Friday, June 03, 2005

You Is What You Rede

What do Rick Warren, John Maxwell and Bill Hybels have in common? They are listed in a new Barna research paper as the top three most influential authors as determined by current pastors. What more do I need to say? If this is what is shaping the thoughts of the leaders of the church, no wonder we are where we are! You can read a full summary here.
(On a happier note, at least John Piper made it to the list!)


  1. What's wrong with these guys?

  2. I don't know of anything wrong with them personally - my complaint is that they are not what you would describe as theological heavyweights. If the pastors of America find their greatest help from the pragmatic Warren, the marketing-guru Hybels and the corporate-leader Maxwell, that is indicative of a problem; or at least a very suspect theology. Men of God need to be men of God, deep in the things of God. "Like priest like people," as the saying goes. If a pastor's knowledge of God is limited to the maxims and "earth logic" of men, he will not be regularly leading his flock to taste and see that the Lord is good. I just think we need men in pulpits who love God deeply, work through the hard parts of Scripture, preach with conviction what is true and seek to model what they learn in their own life. THAT is hard enough!

  3. Agreed, Paul. I was astonished to find out that Lucado was in the list. I mean, I don't reading his books occasionally, and he comes up with some suprising insights, but overall he's pretty fluffy.

    Here's my list, for what it's worth:
    1. John Piper
    2. John Piper
    3. John Piper
    4. ditto...

    Ok, maybe with a little more thought it would be:
    1. John Piper
    2. Jonathan Edwards
    3. C. S. Lewis
    4. J. I. Packer
    5. John Bunyan
    6. D. L. Moody
    7. Jerry Bridges
    8. Francis Schaeffer (sp?)
    9. John Paton
    10. Henri Nouwen

    How about least favourite? Just for fun...
    1. Agnes Sanford
    2. John and Paula Sandford
    3. John Eldredge
    4. Neil Anderson
    5. Frank Peretti
    6. Julian of Norwich

    ...hmm, that's all I can think of for now.

    Anyone else want to vote?

  4. "Julian of Norwich?!?!" Wow! :-)

  5. Ok, I was going through a mystical phase a while back. She was truly bizarre, but not as bizarre as Mrs. Sanford.

    Here's how Agnes Sanford describes the atonement:

    God's love was blacked out from man by the negative thought-vibration of this sinful and suffering world. .... [Jesus] literally lowered His thought-vibrations to the thought-vibrations of humanity and received unto Himself man's thoughts of sin and sickness, pain and death. ... So He cleansed the thought-vibrations that surround this globe as a purifying plan cleanses our drinking water... ("The Healing Light", pp. 122-123)

    Funny, and I thought atonement had something to do with the propitiation of the righteous wrath of the holy God. Sigh. In some places, it's almost like the Reformation never happened. (Praise God for the teaching at Grace! May the wolves never find any welcome here!)