Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Life: A Seriously Flawed View of God

Rick Warren, in the course of his Purpose-Driven Life video presentation, makes some very questionable assertions.  I believe his most egregious error is a statement that is a direct challenge to the biblical concept of God.  Warren says that if Christians fail in their duty to evangelize, “there will be people who are not in heaven who should have been there.”  To claim that some people will end up in eternal torment because of the failure of other people is shocking!  To imply that the Lord will not be able to save some people who “should have been” in heaven is blasphemous.  I do not know if Mr. Warren realizes the implications of this statement, but a few moments of serious reflection will convince any thinking Christian that this presents a seriously distorted view of God.  This view cannot be squared with Scripture and is as dangerous as it is erroneous.      

If Warren is correct, then God is not the almighty sovereign of the universe that we read of in the Bible.  He is not in control of anything and is at the mercy of creatures who owe their very existence to Him.  Far from being the “Captain of our Salvation”, the omnipotent, loving Savior who is worthy of the believer’s complete trust, Jesus Christ is a pathetic, weak figure who cannot be relied upon to get anyone to heaven.  If the failure of finite human beings can actually derail God’s plan of salvation, then how can He be trusted for anything else?   


If the redemption of lost sinners is dependent upon the faithfulness of other sinners, how secure can any Christian be?  How can we trust God for divine help in the trials and temptations of daily life if His best efforts can be trumped by the failure of the very creatures He is wanting to help?  The concept of God that Warren gives us, knowingly or not, is calculated not to encourage faith, but to undermine it.  This unscriptural notion is at variance with everything the Bible reveals to us concerning the character of God and how He interacts with the people He has created.  Any assertion that undermines the character of God undermines the confidence of those who are trusting in Him.  It strikes at the very heart of revealed religion by weakening the foundation of the divine-human relationship.  An individual’s relationship to God depends upon that person’s response to Him, not what other people do or fail to do.  Possibly Mr. Warren was just careless with his words here, but that does not make the implication of what he said any the less dangerous.  


The “Author of Life” is not in any way at the mercy of fallen human beings, and thank God for that!  All of the nations are as a drop in a bucket compared to God; He does what He pleases in the heavens.  The Lord is sovereign in His universe and can be relied upon to bring every one of the precious souls His Son died for safely home to heaven.  All those who “should be there” will be.  

Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Sermons and Articles" Collection by:

Tony Capoccia
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