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Is Rick Warren Still Relevant?

A Daily Beast/Newsweek article wonders whether Saddleback Church's founder can reclaim his spot on the religious and political stage.

Has Pastor Rick Warren's time come and gone?

Ten years after his mega-bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life, catapulted him to fame as a kinder, gentler face of evangelicalism, The Daily Beast/Newsweek interviews the Saddleback Church founder about his ministry, including a program to introduce his message to a new generation.

With that in mind, the anniversary edition of the book has been updated with new chapters plus audio and video links designed to appeal to the social-media conscious.

“This nation is in desperate need of some direction and purpose and meaning," he said. "Somebody’s got to speak up now. And I thought, OK. If nobody else volunteers, I’ll step up.”

Will the efforts be enough to keep him relevant?

In 2008, Warren hosted a presidential candidates forum at Saddleback in Lake Forest and later delivered the invocation at President Obama's inauguration. But in 2012, his planned candidates forum never materialized.

Next year, Warren hopes to help spark a grass-roots spiritual revival.

But some Christian leaders think his approach has become stale. Warren "is one of pioneers of the boomer generation of evangelical leadership, but I think there’s something else going on in the church today,” said radio minister Michael Horton. “There is disenchantment with market-driven approaches [like Warren’s]. A new generation is looking for a little bit more seriousness and depth.”

Read the full Daily Beast/Newsweek story here.

