In Kay Warren, Henri Nouwen, And Contemplative Spirituality here at Apprising Ministries I showed you that on the Saddleback Church website Saddleback Family in their Spiritual Growth Center we find a Saddleback Staff Picks section; and then under Kay Warren—Acts of Mercy we come to the below:

(Online source)

So the first under “books that shaped Kay’s life” is Can You Drink the Cup? by Henri Nouwen. As I said before, you are likely aware that I have long been sounding the alarm concerning corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM)—a so-called “Christian” mysticism, which has now slithered into evangelicalism under the guise of spurious Spiritual Formation. Now this all began with Steve Gladen, Saddleback Church Small Groups, And Quaker Mystic Spirituality where I showed you that two of the books on Gladen’s webpage at The Spiritual Growth Center, which “shaped Steve’s life,” were written by the Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster; who along with Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard—his spiritual twin.

It’s important to note here that Foster and Willard were “key mentors”[1] of the neo-liberal cult of the sinfully ecumenical Emerging Church, which has been the main carrier of the spurious spirituality. Gladen’s page would lead me to write Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, And Spiritual Disciplines and Saddleback Church, Rick Warren, And Spiritual Disciplines where I provide more documentation of the spiritual skubalon being taught, and sold, by Rick Warren and Saddleback Church; all part of my coverage of the slide of the Protestant evangelical community back into the religious slavery of romanticized Roman Catholic mysticism.

People apparently forget that the warped theology derived as the result of practicing CSM, which filtered up through the antibiblical monastic traditions into the Church of Rome, would eventually end up causing the Reformation. Then when Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren, pronounced “doctrinal and sound” by Dr. John Piper who’s giving Warren a forum within the Reformed camp as keynote speaker at the Desiring God Conference 2010, tweeted the very Zen-like quote below from the late Roman Catholic universalist Henri Nouwen I would write the post Rick Warren Wants Us To Learn From Henri Nouwen:

(Online source)

Of course, as we in the ministry field of online apologetics and discernment dare to “touch the Lord’s anointed” like PDL Pope Warren, I fully expect there will be critics;  and sure enough the other day we were told Give Rick Warren a Break!, and I was admoninshed:

We need to be theologically discerning. We need “appraise” things. But when we realize that this is all we are doing, I think we need to appraise ourselves. (Online source)

Some other words come to mind here —But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me (1 Corinthians 4:3-4). I know I certainly wouldn’t expect the author of that post to have time to be familiar with all I’ve written concerning Rick Warren; and along this line, the Warrens are not the only Saddleback staff who recommend the works of the late apostate (at best) Roman Catholic mystic Henri Nouwen.

As you’ll see below there’s Clayton Coates, Saddleback Pastor to Singles:

(Online source)

Next is Debbie Eaton, Director of Women’s Ministries:

(Online source)

Notice Eaton is inspired by another apostate (at best) contemplative spirituality teacher Brennan Manning. And finally we have Buddy Owens, Pastor of Spiritual Growth:

(Online source)

So you see, clearly the corrupt contemplative spirituality of Roman Catholic mystic Henri Nouwen has indeed found a place within arguably the most visible of churches within the largest (pretending to be?) Protestant denominations in the United States. If you make the time to check those other posts you’ll see that Saddleback is riddled with recommendations of teachers spewing this type of mysticism that flowered within apostate Roman Catholicism ala Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the militantly pro-Roman Catholic Church mystic group the Jesuits who, on orders of the Pope, functioned very much like a spiritual Counter Reformation Gestapo Unit during the Protestant Reformation.

Give Rick Warren a break; nah, I don’t think so. I’ve also already showed you that Rick Warren is not at all in line with biblical Christianity—nor with Reformation theology—concerning the Roman Catholic Church, which should be a major concern to those in the Reformed camp. Warren is already on record stating, “I see absolutely zero reason in separating my fellowship from anybody.”[2] And, specifically concerning apostate Roman Catholicism, Warren has opined:

“I am talking about the fact that about a hundred years ago, Christianity split into two wings… The small group structure is the structure of renewal in every facet of Christianity — including Catholicism.” (Online source, emphasis mine)

“Now I don’t agree with everything in everybody’s denomination, including my own. I don’t agree with everything that Catholics do or Pentecostals do, but what binds us together is so much stronger than what divides us,” he said. “I really do feel that these people are brothers and sisters in God’s family. I am looking to build bridges with the Orthodox Church, looking to build bridges with the Catholic Church,….” 
(Online source, emphasis mine)

