K Jentoft, a member of Twin City Fellowship, where Bob Dewaay is lead Pastor, has sent this letter as an introduction to the follow-up of Bob’s meeting with Rick Warren. There has been much speculation because of this meeting of adversaries in the “truth war.” Some were ready to write this meeting off as an alliance, treaty, or compromise, but Bob puts those thoughts to rest. Please take the time to read Bob Dewaay’s response, and be assured that no compromise has taken place, even though those in Warren camp are making much out of this “face-to-face” with RW.
R. Abanes (Rick Warren’s apologist) says,”I applaud Dewaay for his candor, honesty, integrity, and spirit of genuine care/concern, and openness to hearing what Warren actually believes theologically. I am hoping that many individuals will see that this is all little more than an issue of ministry philosophy, rather than the emergence of some bizarre Warren Smith-esk, conspiratorial, one-world, New Age religion with Warren playing the lead Pide Piper!”
K Jentoft says
I am a good friend of Pastor DeWaay and attend his church. Bob DeWaay’s position on Rick Warren has not changed. Bob Dewaay never hated Rick Warren, he had concerns about his teaching – a ministry philisophy that doesn’t preach the gospel or confess Christ. This is NOT just a minor issue. Bob’s concern about Rick Warren was and still is that Rick Warren does not preach the gospel, not that he doesn’t believe it (I have to interject that I am a little troubled with this statement. I’m not sure if this is Bob Dewaay’s position or if this is K Jentoft taking too much liberty in speaking for Bob. Is it possible to really believe the Gospel and then preach “another gospel”?). Here is a statement prepared by Pastor DeWaay concerning the issues raised in this blog. K. Jentoft
May 31, 2008
Bob Dewaay wrote
I wrote my book, Redefining Christianity, assuming that Rick Warren actually believes the Saddleback Church’s statement of faith, but that he refuses to preach it because he wants to be popular with the world and grow his movement. I still think that could still be true—I give him the benefit of the doubt.
At the Saddleback Church conference he was speaking of winning souls for Christ and talking about his father’s legacy of building churches and winning souls. More than likely he believes Baptist doctrine. But along the way he was derailed by reading the church growth theory of Donald McGavran. While in seminary I studied under a disciple of McGavran. McGavran’s book was required reading. His philosophy hinges on this idea: “people do not become Christian for theological reasons, but for sociological ones.”
Rick Warren believed McGavran and set out to study people to find out what makes them tick so he could get them into church — thus “Saddleback Sam.” Purpose Driven is a franchise system to multiply this idea into other churches. Warren tells pastors that they do not have to change any doctrine to join his movement. The reason for that is that doctrine becomes unimportant because it is no longer taught. I don’t think Rick Warren changed his Baptist doctrine either; he just doesn’t allow it to determine what he teaches and what he does. When we met that is what I challenged him about.
So I have not moved in my beliefs nor have I changed my position on any doctrines I have preached.
I will not allow myself to be pitted against any of Warren’s critics. I read Warren Smith’s book and spoke with him on the phone. He is a wonderful brother. The New Age implications are in Rick Warren’s movement and are helping lead toward a One World church. But because he has publicly made statements besides his statement of faith that he believes there is a literal hell and that people without Christ will go there, I don’t believe Rick Warren is a true New Age believer, and neither does Warren Smith. Warren Smith simply says there are New Age implications to what Rick Warren is doing, and I agree with him.
Tomorrow morning I will make a statement clarifying what I mean when I said that we did not have theological disagreements in our meeting. Rick Warren did not disagree with my positions on doctrine in our meeting. But he did not comment on everything I said. Please read my book, because in it I point out that Rick Warren privately affirms orthodox Christian theology—he did so again in our presence. So this is not news worthy.
To set the record straight, for those who think I am suddenly okay with Rick Warren – I am not. I asked him to preach Christ and honor the idea of scripture alone – and I pointed out that he cannot have a “reformation” based on general revelation.
These are huge issues and he did not say he was going to change anything—but he did not disagree. Do Warren’s supporters really think that having an orthodox theology in private is all that God expects of a preacher? Do they think we should not hold Rick Warren accountable to sola scriptura? Do they think that we can have any old ministry philosophy even if doing so totally changes the definition of the church and her message from how the Bible defines them?
I challenge Rick Warren’s supporters to step up to the plate and demand that Rick Warren repent, as I requested him to do in my book. That statement is posted at http://www.twincityfellowship.com/special/appeal.pdf Otherwise they have no business claiming that I agree with them.