Shripathi Kamath December 10, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Your point does not apply till you understand that Jesus said nothing about the atrocities of the rulers of his times, the Romans, especially in the matters of killing people, and that silence on a matter, which is what you accuse Warren of, is consistent with Jesus's behavior. Now, you could find the verses in the gospel where he cured a leper or said 'thou shalt not kill', or "i'll be back", none of that matters when your charge was that Warren is silent on the atrocities conducted in Iraq by the government. Not until you show where Jesus did so for Romans. Then you can go on with your diversions as if they matter. Till then, hang on to that pipe, you need it.
Shripathi Kamath December 10, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Well, we need to be worried, because a recent poll shows that the anti-science wingnuts are gaining steam (or at least not losing ground). http://www.gallup.com/poll/155003/Hold-Creationist-View-Human-Origins.aspx So when intelligent politicians pander to this crowd, you know there's a long road ahead: http://bit.ly/TZrl0v It is not a coincidence that one political party has a lot more work to do in this regard. Just check out the anti-vaccers in that CDC flu thread. I bet you could identify party affiliation just based on the stances, their side commentary would confirm it. Pretty sure Monsieur Warren and many Chief Spiritual Officers do their part in cultivating this.
Andromeda December 10, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Oh don't worry. The progressive liberals will destroy us economically with their irresponsible spending and perpetual thievery much faster than the anti-vaccers will destroy us with disease or denial of evolution. When the money runs out we won't have to worry about disease or evolution. Only survival. Enjoy your day.
Andromeda December 10, 2012 at 07:59 PM
"Your point does not apply till you understand that Jesus said nothing about the atrocities of the rulers of his times, the Romans, especially in the matters of killing people, and that silence on a matter, which is what you accuse Warren of, is consistent with Jesus's behavior" Next you will tell us that a loving, warm and peaceful God and 'turn the other cheek' Jesus supported the Bush adminstration when it fabricated reasons for invading a sovereign oil-rich nation and thus killing hundreds of thousands of innocents with high-tech weapons while destroying literally $billions$ in personal properties. Raping the land and pillaging the people based on a pack of lies. heh. And God and Jesus watched with glee when a local pastor invited the fabricator himself into his house of worship to sell his wares, didn't they? You're hilarious, Shri. Go do standup. You'd have the crowd in tears.
Shripathi Kamath December 10, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Since you cared to share, may I ask, why is it that you seek advice on such matters from a church? The church has no legal authority over your marriage, and an attorney would probably be in a better position to advise on the matter. No one should be forced to live through physical abuse, less so from a spouse. Likewise, Biblical justification is in the eyes of the beholder. Why revere it, it was created by goat herders for goat herders? Do you really need a book to determine that bludgeoning your spouse is wrong? And that when the book is silent on the specifics of spousal abuse, it is to be left to a priesthood council to adjudicate? While I am not surprised at the church's stance, I am curious if fellow parishioners were of any help?
Shripathi Kamath December 10, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Good recruitment commercial for Warren's church. I hope it runs in a loop on Youtube.
Shripathi Kamath December 10, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Part Deux?
MFriedrich December 10, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Here's the thing, Mike. If the theory of evolution is a fraud, then it can be decisively and profoundly refuted and defeated with evidence in a public, written forum. Perhaps it will be refuted someday? I highly doubt it because of the preponderance of the evidence over the last 150+ years and new discoveries that are built of the back of this knowledge and scientific cornerstones of the theory. But everyone is welcome to try to make a better explanation. Except you can just say it's a fraud with authority. You have to submit papers, data and scientific evidence to support the Christian claim. And these can be reviewed and refuted by other scientists all over the world. Some of these scientists grew up Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist and Jain. So nobody's picking on Christians, Mike. Unfortunately, Christians haven't come up with any better explanations, and the last piece submitted by your side, "intelligent design", was a massive tire fire of embarrassment for Christianity, not just the religious. Scientists are perfectly ok with being proven that their wrong. You can't say the same for the religious
Shripathi Kamath December 10, 2012 at 08:14 PM
That's one way to keep me occupied while you look for Jesus specifically speaking out against the atrocities of his Roman rulers.
Andromeda December 10, 2012 at 08:15 PM
"Since you cared to share, may I ask, why is it that you seek advice on such matters from a church?" Because in times of trouble people have traditionally used churches to find answers and spiritual guidance that might ease their minds and give them direction. In fact, that used to be the american-way before the nanny state took over. The church used to provide console and relief for those is harm's way. Now with the new line of thinking - the knee jerk reaction is to seek a lawyer or to run to the gumbint for help. And with the notable decline of our empire to date, it appears that the former way of life worked much better. It's doesn't mean that the church has to be the know-all, end-all. But it's a good place to start. And not all churches tell the victim to suck it up and live with an abusive husband. But if it's the same one that invited the master of destruction George Bush into the holy worship center to sell his wares it would not surprise me if true.
TGB December 10, 2012 at 08:38 PM
I am not sure how we jumped to Democrat bashing, but science is based on groups of facts, religion is based on a group of unprovable faiths. A fact is defined as something that actually exists, reality, truth. Faith is a belief based not on proof. "Evolution is not fact but a fictional story." "Christianity, because of the holy bible written by god, provides the understanding for god" How do you have an intelligent discussion with these two statements? I am not going to enter into a discussion of evolution versus creation, however I clearly want my politicians to base decisions on fact not faith. I want my leaders of the free world to believe in science, teach our children science so we can compete in the world. Whatever religious or spiritual beliefs they have, I could care less as long as it does not impact me or my country.
Shripathi Kamath December 10, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Because only Republicans (the real ones, not the RINOs) can be Christians. Just ask Pastor Warren, he'll likely tell you the same thing. Not on national camera, though. "I want my leaders of the free world to believe in science" I want my leaders of the free world to accept science, and occasionally state that it is, and has been, the most successful, self-correcting, methodology for understanding nature. "Whatever religious or spiritual beliefs they have, I could care less as long as it does not impact me or my country." Unfortunately, they do. When you have a congressional representative who claims that one cannot get pregnant through a legitimate rape, and is on the House Science Committee, it does impact you, me, and our country. Negatively. So could you care less?
Andromeda December 10, 2012 at 08:52 PM
