation - Heaven
Question: How am I able to be with the Lord for eternity in heaven?

Answer: There is really only one thing that you and I must do to be with the Lord for eternity - that is to trust in Jesus Christ as the one who forgives our sins and leads our daily lives. Trusting in his Son is the one thing that gives us life with him forever. You can read in 1 John 5, "He who has the Son has life, he who does not have the Son does not have life." That make it pretty clear doesn't it? Then all those other things that the Bible talks about, instead of calling them suggestions in order to get rewards, what they really are, are signs of our faithfulness and love. They are the things that we do because we love the one so much who has given his life for us. The obedience that I have in my life because I am a Believer is not motivated by a desire to make myself right for getting to heaven. It is motivated by a desire to please the God who has already saved me and who is going to take me to be with him for eternity in heaven. That is a refreshing way to live. I do believe very strongly that some Believers will have more rewards in heaven than others. But it is a funny thing; as long as I am doing it to get the reward I do not think that there is any reward in it. It is when I do it purely out of love for Christ that there is true reward in it.

Chad

Bill,

Why is that so hard to fathom? Granted, this is a great mystery, one we will not fully realize until that day, but scripture does give us some hints and guesses that would lead Warren to believe such a thing.

In any event, what is the consequence of this sort of thinking in your mind? If the end result produces a Christian who out of love and devotion to Christ (Warren's words) serves their neighbor and helps alliviate some of the suffering in this world? I would take 12 of those sort of Christians over 1200 Christians who think that once they recieve Christ they need not be obedient to any sort of law or do any sort of good works any day. Faith without works is dead, afterall.

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