Last October, I attended the Desiring God National Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and I was greatly looking forward to hearing John Piper’s Q&A with Rick Warren. As providence would have it, Warren had to cancel his appearance at the last minute and delivered a pre-recorded video message instead. I think it is safe to say that the vast majority of us were very disappointed that we didn’t get to hear Piper and Warren mano a mano.
At the conference, Piper promised to do an extended interview with Warren at a later date and to post the video online for everyone to see. Today, Piper and Warren make good on that promise, and you can watch the video above.
Piper has written an introductory statement at the Desiring God site that you should read before watching this video. In general, Piper’s aim is constructive. He’s trying to build bridges (not burn them) with a pastor who has “very differentâ€¦ methodological instincts and inclinations” than Piper has. Piper says that he takes “almost the exact opposite approach in preaching” in comparison to Warren. Nevertheless, Piper confesses, “I am not even close to the fruitful evangelist that Rick is.” So in spite of differences, Piper is generally appreciative of Warren.
I anticipate that this interview will generate much discussion within the reformed community and beyond in the coming days. There is much good here from Warrenâ€”even many points of clarification on specific doctrines. Below is a list of the topics that Piper covers with Warren with the appropriate time-markers. I am sure that we will have occasion to discuss this interview further at a later time. In the meantime, go ahead a take a look at it for yourself.
3:29Â The glory of God.
7:16Â David Wells and the weight of God’s reality.
9:00Â Would you write the book the same today?
12:00 The sovereignty of God.
18:47 How do you speak of God’s sovereignty in the presence of tragedy?
22:01 How do all things work for bad for those who reject Christ?
24:14 Do you hedge on Larry King?
27:00 Unconditional election.
30:18 The importance of eternity.
34:42 How do you conceive of eternity: in heaven, on earth?
38:53 What is the Gospel?
42:00 What did Jesus achieve on the cross?
50:50 Why don’t you call yourself a Calvinist?
54:39 Prevenient grace.
1:00:01 Total depravity.
1:09:10 Eternal destiny of those who never heard.
1:12:40 The extent of the atonement.
1:17:00 Do unbelievers always do the devil’s bidding?
1:18:40 Your view of the Bible.
1:22:40 Expository preaching and doctrinal depth.
1:28:10 Rick Warren’s sacred trust.