But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self,…having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-2,5)

The Devil’s Double-Play Combination of Vincent-Peale to Schuller to Warren

Here’s a shot through the strawrifle. In his 1982 book Self Esteem: The New Reformation Robert Schuller asks:

So what is the real Christ-call to self-denial? It s a willingness to be involved in the spiritual and social solutions in society. But only the inwardly secure, self-respecting, self-accepting person can be trusted to enter the vulnerable arena of social involvement. Persons with a positive self-image will become positively prophetic, while the ego-starving person becomes “negatively prophetic.” What is the difference between the two? It’s the difference between confrontation and construction–between generating a social climate of polarization versus creating a community where creative and mutually respectful dialogue can happen.

Self-affirmation then is the pathway to self-denial, “I am a worthy person. I have something to give, therefore, I can succeed in service, and I dare to volunteer.” This means there will be no self-denial without strong self-esteem. (116)

It’s simply beyond question that Rick Warren has shared the platform many times with Robert Schuller and it’s very obvious from reading The Purpose Driven Life that Schuller has had a profound impact on Warren, his Church Growth Movement protégé and pastor to porn mogul “brother” Rupert Murdoch. As I pointed out long ago in Setting Richard Abanes Straight On My Rick Warren “Attack” by using a November 18, 2002 article from Christianity Today, which is now only available to subscribers:

During his last year in seminary, [Rick Warren] and Kay drove west to visit Robert Schuller’s Institute for Church Growth. “We had a very stony ride out to the conference,” she says, because such nontraditional ministry scared her to death. Schuller, though, won them over. “He had a profound influence on Rick,” Kay says. “We were captivated by his positive appeal to nonbelievers. I never looked back”… Imitating Schuller, Warren walked the (then unincorporated but fast-growing) town of Lake Forest, asking what kept people from going to church. (Online source, emphasis added).

As a matter of fact on the Hour of Power website Robert Schuller himself even informs us that Rick Warren: The New Charles Finney just so happens to be a graduate of his Institute for Church Growth:

We are the home of the world’s first Church Growth Institute, -launching the mega-church movement in the 20th century. Tens of thousands of pastors, including famous graduates Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Bishop Blake, Walt Kallestad, and Sundo Kim of Korea, were mentored here. (Online source, emphasis added)

And this is exactly why you see such emphasis on the human potential in The Purpose Driven Life, Warren is simply following a similar social gospel of the human potential just as his positive thinking mentor Robert Schuller.