Earlier today, a friend emailed me asking, "In a sentence, what's the thing about Rick Warren that you dislike most? What's the thing that gets closest to being insufferably bad?"
Warren dilutes the gospel (Purpose Driven Life) and marginalizes the gospel (PEACE plan).
To put it a different way, a man can affirm nothing but true things but still confuse the gospel by ordering those truths improperly. Denying the gospel isn't the only way to deny it.
As Carson writes, "I fear that the cross, without ever being disowned, is constantly in danger of being dismissed from the central place it must enjoy, by relatively peripheral insights that take on far too much weight. Whenever, the periphery is in danger of displacing the center, we are not far removed from idolatry." (Cross and Christian Ministry, 26)
Or J.C. Ryle: "Let us never forget that truth, distorted and exaggerated, can become the mother of the most dangerous heresies." (Holiness, 24)
Or Paul Alexander in his 9Marks PDL review: "The difficulty is that even though the gospel is not presented clearly to the unbelieving reader Warren presumes to reach, anyone who prays the prayer is nevertheless immediately affirmed in their conversion and encouraged in their assurance. Yet even if the Gospel had been presented clearly, the effect of Warren's evangelistic method is to produce questionable converts, and the effect of the Purpose Driven model is to replace the primacy of the gospel with the primacy of purpose. The result is a confusion of conversion with living on purpose, giving the whole book a moralistic flavor that matches the hermeneutic which gave it birth."