Apprising Ministries was among the first to break the story that Dr. John Piper made the unfortunate mistake of asking Rick Warren to be a keynote speaker for the Desiring God Conference 2010.

I’m afraid that when he opened the door for Warren into such a respected area of the Reformed circle as the DG conference, and then came to Warren’s defense, he opened the door for a renewed burst of Rick Warrenism.

Another thing Piper’s declaring Rick Warren “doctrinal and sound” helped expand is a new emerging ecumenical evangelical magisterium that’s been growing up around the Elephant Room conferences of James MacDonald.

In New Calvinist Mark Driscoll Hangout With Seeker Driven Rick Warren you can see a number of them appeared together a few weeks ago at the Acts 29 Resurgence R12 Conference.

With this in mind consider the following from Sarah Leslie of Discernment Research Group in her Herescope piece Stuffed Shirts & Their Sycophants: The Cult Of Evangelical Leadership, Part 3. She begins:

Stuffed Shirt: Someone viewed as exceedingly competent, a notch above others, extraordinary, superior, elite, a surpassing expert, a change agent, above average, higher up, unrivaled, first-class, a higher degree, hardly ever wrong, and wealthier than average. Stuffed Shirts are perceived as formal, pompous, narcissistic, arrogant, excessively elite, stiff, controlled, perfectionistic, smug or conceited; and many are considered to be inflexible, condescending, controlling or reactionary.

Sycophant: a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning sidekick; naïve or blind follower; a favor-seeking underling. (source)

Leslie then continues, in my opinion, a dead-on-target assessment of apostatizing evangelicalism:

The evangelical universe has an over-abundance of Stuffed Shirt Types these days. Parachurch organizations are overflowing with them. Seminaries breed them. Conferences are booked to capacity with them. Stuffed Shirts exist solely because they are continuously surrounded by vast armies of Sycophants, their own True Believers.

Here is a partial list of Stuffed Shirt Types, the New Breed of evangelical Mucky-Mucks – consultants, experts, leaders, trainers, coaches, change agents, financial stewards, executives, entrepreneurs, professors, investors, managers, gurus, mavens, best-sellers, keynote speakers, advisors, commanders, portfolio managers, senior specialists, analysts, accountants, CEOs, administrators and top honchos.

The above list was compiled from recent scouring of the Internet to see what sorts of conferences BigWig evangelical Leaders and their Multitudinous Organizations are sponsoring these days. All of these Stuffed Shirts flourish impressive credentials as Successful Experts in their field. No Peons Allowed.

This is the new face of Evangelicaldom. It is being overrun with Stuffed Shirt types. Legions of them. They are all plaguing the church in these last days! And they all cost money! Lots of money. (source)

Without a doubt General of the Seeker Driven Army Rick Warren would fit the bill. We come now to 16,000 Halloween revelers rock Rick Warren’s ‘Blocktober’ an OC Register report last night by Erika Ritchie.

In fact, the photo at the top comes from last night’s Blocktober. We’re told it’s, “Kim Good and her son, Ryan” having “fun during the Saddleback Church Halloween block party.” Ritchie tells us:

Four days after returning from deployment to Afghanistan, Ben Fisher was at Saddleback Church’s mega block party. Fisher, a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton as part of the 1st EOD Company, called Wednesday night his “best Halloween ever.” (source)

It also seems the Saddleback Church officials:

estimated that by 7 p.m., 16,000 people from across Orange County took part in Halloween revelry that spread corner-to-corner across the 120-acre Lake Forest campus. As kids collected candy, visitors checked out more than 10 food trucks, a climbing gym, zip lines, obstacle courses and giant bounce houses. Jurassic Parties put on a reptile show complete with tarantulas, snakes and even an alligator. (source)

As usual Rick Warren offered his justification calling this soiree “a sense of community.” He also did so via a series of tweets on his Twitter account:


Here Warren actually sounds a lot like e.g. Emerging Church “pastor” Doug Pagitt; but to be fair, the evil influence of the Emergent Church is now very deeply embedded within all of evangelicalism itself.

Yes, there’s an element of truth; however, no one is saying we can’t proclaim Jesus anytime. We’re saying these pragmatic events where this “love” is supposedly demonstrated won’t lead anyone to Christ without the Gospel.

Later Rick Warren would tweet along the same idea:


Again, the type of straw man we’d hear out of EC leaders circa 1998. I can also say kids remember fun but that’s no guarantee that they’ll listen to the Gospel; especially when repentance and forgiveness in Jesus’ Name is absent.

Returning to the OC article, Ritchie informs us that:

Warren sat and took photos with kids in their costumes. He said he’d thought about dressing up as Iron Man but decided kids might not want a photo with him in that disguise. Hundreds had their pictures taken with the popular pastor. In some cases he posed with several generations. (source)

If you didn’t know, Iron Man is based upon a character from Marvel Comics. ((, accessed 11/1/12.)) Finally, as Ritchie also points out, sadly this celebrating Halloween is nothing new for Rick Warren and his Saddleback Church:

Dubbed “Blocktober,” the event is now in its third year. Having fun on Halloween is a Saddleback and Warren tradition. The church, now in its 32nd year, held Halloween parties for 20 years, Warren said. One year, the festivity was even held in a waterbed store. The church skipped a few years of Halloween, but created “Blocktober” three years ago. (source)

Further reading