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 TRANSCRIPT: Interview with Pastor Rick Warren and Pastor John Piper



TRANSCRIPT: Interview with Pastor Rick Warren and Pastor John Piper


And I believe that the weight of glory is a serious, you know, the—the what I call the“WOE,” “LO,” “GO” text of, you know, I saw the Lord seated on his thrown and “WOE”is me for I’m a man of unclean lips. “LO,” an angel touched my nape. And then “GO,”the word of cleansing, the word of confession, cleansing, and commission. I believethat’s part of the glory of God.I also believe whatIrenaeussaid, “The glory of God is the human being fully alive.” Andso when I am playing with my grandchildren, that brings glory to God. So I don’t thinkthat glory to God is simply serious. I do think that there is glory of God in laughter, Ibelieve it all. And when I look at opposite passages, I believe them
both
.
[PIPER]:
This is a very theocentric emphasis here as opposed to, say, Christocentric.

[WARREN]:
Right.

[PIPER]:
So my question is, would you—I ask this question because it was asked to me at theGospel Coalition on a panel the other night. They said, “Has your God centered messagebecome more or less Christocentric or Christ-oriented?”And I told the story of how in the last ten years or so, I have felt impulses in me partlybecause of what I’ve seen in scripture as the cross being the center of everything andpartly because of the Islamic influence in the world where God talk doesn’t cut it anymore.

[WARREN]:
Right, it doesn’t.

[PIPER]:
Christ talk is crucial. So my question is, any—if you wrote it today, would it be thesame—

[WARREN]:
Oh, no.

[PIPER]:
—or do you find—

[WARREN]:
Absolutely not. In the first place, I never intended
The Purpose Driven Life
to be read byunbelievers. I was presuming that people already had a certain basis of scripture becauseI didn’t actually write it as a book. I wrote it as the workbook for our “40-Days of Purpose,” which is our annual spiritual-growth campaign, which is not an evangelisticcampaign. It’s a spiritual growth emphasis that we’ve done every year for 30 years.And so rather than writing the book and creating a campaign around it, I did it for theexact opposite. I was writing it for my people. It was only at the end that I thought anunbeliever may read this. I better throw something in here about salvation. And actually,if I had known how many unbelievers were going to read it, I would have explainedsalvation far much more in detail. Really, I admit, it was a cursory expression of it.Now I believe, “In Christ dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” I believe thatwe are in Christ, we are hid with Christ in God and we are sealed with the Holy Spirit so,in essence, for Satan to get at me, he’s got to go through the Trinity.


TRANSCRIPT: Interview with Pastor Rick Warren and Pastor John Piper
7
So I, 100 percent, agree with you that we have to be even more Christocentric because of the influence of Islam today. You know, I frequently speak to Muslim groups. Now whatdo you expect a guy who’s got the gift of evangelism? I spend most of my time speakingto people who totally disagree with me. I speak to gays. I speak to atheists. I speak tosecularists. I speak to Muslims because I’m trying to build a bridge between my heart andtheirs so Jesus can walk across and they’ll come to know Christ.I think Muslims in many ways are often like the “Corneliuses” of scripture who have aheart for God. They want to do the right thing, but a lot times—have you heard of Jesus?Have you heard of Jesus? And when people say, “Well, we worship the same God.” I say,“Well, hold on just a minute. My God looks like Jesus.”
[PIPER]:
Yeah.
[WARREN]:
Okay. So if your God doesn’t look like Jesus, we don’t worship the same God. Sorry.
[PIPER]:
I’m going to come back to religions and the centrality of Jesus in a minute. But stayingclose to the glory of God, let me go to the next thing, I mean
sovereignty
of God.
[WARREN]:
Sure.
[PIPER]:
Amazing statements here. I love them. So let me celebrate for a moment while you talk.Page 111, “God is all powerful. He is in control.”Page 195, “Our hope is a certainty based on the truths that God is in complete control of our universe and that he loves us.”Page 94, “God uses everything for good in our lives.”Page 193, “God has a purpose behind every problem.”Page 194, “Regardless of the cause, none of your problems could happen without God’spermission. Everything that happens to a child of God, his Father filtered and he intendsto use it for the good of—even—even when Satan and others mean it for bad becauseGod is sovereignly in control. Accidents are just incidents in God’s good plan for you.”Page 273, “Your weaknesses are not an accident, but deliberately allowed”—a veryinteresting phrase, “
deliberately allowed
”—”them in your life for the purpose of demonstrating His power through you.”Two more. 195, “There is a grand designer behind everything. God’s plan for your life,all that happens to you including your mistakes, your sins, and your hurts.”And 196, “This promise is only for God’s children. It is not for everyone. All things workfor bad for those living in opposition to God and insist on having their own way.”
[WARREN]:
Right.


