The No Goofy Zone Discernment Ministry

The No Goofy Zone is a discernment ministry for saved born again Christians and all who are seeking the truth.We expose non-biblical trends in the church. We are making material available to advance understanding of issue's which endanger Christianity. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit.

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Location: Piqua, Ohio, United States

Former drummer for Gary Lewis and The Playboys and The Coasters. Tim has also played with Paul Baloche, Lincoln Brewster, Darlene Zscech and Hillsongs, Jeff Fenholt, SteveCamp among others. Tim founded The Simply Agape Project in 2001 to get free Christian music to the troops. Recordings have been made with Tim, and friends Alex Acuna, Abe Laboriel SR, Justo Almario,Steve Camp , Jared Ming and some wonderful Independant Christian artists.The Somebody Brave CD also features words of encouragment to the soldiers from Pastors, Moms, Dads, and Lt Col Brian Birdwell a Pentegon 9/11 survivor Tim is married to Donna Wirth and has four children Alan 25,Steven 23, Brittany 22, Bethany 21. Tim has played in numerous churchs as well as shows on TBN. Tim has also performed on JCTV on the show Generation Worship featuring worship leader Jared Ming. Tim has a book published worldwide titled "Pass The Plate And Let Us Prey" (My Search For Black and White Christianity in a Gray Nation)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Book Review: Richard Abanes book "Rick Warren and The Purpose that Drives Him

First of all I want to state that I am no fan of Richard Abanes or Rick Warren.I think Rick Warrens influence on evangelical Christianity has contributed to weakening the church here in America. I really do want to give this book a fair shake though because I have a lot of question about Rick Warren and what makes him tick. This is also a Abanes free zone so of course Richard is not my best buddy. One thing that has been a topic of debate is whether Richard Abanes is a self proclaimed best seller or does the guy actually have a book that made any best seller list. I have asked many people this question to which I have always gotten the reply that Richard has not had a best seller.
Actually Richard Abanes has been listed on a best seller list so I do stand corrected.
Richards book "Harry Potter and the Bible-The Menace behind the Magik" made the Christian Book Association best seller list at number 10 in 2003. This list is based on actual sales in Christian retail stores in the United States and Canada.

Now on with the review-
The many times that I have debated Richard online about a variety of topics and also observe Richard debate others one thing stands out.
Richard rarely replies to the hard questions. Abanes is very selective in how he answers and what he answers. So often things go unanswered. (Hold on I'm a little dizzy here)
Well the same goes for Abanes book on Rick Warren and The Purpose that drives him.
First of all with the large amount of critics Warren has Im surprised that Richard choose to just write a booklet about this. A mere 125 pages. This is kinda like eating a snack-no real meat here and the treat is just not very good.
The biggest criticism of PDL and Warren is Sloppy Hermeneutics (Interpretation of Scripture).
I call this backward theology-Word of Faith guys and gals are pro's at this.
You think up your own ideas and beliefs and then you proof text. You find scripture that will fit what you say instead of correct application of scripture.
Rick Warren also completely misinterprets and misapplies certain texts and uses 15 different translations for his own purpose.
None of these hard issues are addressed at all in the entire booklet.
Richard also does not go into why Warren uses bad translations like The Message.
But these are things you cannot defend because if you have to use 15 different translations to say what you want to say. The point is that you are saying what you want to say not what scripture truly teaches.
The Robert Schuller mentoring Rick Warren
Richard goes into this on page 29 by asking Rick if Schuller mentored him. Rick says no.
But the facts remain that Ricks own wife Kay states that Schuller had a "profound influence" on Rick. This is the same thing as being mentored.
Fact-you cant read Rick Warrens article in the Ladies Home Journal and not see Schullers influence on Warren.
Fact-Robert Schuller on a number of times still claims he mentored Rick Warren.
Even though Rick Warren and Robert Schuller may have some doctrinal disagreements you can see the effect Schuller had on Warren by the fruit Warren produces.
So we are to think that Rick Warren has not been mentored (ie influenced by Robert Schuller) because Rick states Schuller is not his mentor. Better yet-check the fruit on the tree here.
In matters of doctrine Schuller and Warren may differ maybe only slightly-again look at the Ladies Home journal article.
In ways of actually doing church-Schuller had a profound influence on Warren.
Abanes only presents weak strawman arguments on the Schuller -Warren connection.