 “Most readers will be surprised to learn that the largest international network is…the Christian Church. The Church, in all its expressions—Catholic, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Protestant and many others—has 2.3 billion followers.” (Online source, emphasis mine) 

And remember Warren’s statement about there being “zero reason” for him “separating my fellowship from anybody”; consider below just how sweeping his statement appears to have been:

Warren is part of the ultra-conservative Southern Baptist Convention, and all his senior staff sign on to the SBC’s doctrines, such as the literal and infallible Bible and exclusion of women as senior pastors. Yet Warren’s pastor-training programs welcome Catholics, Methodists, Mormons, Jews and ordained women.
(Online source, emphasis mine)

There have been those who’ve attempted to refute the above statement saying the reporter erred; but Christian apologist Chris Rosebrough has documented that, the very week this USA article in question was released, it was even advertised on Warren’s website.[3] On the Purpose Driven Church website in 2006 CHA recipients honored at Saddleback during Purpose Driven Church conference we’re told about “the 2006 Purpose Driven Church conference” where “Pastor Rick Warren met with the 2006 Church Health Award recipients” followed by “a presentation of plaques to the CHA winners.”

And one of those plaques that went to “the CHA winners” along with “an opportunity for a photograph with Pastor Rick” was presented to Family of God Church of Tacloban, Philippines; its “denomination” we’re told is “Roman Catholic.” In Filipino church targets unchurched Catholics in community we’re then informed that Family of God Church “is a church transitioning toward becoming purpose driven.” We also find out:

In the nearly 30 years of its existence, The Family of God’s Little Children-Foundational Center, Inc. (FGLC-FCI), a Roman Catholic Charismatic Covenant church, has been implementing its Total Human Development Program consisting of spiritual and moral orientation; community organization; education and capability building; health education and services; cooperatives and enterprise development; socialized housing; and ecology and environmental protection… (Online source)

One of Warren’s Purpose Driven Denominations, until sometime in 2008, was Purpose Driven Catholics:

(Online source)

As to those Purpose Driven Catholics Helpful Links; the first one brings you to Saint Theresa of Avila Parish – The Mother Roman Catholic Church of Southeast Washington. This Roman Catholic Church was named after the so-called “Christian” mystic and Carmelite nun Teresa of Avila a queen of corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism. We’re told at its website that “Father” Ray East is the “grandson of Baptist missionaries to South Africa,” and further, he’s also “served in six Washington parishes before being named director of the Office of Black Catholics and Vicar for Evangelization.”[4] 

So we see that Rick Warren was responsible for actually providing, as a helpful link to Purpose Driven Catholics, one to the church for the Vicar for Evangelization in the Office of Black [Roman] Catholics. Next is the link to Living with purpose, a Chicago Tribune article by Patrick Kampert. Under the subheading A broad reach we find out that:

The enthusiasm for “The Purpose-Driven Life” can be found in mainline denominations and evangelical churches, in cities and suburbs. It also reaches across ethnic and cultural barriers. In the Chicago area, more than 200 churches are participating in “40 Days of Purpose” (some used it as a Lenten series).

Among them is St. Walter’s Catholic Church in Roselle, which had hoped 100 people would sign up for small home groups for the “40 Days of Purpose” program studying Warren’s book. Instead, 700 got involved… The parishioners meet and talk about serving others and establishing a sense of community in their [Roman Catholic] church. 
(Online source, emphasis mine)

Here Warren was helping people trapped within an organization that has anathematized the Gospel of Jesus Christ itself to establish “a sense of community in their [Roman Catholic] church.” Since the point is more than made, I’ll simply point out that another link takes us to Catholic Courier of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, NY; and another one was to The Georgia Bulletin which we find out is:

the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, strives to inform, form, inspire, educate, and strengthen the religious identity of the members of the Catholic community of North Georgia by providing significant local Catholic news, information, columns, commentaries, and photographs, as well as national and international news related to the Church. (Online source)

Again, as typical of Warren and Saddleback, this PD Catholics page has since vanished into the vapors of the blogoshere; but as far as I’ve seen, there wasn’t explanation as to why. It’s simply beyond question that Rick Warren embraces, in contradistinction to Reformation theology, the Roman Catholic Church as a legitimate expression of Christianity. And yet out of one side of his mouth Rick Warren says he believes “the five solas of the reformation”,[5] and out of the other side of his mouth says that Protestantism is but one wing of Christianity with the Roman Catholic Church being the other; and further, Roman Catholicism is a facet “of Christianity.”