TRANSCRIPT: Interview with Pastor Rick Warren and Pastor John Piper
8
[PIPER]:
So question—
[WARREN]:
Yeah.
[PIPER]:
How did you come to such a, I would call, high or strong view of God’s purposefulsovereignty?
[WARREN]:
Well—
[PIPER]:
Those statements would—a lot of people would gag on those statements.
[WARREN]:
Well, yeah, they do. They do. From the very beginning, I started preaching when I was16-years-old so I began studying scripture very seriously. I had done over 100 revivals inBaptist churches before I was 20.So I’m studying the scripture as a kid and I’m noticing that Christians often want toexcuse God from things God doesn’t need excusing from. When he says, “Am I notresponsible for the blind? Am I not responsible?” God assumes much moreresponsibility. We’re afraid to give him that responsibility.Now my personal view on this is that Romans 8:28 makes no sense without Romans8:29. “For whom he did for know he predestined to become conformed to the image of his son, that we might become the first born among many brethren.”To me, predestination—now I know some people are going to disagree with this—but isas much about sanctification as it is about salvation; that we are predestined to becomeconformed to the image of his son.And what I found on this is that, how does God make us like his son? How does he makeus like Jesus if that’s God’s number one purpose to make us like Christ? Well, it’s notlike we’re walking down the street one day and, zap, we’re zapped and all of a sudden, Ino longer worry anymore or I’m always patient with everybody. I’m always Christ like.There is no pill. There is no conference. There is no book that can do that kind of sanctification. I have found both from scripture and from experience that God allows usin the exact opposite situation in order to teach us character.Now what is Jesus Christ? Well, the fruit of the spirit is a good example. Jesus is totallove, total joy, total peace, total patience, gentleness, goodness faithfulness, meekness,self-control.How does God teach me love . . . . By putting me around unlovely people. How does Godteach me joy, in the middle of grief, not happiness, which is based on happenings andhappiness. How does God teach me peace? Not when I’m out fishing and everything’sgoing my way and I say, “It doesn’t get any better than this,” but in the middle of chaos.How does God teach me patience, by putting me in his waiting room and forcing me? Sothe exact opposite cause me—that those are part of the sovereignty of God too.



TRANSCRIPT: Interview with Pastor Rick Warren and Pastor John Piper
9
[PIPER]:
Right. And you’ve—in that narration, you used two different kind the verbs. You said“put me” and you’ve said “allowed me.” And you’ve got—I can’t believe are accidentalphrases.
[WARREN]:
They’re not.
[PIPER]:
You took a long—
[WARREN]:
They’re deliberate.
[PIPER]:
You took a long time to write this book. You said the phrase, “Your weaknesses are notan accident, but deliberately allowed.”
[WARREN]:
Yes.
[PIPER]:
Now here is my theological take—
[WARREN]:
Yes, I belive that.
[PIPER]:
—on that statement. You are not an open theist. You—
[WARREN]:
Not at all. Obviously not.
[PIPER]:
—think God knows the future. So he knows that something bad is coming.
[WARREN]:
Right.
[PIPER]:
He could keep you from it.
[WARREN]:
Yeah.
[PIPER]:
And so what you mean by “permit” is he doesn’t keep you from it.
[WARREN]:
Doesn’t keep you from it.
[PIPER]:
He let’s you—
[WARREN]:
But I would go even further than that. I’m going to say that God custom-designed myweaknesses.Now I’m not saying he’s custom—I’m not making God responsible for my sin. I do notbelieve God is responsible for my sin. Some people may, but I believe that my ownweaknesses are Father filtered. And just as much as God touched Jacob’s hip and hewalked with a limp the rest of his life, that there—I have certain emotional weaknessesthat are there to keep me dependent upon God. They are governors.
[PIPER]:
Let’s take sins because you said “There is a grand designer behind everything” —
[WARREN]:
Yeah.


