First up, a topic that was spawned from the Rick Warren/John Piper Interview. If you aren’t familiar with the background, John Piper last year invited Warren to speak at the Desiring God conference, and then a bunch of heresy-hunter types launched a veritable tweetgasm of charges and condemnations against Piper, 2nd-degree-separation-style.
I posted the video of the interview on my Facebook wall, encouraging hardcore critics of Rick Warren to watch it if they hadn’t. What followed was one of those meaty meta-conversations that make Facebook worthwhile, largely between me and my friends E. Stephen Burnett and Frank Turk (aside: Turk has an excellent article on the subject on TeamPyro today). Neither of these guys is a knee-jerk reactionary or a tiny-tent neo-gnostic Calvinist, which is what made it interesting.
We disagreed on the subject of whether Rev. Warren was being entirely forthcoming in the interview, but in the process, we began discussing a fascinating question, which I formed this way:
How close to Dort do you have to be before you’re allowed to carry out ministry unmolested by the Truly Reformed?
Turk answered, in true Turk fashion, “You cannot be too close to Dort. It’s like the Theological Starbase Batcave.” Yet the question remains: how far does one have to drift before the starbase begins a sequence of either tractor-beaming him in, or blowing him to smithereens?
Are we New Calvinists supposed to despise Billy Graham? (I sure don’t!) If so, is it just old, quasi-universalist Billy or young, Finneyistic altar-call Billy too? Do we tolerate and cooperate with Methodist pastors at the local level, but then launch missiles when a preacher with run-of-the-mill Arminian theology and methods gets “big enough” to have a national platform?
Do we trust any other traditions to maintain their own star bases and determine when their own ships have strayed too far?
This is probaly really optimistic, given the fact that I haven’t blogged in like a month, but...[waaait for it]...DISCUSS.
And check back tomorrow for reflections on last Sunday, when I passed out and fell to the chancel like a sack of potatoes halfway through my sermon.