Rick Warren is the enormously influential pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California and the author of a bunch of books about purpose driven this and that. You’ve probably heard of him. The following quote is from a letter he sent his congregation about the upcoming Easter weekend:
“At our Easter services in the last three years more than 5,000 people opened their lives to Christ – because YOU invited them! It’s almost guaranteed that if you bring those you care about to a Saddleback Easter service, they will come to know Jesus.”
(ht: Tim Ellsworth)
Wow. What do you think about this kind of pronouncement? It strikes me as indicative of an approach to preaching and evangelism that approaches conversion as a technique that can be mastered, and Warren thinks they’ve gotten it. He sounds like Charles Finney, the 19th century revivalist who wrote, “A revival is not a miracle, nor dependent on a miracle, in any sense. It is a purely philosophical result of the right use of the constituted means—as much so as any other effect produced by the application of means.”
(BTW – Here’s an interesting article on Finney by Michael Horton).