TRANSCRIPT: Interview with Pastor Rick Warren and Pastor John Piper
10
[PIPER]:
—“God’s plan for your life and all that happens to you including your mistakes, yoursins.” Now—
[WARREN]:
Yes.
[PIPER]:
—sins are somehow folded into the plan?
[WARREN]:
Of course, they are because He is sovereign. And the clearest way I can say it is whenI’m teaching on abortion. And I will say it this way. There are accidental parents, butthere are no accidental children. There are illegitimate parents, but there are noillegitimate children.
You may not
have planned your kid, but God did, okay. And Ibelieve that with all of my heart.
[PIPER]:
Even though it might have been fornication that brought the kid about?
[WARREN]:
Read the genealogy of Jesus and you have to see how the four women in that genealogy,God used their sin for his glory.
[PIPER]:
Right, so you meant it for evil, God meant it for good, could be written as a big bannerover all the sins of our lives?
[WARREN]:
Absolutely everything.
[PIPER]:
So you might admit it’s sinful—
[WARREN]:
Exactly.
[PIPER]:
—but God is “IT,” God meant “IT.”
[WARREN]:
Genesis 50:20 applies to every area of life.
[PIPER]:
Yeah. How do you speak just into tragic situations? You come into a situation whereeverybody who’s read these things and takes them seriously knows what you believe.You are walking into—well, you did it yesterday. So maybe use yesterday for anexample.You walk into a heart attack, or a stillbirth, or something and speak. How does thesovereignty of God inform the way you talk?
[WARREN]:
Well, before I get to the doctrinal part, I first start at the human part which is simplysympathy that I listen. My first word is not, “God can bring good out of this.” I’m goingto get them there. There is no doubt about that’s where I’m going with it, but I don’t startwith that. I first weep with those who weep, rejoice with those who rejoice, besympathetic, show tenderness and brotherly kindness—all the scriptures that talked aboutsympathizing.I love the verse in Job where it says, “A man deserves the devotion of his friends evenwhen he forsakes the Almighty.”


TRANSCRIPT: Interview with Pastor Rick Warren and Pastor John Piper
11
Now what that verse means to me is, even when—if I were to say, “You know, rightnow, I don’t believe in God.” I still need John Piper to be my friend. And you say, “I canbelieve God for you right now. I’m going to hold you up while you are ranting andrailing.” And God can handle my ranting and railing because he certainly handledDavid’s and Job’s and so many others.So my first reaction in a pastoral care is not to explain. And again, I don’t think theprimary purpose of the Bible is to explain suffering, I never have. Because the actualexplanations are often inadequate. I think that the primary purpose of scripture is to sayI’m all you need in this suffering and I need comfort. God does not owe me anexplanation for what he does in my life.And if I’m looking for that to feel better about my suffering, I’m not going to get it.
[PIPER]:
But when you say that, I think what you mean is he doesn’t need to give you detailedexplanation about why
this
suffering, at
this moment,
in
this time
—
[WARREN]:
Right.
[PIPER]:
—but you do have big explanations—
[WARREN]:
Oh, of course I do.
[PIPER]:
—the big one of why they’re—because you’ve just said he uses it for this, and this, andthis.
[WARREN]:
Well, I have two explanations. First, I have the explanation of sin. The fact that in thefall, literally
everything
is broken, okay.
Nothing
on this planet works. Every body isbroken—none of our bodies work perfectly. Every relationship is broken. The weather isbroken. I don’t have a problem with hurricanes. Nothing works on this planet.This is not earth, this is heaven—this is not heaven, this is earth. And that’s why we areto pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Why? Because God’s perfect willis done perfectly in heaven, okay. And so I am to pray that’s done here.And so I have the explanation of sin. Everything’s broken, so I should not expectanything. No marriage is going to work. You put two sinners together, you are not goingto have a perfect relationship. I have that. But I have—even greater than that, I have thegreater glory of God, the history is his story. That he is in charge and, ultimately, heknows what he’s doing. I can get the miniature explanations in heaven.
[PIPER]:
Yeah, okay. One more thing on the sovereignty of God because this phrase, “Thispromise is only for God’s children”—
[WARREN]:
Right.
[PIPER]:
—Romans 8:28. “It is not for everyone. All things work for bad for those who live inopposition.”


read more: http://www.scribd.com/doc/55821766/John-Piper-Interview-Pastor-Rick-Warren-Transcript


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