The Desiring God National Conference was supposed to be the next battle for the evangelical mind after John Piper invited Rick Warren to speak. But Warren did not appear live on Friday, saying that he made three separate hospital visits to three separate family members. Piper said that he still has 13 pages of questions to ask him about The Purpose Driven Life, and they will set up something on video "so you can see me go after Rick Warren."

"There are people who love to think … There are others who don't like to think. This conference is a pain in the rear end to them. They're just here to see Warren and Piper fight," Piper said to the crowd during a panel. "[They think,] oh good night, can I just read my Bible, just relax, put my feet up, get a cup of coffee, enjoy Jesus?"

Warren was supposed to appear at the NewSpring Leadership Conference September 16 with Andy Stanley, but canceled his appearance. He tweeted, "My family is my 1ST ministry. I'll never regret I put them before work. Canceled East Coast mtgs this wk due to family needs."

Separate from the Desiring God conference, Warren acknowledged critiques from pastor John MacArthur. "Bob, regardless of what he's said about me, I respect & love John MacArthur. His words don't control my response or attitude."

The reformed blogosphere experienced a miniature eruption after Piper's invitation. Tim Challies wrote, "To invite him to this conference is to downplay all of the harm brought about by his unbiblical and pragmatic style of ministry," and Michael Horton wrote, "I believe that [Warren's] message distorts the gospel and that he is contributing to the human-centered pragmatism that is eroding the proper ministry and mission of the church."

Warren addressed nearly ...

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