On the Seeker-Sensitive issue church or entertainment Richard dedicates one whole paragraph to this pressing criticism of Warren.
But hey how do you defend Rick when on page 38 it states Rick wanted to be a guitar playing rock star.
This is a issue Abanes cannot and does not defend Warren in his book.
Rick showed that his dream had been granted by his fame and wealth when Rick made the awful choice of playing "Purple Haze" before a stadium crowd after worship music had been played.
Rick finally got to be a rock star and in his own words this is something he always wanted to do. And because of who he is he did it. Again check the fruit.
The Ken Blanchard association
A couple of comments with Rick stating that Ken Blanchard is not a very deep Christian. But yet Rick admits that Ken got the cart before the horse. Now its not up to Rick Warren to make Ken Blanchard quit doing Lead Like Jesus before Ken is ready. That's up to Ken.
But Im amazed at how Rick will expose thousands of other pastors to weak Christian teaching as well as false teaching like Paul Yonggi Cho who Rick promotes on
Guilt by association? You betcha. But remember Rick will fellowship with anybody.
Rick is quoting as saying"I see absolutely zero reason in separating my fellowship from anybody,he declared. Noting he has theological differences with many of the diverse denominations that invite him to speak, Warren added, That doesn't stop me from fellowshipping with them.
The Bible however does not teach this but teaches the need to seperate from false teachers 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 .
Rick's association with new ager Leonard Sweet author of Quantum Spirituality is not addressed at all in this book as well.
Abanes quotes a lot from Saddleback sermons which is fine but most folks don't go to Saddleback and can only respond to what Warren teaches in his books and tapes which many times conflicts or is watered down from what Abanes states Warren preaches at Saddleback.
Again Rick plays to the crowd-even though Jesus and the apostles never felt the need to water down the message for the sake of the culture.
Richards style and tone is often very condensending and immature. His sub title on page 117 is JUST TO MAKE YOU HAPPY. People who have debated Abanes online knows the tone of this guy is often "I know better than you do nah nah nah."
Rick Warrens message is summed up on two and a half pages. Which is the most accurate part of the book since Warrens message is indeed shallow and watered down.
Why has The Purpose Driven Church and The Purpose Driven Life sold so many copies?
The truth to this is best stated at this link.
The book was a runaway success due to clever marketing-not Gods blessing.
I don't really blame Richard Abanes for not asking Rick Warren hard questions Richard still goes to Saddleback and Rick is his pastor.Richard is not permitted to ask hard questions I believe. Even though Abanes has posted things he disagrees with Warren on his website. These disaggrements are not bought up in the book.
I also do not believe that Richard Abanes can be objective because he has made it his purpose to defend Rick Warrens faith all over the internet.
Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him lacks any real depth and really consists of Abanes preaching to the choir.
No real answers to the real questions about Rick Warren and what drives him.


Blogger Tim Wirth said...

I recieved a email about this review today so I will respond here.
Shelley said
"I'll ask my question here. After Tim Challies reviewed the book, I tried to find out if Warren addresses the issue of churches 'abusing' the PDC concept and hurting their members. I wanted to know if it was a page , a paragraph, or a one word answer. All Richard would say was that he had it covered in his book (what, was he under a gag order from Harvest House?).
>I'm pretty convinced that if you do the PDC program correctly, you WILL hurt your members, and that the mature will know it but the naive won't.
Here was Richard Abanes question he asked Rick about this issue its on page 32 of Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him

RA: That brings up church splits." There have been complaints about "everybody" over 65 years old in a church being "kicked out" because of Rick Warren. Or things like "Everybody whi didn't go along with the "Rick Warren" program was ousted from the church." What do you say to that?


A lot of people take a good message and pervert it. That's been done with every single message in the last 2000 years. Anybody can be misquoted; anybody can be misused. There are a lot of things done in the name of "purpose-driven"that I would publically disavow. I feel no compulsion to defend every stupid mistatke that every pastor has made in the name of "purpose driven."

The first issue I take is with Abanes and the immature sarcastic tone of his question to Warren. Not really taking a serious look at a serious issue.
Then I take issue with how Warren replies.To my knowledge Rick has never addressed this issue and according to his answer doesn't really care to. A lot of the problem with the gospel according to Slick Rick is his low immature view of the way music is used in the church. But from Abanes book we hear that Ricks first goal was to be a guitar playing rock star.
So I guess that explains that.
Rick also promotes the book "Transitioning
by Dan Southerland."
Which teaches how to train pastors to deal with those who resist Ricks teaching.
Deb and Dave at Lighthouse deal with this topic here
Seems to me from Ricks comments and actions that he does not care about purpose driven resistors or wants to address that issue.
Is Rick accountable for what he teaches?
James 3:1 " My brethern, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall recieve a stricter judgement."
As we can see from verse 1, James is aiming his words of warning toward those I would call “wanna-be teachers.”
I believe that James is speaking primarily to those who want to teach, who assert themselves as teachers, and yet should not be teachers at all.
And thats all I have to say about that.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Cruzer said...

I never heard of the book until the Smith/Nichols saga. If you wish to call that mans marketing go right ahead. I can't believe it.

I'll see you on Challies later!

8:05 AM  
Blogger Douglas said...

Cruzer said...
I never heard of the book until the Smith/Nichols saga. If you wish to call that mans marketing go right ahead. I can't believe it."

I believe it. But I also believe there is some, if not a lot, of demonic activity promoting it as well.

