30 December 2010

"Rick Warren's Emerging Contemplative Road to Rome Apologetics Weekend"

I strongly urge you to read this important article by Lighthouse Trails. I will post just the introduction of the article here as a teaser, but I pray that you will visit the Lighthouse Trails website to read it in its entirety.

Eight years after the release of The Purpose Driven Life and numerous efforts by discerning Christian believers to warn others of this movement, the Saddleback Apologetics Weekend unveils  more clearly than ever the spiritual direction toward which the evangelical church is racing . . .

In September 2009, Rick Warren held his first Apologetics Weekend conference at Saddleback Church. The conference featured some known apologists such as Norman Geisler and Gary Koukl. (It also included contemplative teacher J.P. Moreland.) The conference was a surprise to some who have followed with discernment the teachings and promotions of Rick Warren over the last decade-it seemed out of place for someone who had promoted the emerging church, contemplative prayer, and kingdom-on-earth-now beliefs to be presenting an "apologetics" conference. No doubt, some assumed that Rick Warren was changing his ways. Just a month prior, at the annual Harvest Crusade by Greg Laurie, Chuck Smith (founder of Calvary Chapel) stood in front of thousands and introduced Rick Warren who was sitting on the platform as his "good friend,"  inviting him to lead the audience in prayer (see video). Just three years earlier, Chuck Smith denounced the Purpose Driven teachings as incompatible with Calvary Chapel teachings and dropped Warren's book from the Calvary Chapel book distribution.

Between the Harvest Crusade and the Apologetics Weekend at Saddleback, both in 2009, it's no wonder some people were thinking Rick Warren and the Purpose Driven movement were now coming into alignment with traditional evangelical thought. But no evidence showed that Warren's focus or direction had actually changed. And one year after the 2009 Saddleback Apologetics Weekend, the 2nd Annual Apologetics Weekendtook place and has provided the proof (once again) that Rick Warren's Purpose Driven movement is indeed going down a path that is contemplative, emerging, and even on an ecumenical road to "Rome." The title of the 2010 "Apologetics" conference was "Who is Jesus?" We believe that the "Jesus" represented at this conference is another Jesus with another gospel, as we will show in this article (2 Corinthians 11:4, Galatians 1:8).

Seeing this year's Apologetics Weekend speaker lineup was even a surprise for Lighthouse Trails. Not because we thought Warren's choice of speakers was contrary to what he believes but because it seemed so blatant and obvious.

This report will focus on three of the speakers at Saddleback's 2010 Apologetics Weekend conference: Philip Yancey, Peter Kreeft, and Scot McKnight. By the time readers finish reading this article, we think you may agree that Rick Warren's  Apologetics conference should really be titled: "Rick Warren's Emerging Contemplative Road to Rome Apologetics Weekend."
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