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John Piper Interviews Rick Warren on Purpose Driven Life

Rick Warren and John Piper are among the most influential pastors in the United States (and possibly the world). Piper and Warren are similar in theological perspective but take different approaches to ministry (and quite different approaches to preaching in particular). I believe Warren’s approach to preaching and academia is largely influenced by his sense of calling as an evangelist, e.g., he often delivers messages in which he anticipates a significant number of nonChristian hearers who might potentially become believers. John Piper, on the other hand, is driven by what he calls an “expositional” approach to teaching the Bible–an approach which, for Piper, primarily works itself out in preaching through a book of the bible at a time, paragraph by paragraph, taking interest in historical-cultural backgrounds of each biblical passage along the way (though he’s not always successful in this), and making application which (again, in Piper’s case) often touches or informs a point of reformed theology.

I’ve often quietly critiqued Rick Warren for his use of many ‘looser’ English translations to collate proof texts for this or that (I’ve experienced one of the “40-days” campaigns in a local church and I found it to be shallow). While I appreciate John Piper’s commitment to “expositional preaching,” theological training and education, I think he too often reads a theological perspective (which is something of a historical perspective, too) into the biblical text.

My opinion matters very little here, but I mention these things as a preface to my response to watching sizable excerpts of the video: My view of both men has improved.

Justin Taylor has a “table of contents” for the video to help you navigate.

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