The Christian Post reports that Kay Warren recently delivered a sermon at the Crystal Cathedral at two Sunday Services.
Until his retirement in 2010 after 55 years in the pulpit, controversial preacher Dr. Robert Schuller held the prestigious position of Founding Pastor of the famed Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA. Schuller was also the host of the Hour of Power televangelism broadcast with a worldwide audience of over 20 million viewers.
Robert Schuller is known for his positive, uplifting message. The late Christian apologist Dr. Walter Martin coined the phrase “gospel of self-esteem” to describe Schuller’s teaching. Schuller’s message conveniently left out man’s sinful nature and need for a Savior and instead focused on man’s need for “self-dignity.” Indeed, Schuller’s overarching message could be viewed as a type of “new liberalism.”
In his piece, “The Root of This New Downgrade No-Controversy,” Pastor Ken Silva quotes Dr. John MacArthur as saying just that:
And I’ll tell you, how do you know it’s the new liberalism? Because you can’t stop a seeker-friendly movement, because it’s going to be redefined, it’s going to be redefined, it’s going to be redefined… It’s relentlessly being redefined because the culture changes so fast in a media-driven society. It changes so fast!…
You know, Schuller is the architect of this. Robert Schuller is the absolute father. The grandfather of the movement, who was a little bit below the radar, was Norman Vincent Peale. Norman Vincent Peale is a classic liberal. The primary impact that Norman Vincent Peale has had on the world is through his leading disciple, Robert Schuller, who said to me, “I can sign the confession of my denomination and makes the words mean anything I want them to mean.” Well, that’s classic neo-orthodoxy—or liberalism (whichever).
Robert Schuller claims to have launched the megachurch movement through his Church Growth Institute, and his website has included Rick Warren at the top of the list of pastors who were mentored there:
We are the home of the world’s first Church Growth Institute, launching the mega-church movement in the 20th century. Tens of thousands of pastors, including famous graduates Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Bishop Blake, Walt Kallestad, and Sundo Kim of Korea, were mentored here. Source
Interestingly, in a 2002 Christianity Today article, Kay Warren acknowledged the influence that Robert Schuller had on both her and her husband:
During his last year in seminary, he and Kay drove west to visit Robert Schuller’s Institute for Church Growth. “We had a very stony ride out to the conference,” she says, because such nontraditional ministry scared her to death. Schuller, though, won them over. “He had a profound influence on Rick,” Kay says. “We were captivated by his positive appeal to nonbelievers. I never looked back.” Source
One may wonder why, as part of the Southern Baptist Convention, Kay Warren would be found preaching in a church that has long propagated false teaching. Yet, the above evidence seems to offer a more than adequate explanation.