John Piper and Rick Warren were to sit down for a one-on-one conversation at the Desiring God National Conference in October of 2010, but unforeseen circumstances prevented Warren from being there. On May 1, 2011, they were able to film the interview, which lasted an hour and a half.
Piper explains that he read The Purpose-Drive Life with a fine-tooth comb and significantly disagreed with certain Reformed critiques of the book. The heart of the interview is Piper seeking clarification and confirmation from Warren on various doctrines and distinctives. Piper explains his intentions like this:
My aim in this interview is to bring out and clarify what Rick Warren believes about these biblical doctrines. In doing this my hope is that the thousands of pastors and lay people who look to Rick for inspiration and wisdom will see the profound place that doctrine has in his mind and heart.
You can read the rest of his post here, which sets the stage for the video.
Here is a good word from Piper closer to the end of the conversation:
You are the probably—and I would like to pray for your humility because you are challenged more than anybody perhaps, but we all struggle—but you are the most publicly influential pastor in the world perhaps.
You’ve written a book that has sold, I suppose, as a non-fiction hard book more than any other book in history outside the Bible, something like that anyway. It’s a good seller.
That’s an incredible trust. That’s an incredibly sacred trust and I want to end with an exhortation and a prayer for those who are watching this.
My prayer, Rick, and exhortation is that with your place in history in American church and in the global church is fixed. It’s just fixed. You don’t need to do anymore. Everybody knows what’s up here and how God has—I believe God has blessed Saddleback and God has blessed The Purpose Driven Life.
With that firmly fixed, my plea is that, according to what you just said, you take the next 20 years and really gather these hundreds of thousands of pastors who look your way and press them down deep. Press them into doctrine and press them into the Word, into the deep glories of God. Leave a legacy, not just of breadth and not just of global impact now, but leave a legacy of depth that will last for generations and centuries.
Update: You can access audio and a transcript from this page.
3:29 The glory of God.
7:16 David Wells and the weight of God’s reality.
9:00 Would you write the book the same today?
12:00 The sovereignty of God.
18:47 How do you speak of God’s sovereignty in the presence of tragedy?
22:01 How do all things work for bad for those who reject Christ?
24:14 Do you hedge on Larry King?
27:00 Unconditional election.
30:18 The importance of eternity.
34:42 How do you conceive of eternity: in heaven, on earth?
38:53 What is the Gospel?
42:00 What did Jesus achieve on the cross?
50:50 Why don’t you call yourself a Calvinist?
54:39 Prevenient grace.
60:01 Total depravity.
69:10 Eternal destiny of those who never heard.
72:40 The extent of the atonement.
77:00 Do unbelievers always do the devil’s bidding?
78:40 Your view of the Bible.
82:40 Expository preaching and doctrinal depth.
88:10 Rick Warren’s sacred trust.