KING: OK. Do you think Christianity is slipping in America? That’s the front cover of “Newsweek,” out today. Quite a loss occurring in the Christian community. There you see the headline.
WARREN: Well, I would say it’s the best of times and the worst of times. First place, I don’t think that all of the questions that are asked in surveys are always as objective as they could be. For instance, if you ask people, are you a Protestant — and the number of Protestants has gone down dramatically in the last 30 years. I don’t even call myself a Protestant. (emphasis mine) (read the transcript here)
Rick Warren is not a Protestant? What in the world is he? I didn’t think he was the sort that claimed to be “post-evangelical” like the Internet Monk, or a proponent of the “emerging church.” Even though I spent over twenty years in Baptist fundamentalism which denied being Protestants (even though they really are) because of their commitment to a view of Baptist history called “Landmarkism” or Baptist Successionism, I seriously doubt this is the case with Rick Warren.
I searched around the web looking for an answer and the only real lead I could find was found at Apprising Ministries, a discernment ministry blog. One post carries the title, “Southern Baptist Pastor Rick Warren Corrects Martin Luther.” In this post, Warren is quoted as saying:
“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,….”
It appears he’s willing to seek common ground with other segments of “Christendom” which deny the gospel of justification by grace alone through faith alone, because of Christ alone, according to Scripture alone, to the glory of God alone–the gospel of the Protestant Reformation. I’m sure Warren affirms this gospel personally, I’m sure he’s aware the Roman Catholic Church anathematized this very gospel at the Council of Trent and has never rescinded such a blasphemous stance. I wonder, however, if Pastor Warren cares. Here’s the link to Apprising Ministries’ category of posts on Rick Warren, if you desire to read more about his activity regarding the relationship between Protestantism and Catholicism.
Do any of my readers know any more about Rick Warren’s stance on Protestant identity? Has anyone ever heard him deny that he’s a Protestant before? I’m interested to learn more about how he categorizes himself.