It was in all the major bookshops in Australia years ago when we lived there and it hit you in the face as soon as you walked in the doors of "Koorong" and "Word." They had piles of them as soon as you walked in the door and they had big posters of it, hanging from the ceilings, just inside the doors and down all the aisles. It was the same all over the western world at the time. I had not noticed it on the Internet at first. I started reading the "Purpose Driven Church" and straight away saw problems. Now that I have the "Purpose Driven Life"tm, I can see the insidiously deceptive errors even more. Sound doctrine helps you to spot falsehood straight away and Rick Warren's books and teachings are riddled with it.

Rick Warren goes to the Bible to find verses that will support his purposes, he does not go to God's word to find what His purposes are. That is why Rick Warren can use so many contorted versions of God's Holy Word. What he doesn't find in one, he finds in another, especially a paraphrase and then ascribes that as God's word, even if it has a completely different meaning to a sound translation and what God is actually saying.

Rick Warren uses diffferent versions of God's word to teach Rick Warren's ideas and theories and stories, Rick Warren does not go humbly to God's word to find out what God wants to teach His people about His word, His world, His creation and most of all, His Son, The LORD Jesus Christ. God wants His people to know about His Son and to know His Son, forever.

During our earthly pilgrimage, on our journey towards our heavenly home, we WILL ener in only through much tribulation and many trials as the Scriptures say and it is those who live godly in Christ Jesus that will suffer persecution. If someone that calls themself a Christian and they are not suffering, trials, tribulations, persecutions then something is drastically wrong. If they are not taking up their cross daily and dying to self, then they are not on the narrow straight way that leads to eternal life.

Rick Warren does not preach or teach biblical repentance, he obscures the gospel message.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Bradley Howell Shaw said...

Thanks Tim, for taking the time to read through Abanes book. I definitely won't be buying it now. It appears this book is nothing more than a marketing ploy by Abane’s to make some money by hitching a ride with Warren and his books. The more I read Abane's blogs revealing such a lack of spiritual discernment and almost blind allegiance to defending many serious and blatant PD problems, I have to conclude that he can't be sincere. It must be a game to drum up more business. But, isn't that what "marketing" is all about? This is the way I see it!

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Shelley said...

I want to elaborate a little on the remarks about the book quote that I made at Challies:

"Too often I've heard similar comments from Nathan Talbot defending the Christian Science Church from taking any responsibility in a child's death from a treatable illness, because the parents followed the dictates of not taking their children to doctors, and so suffer a terrible tragedy. He never seems to mention that a CS member is fearful of losing their standing in their Mother Church membership if they seek Materia Medica, and that's what motivates them to toe the line.

Is the death of a church, and the members who grieve over it any less tragic?"

The defense of CS that Talbot most often falls back on is that the parents took the teachings TOO far, i.e., they were fanatics who read into the doctrine of Mary Baker Eddy, and not true products of the Mother Church.

Rita Swann, of C.H.I.L.D., inc. (Children's Health Care Is A Legal Duty) would disagree. When her toddler was sick, the C.S. 'healer' told her that if she went to a doctor, it would be a long, long way back into Christian Science. That pretty threatening isn't it? Your child or your religion?

In the same way, I believe that Saddleback distances itself from those who, in trying to ape them, destroy the ministry assigned to them. I would have had far more respect for Warren if he'd expressed at least SOME remorse and said something like, "Yes, we need to tell our visiting pastors to cultivate tender hearts for their members and not run over them on their way to pursuing the lost. I'll put a new forward addressing the problem in the next edition of my book."

But it ain't gonna happen.

8:11 AM  
Blogger Tim Wirth said...

It also should be said that in Abanes book Rick Warren and the Purpose thst Drives Him that Kay Warren helped Richie in checking the manuscript for accuracy and tone. So since Warrens own wife was involved in the editing process I guess we should not expect a lot of responce to Warrens critics because Warren seldom responds to his critics. Richie really hyped this book on Challis like it would answer everyones questions about PDL. But since Richie didnt even address Warrens biggest problem which is and always has been sloppy misuse of scripture we cant expect much out of this book. Abanes himself has little knowledge if any of hermeneutics and misapplies scripture frequently on his many rants all over the web.
Richie did say on Challis that he at first had around 20 pages in the book concerning translations etc.. but it had to be cut because of his publisher as well as his own call.
Even if the publisher had did a test marketing plan (which maybe they did) for Abanes book the biggest question is why does Rick use so many translations and why does he misuse scripture.This was not answered at all.
But how could it be answered? Rick applies scripture to say what Rick wants to say not what the Bible really says.
Simple answer? Maybe. But true. I to wish Rick would confess up all the Purpose Driven madness he has caused. But you have to look at the whole pakage.
The Purpose Driven Church
The Purpose Driven Life
and Transistioning.
This was all put together to sell what Rick Warren things-not what the Bible teaches.
The two are at conflict with each other.
And I will address this starting today in my Golden Calf series.

8:10 PM  

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