I ask again; which Rick Warren am I supposed to believe? Well, let’s consider the following from Jeffery L. Sheler, who “spent 24 years reporting for U.S. News & World Report, including 15 years as the religion editor.”[6] One can hardly call Sheler, who also authored the book Prophet of Purpose: The Life of Rick Warren, an ODM. In Rick Warren: ‘What on earth is he here for?’, which is his interview with Church Executive last month, Sheler gives us cause for real concern about the methodology of Rick Warren when he speaks of Warren’s:

calculated efforts to expand his circle of influence. That was new to me, and I learned about it only by talking with some of Warren’s former associates. He himself characterizes it entirely as “a God thing” that simply fell into his lap… 
(Online source, emphasis mine)

Those “calculated efforts” would appear to be in line with something Dr. Michael Horton, who in no way, shape, or form, could be considered an ODM, said recently about the chameleon-like appearance Rick Warren so often exhibits:

Pastor Warren tailors his appeals to his audience.  To Calvinists, he stresses his support for the “solas” of the Reformation.  Yet he tells prosperity evangelist David Yonggi Cho, “I’ve read your books on Vision and Dreams – speak to pastors about how you hear the voice of the Holy Spirit?…What advice would you give to a brand new minister?…Do you think American churches should be more open to the prayer for miracles?” (“Breakfast With David Yonggi Cho And Rick Warren,”  

In a June 2006 article in, editor-in-chief Rob Eshman reported on a speech that Warren gave for Synagogue 3000, after Rabbi Ron Wolfson became involved in the Purpose-Driven pastoral training seminars. “Warren managed to speak for the entire evening without once mentioning Jesus — a testament to his savvy message-tailoring.”  

When USA Today asked him why Mormon and Jewish leaders are involved in his pastoral training programs, Rick Warren reportedly said, “I’m not going to get into a debate over the non-essentials.  I won’t try to change other denominations.  Why be divisive?” (USA Today, July 21, 2003).  Rick Warren endorses a host of books, from New Age authors to Emergent writers to conservative evangelicals.  So why not include Calvinists?… (Michael Horton on Rick Warren, Modern Reformation, and Desiring God)

And then there’s pastor Bob DeWaay, author of Redefining Christianity: Understanding the Purpose Driven Life Movement, the best refutation of Rick Warren’s synergistic people-pleasing pragmatism I’ve seen. In addition to Twin City Fellowship DeWaay heads the excellent Critical Issues Commentary work; he is also not a “discernment ministry”[7], and he has personally met with Rick Warren. On a recent Crosstalk program, hosted by Ingrid Schlueter, DeWaay spoke about what he calls the “file cabinet orthodoxy” of Rick Warren. 

DeWaay explains:

You stick it in a file cabinet, and someone questions you about it, you pull it and show [it to] them. Then you put it back in there; but it really doesn’t influence what you do, how you write, how you preach, how you speak. And it’s not very useful orthodoxy.[8]

I don’t know about you, but I’m hearing sinful ecumenicism in Rick Warren considering the apostate Roman Catholic Church, whose own anathema remains upon the very Gospel of Jesus Christ itself, a Christian denomination. The Church of Rome clearly preaches a different gospel; and if he truly was a “faithful pastor,” then Rick Warren would repent of his sin of being double-minded in accepting Rome’s non-gospel as valid:

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-9)

And he certainly wouldn’t leading his flock right back into the religious spiritual bondage of this romanticized Roman Catholic mysticism.


[1] Emergent Church guru Brian McLaren himself informs us of this:, accessed 9/17/10.

[2], accessed 9/17/10.

[3], accessed 9/17/10.

[4], accessed 9/17/10.

[5], accessed 9/17/10.

[6], accessed 9/17/10.

[7] For the detractors of online apologetics and discernment ministry it’s important for them to include the quotation marks; because those of us in the “ODM world,” quite obviously, could never be as “erudite” and “astute” as they are.

[8], accessed 6/10/10.

See also: