Thursday, January 11, 2007

Rick Warren - Prophet or Pariah?

I occasionally read an article or letter that I wish I had written myself. This week I saw an editorial that fits that description.You see it has become popular lately to bash Rick Warren. For some reason, pastors and other Christian leaders are bothered by the methods or message of Rick Warren. In a recent editorial in the Dallas Morning News, Pastor Benjamin Cole of Parkview Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas discusses Rick Warren and that trend. In the editorial he titles "If We're Rick Warren's Friends, I'd Sure Hate to Meet His Enemies," he does a masterful job of talking about Pastor Warren. He states,

I may not do everything the way Rick Warren would, but I know that I couldn't do a fraction of what he does. People in my church read his books and find his insight helpful. My taxes are lower because he took a case to the highest levels of justice, not to protect his own income – which he gives away at a Bill Gates pace – but to protect the housing allowance exemption of pastors in hamlets like Whitesboro and Wolf City. My sermon illustrations are more diverse because his ministry team sends out helpful tools for finding fresh and creative ways to explain the principles of Holy Writ.

While Baptists bicker about booze, or whine about worship style, or cry over Calvinism, or tilt over tongues, Rick Warren is doing what he can to make a difference in his lifetime.

I don't personally know Benjamin Cole and whether or not I agree with him on anything else. But on the issues raised in this editorial, I firmly stand beside him.

I was also reminded while reading the article of a great interview that Rick Warren did with Charlie Rose a couple of months back. I have posted the video below. (Be advised that the second part of the show involves Gregory Boyd, a pastor with whom I do not theologically agree - particuarly the open theism debate. Dr. Boyd does, however, raise some interesting questions in this interview about the political activity of Christians.)

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