So what you're actually saying is that our loving and peaceful God prefers to remain silent on the subject matter of humans killing other humans in massive numbers based on false pretenses? Is that it? God has no such interest in such human behavior and wants his representatives on earth to turn a blind eye? Is that your point? Please elaborate more. Sooner or later we'll discover your real opinion on the meat of the subject matter here. But if you only want to hand it out piecemeal, I guess that's your privilege.
TGB December 10, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Shiripathi We agree, I was trying to let the possibility of having of a politician not let there religion, dictate their political stance, rare as that may be. Example, Joe Biden is opposed to abortion but is pro choice.
Shripathi Kamath December 10, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Feign complete ignorance of the conversation with "what you are really saying is..." Yes, that'd be another way of keeping me occupied while you hunt for verses that show Jesus speaking out against the atrocities committed by his rulers, the Romans.
Mike F December 10, 2012 at 09:05 PM
That evolution is "science" must be proved not just agreed to. Godly Creation is something that is understood by Christians because God has provided us with the Holy Bible. Denagrating God or cursing God is not my problem; it is your problem. Deciding what will be called science is like having a judge, so many judges these days, making a decision based on their opinion rather than confirming the decision based on the Constitution - which makes the opinion unConstitutional - but then becomes the decree of the Democratic Party. Christianity is about glorifying God and not about glorifying people. That is what Sin is about; whether we glorify God or glorify ourself. Sin is not about evil. Evil must be countered within the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Christianity is the first line of defense, the rule-of-law is the second line of defense, and the police/military services are the third line of defense.
Shripathi Kamath December 10, 2012 at 09:06 PM
OH, I wasn't aware that you were a battered spouse, Andromeda. I hope you received a better resolution than JaneDoe. "Now with the new line of thinking - the knee jerk reaction is to seek a lawyer or to run to the gumbint for help" Yes, when a woman gets the living daylights hammered out of her, the last thing she should do is rush to a lawyer or get help from the gumbint. Rushing to a pastor Warren is more prudent, because tradition.
Shripathi Kamath December 10, 2012 at 09:20 PM
"Christianity is the first line of defense, the rule-of-law is the second line of defense, and the police/military services are the third line of defense." Against whom? Neurotropic viruses carried by canines? What passes for falafel at the local deli, or the thing called singing indulged in by Rod Stewart? Pretty sure if we could use rule-of-law, we could prevent Rod Stewart. "Denagrating God or cursing God is not my problem; it is your problem. " It's a victimless crime, so why would it be a problem in the first place? " Deciding what will be called science is like having a judge, so many judges these days, making a decision based on their opinion rather than confirming the decision based on the Constitution" Yes, there was a clear cut clause in the Constitution that could have decided whether the boson discovered at 125 GeV was really the one Peter Higgs had postulated. FREAKIN' DEMOCRATS! Ruined everything! Maybe Pastor Warren can restore sanity to this madness.
Andromeda December 10, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Somehow inferring that I was a battered spouse is a very faulty assumption, Shri. Do you make a habit of that? Not everyone has a load of cash to hire a lawyer, Shri. The average citizen doesn't even have $2000 to spare for an emergency. But there you go again. Inferring. Churches oftentimes give the victim initial moral and emotional support so that she can gather the strength to make cogent and intelligent decisions. But I figured you wouldn't think of that. heh.
Shripathi Kamath December 10, 2012 at 09:43 PM
The problem is that unless politicians get no advantage from keeping their faith private, they'll always let it leak through in the public discourse. Obama, Romney, Ryan, Rubio, George the Younger, Carter...all take extreme pains to insist "My faith is central to my governing" or some such nonsense. What I yearn for is the media to then take them to task over this. The moment Romney says how strongly his faith guides him, he loses the privilege of it being private. At that point, a responsible media should be hammering him on the LDS church's stance during his youth/young adulthood, towards blacks. When Obama takes his gospel tour during the 2007-2008 primaries, the media should be asking questions on how he reconciles some of the absurdities he spews on that tour. Instead, they focus on some fiery speech by his pastor, as if Wright and not Obama was running for office. If faith was truly private, and Biden may be a exception in that he actually keeps that private (too bad he cannot do that for some of the other nonsense he does not), we would rightly make it easier for church and state to remain separate. As it is, there is a great reluctance on the part of Obama's IRS to pursue action against blatant and increasingly daring challenges by church pastors to mix religion and politics and enjoy their tax-free status.
Shripathi Kamath December 10, 2012 at 09:49 PM
"Somehow inferring that I was a battered spouse is a very faulty assumption, Shri. Do you make a habit of that?" Only when I ask the question of a battered spouse who shared, and another jumps in to respond. "Churches oftentimes give the victim initial moral and emotional support so that she can gather the strength to make cogent and intelligent decisions." Yes, like whether to report abuse to the cops, or tell her to go back and work to fix her marriage like a good Biblical wife should. Hey, that is what JaneDoe said too. Coincidence?
Mike F December 10, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Now there begins the SF Shoutdown or the DoC Change-the-subject. I mis-spelled denigrate, my apology.
Shripathi Kamath December 10, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Yes, the subject was "Pastor Warren: Relevant?". Then someone changed it to "Democratic Party is of the Devil" Now that you have manage to convince yourself that you are being "shouted down" by the SF (Santa Fey? San Francisco? Sigmund Freud?), what would you like to change it to?
Andromeda December 10, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Cops aren't lawyers for hire, Shri. And most victims know how to contact the cops without going to a lawyer or to a pastor first. But churches are excellent places for people with problems to start. And to deny that is ignorance. Ok, I'm finished with you.
Mike F December 10, 2012 at 10:27 PM
There you go again. The article was to infer that Christianity needed to accept the Democratic Party line. SF stands for San Francisco and the "free speech movement" that the Democratic Party was going to make a commune of California. Well, fifty years later California is on the verge of the Democrstic commune. The San Francisco Shoutdown has been used by the Democratic Party for the last fifty years to disrupt speakers that the Democratic Party did not want the public to hear. This has now become so common with Democrats that they use it all the time. DoC stands for District of Columbia.
Shripathi Kamath December 10, 2012 at 10:32 PM
"Cops aren't lawyers for hire, Shri." Brilliant insight there, what's next? Apples are not pet crows for pies? "And most victims know how to contact the cops without going to a lawyer or to a pastor first. But churches are excellent places for people with problems to start." Yes indeed. Because when your face is bashed in, it might be hard to spot the 9 or the two 1s. Better organize a trip to Casa Warren so that you can be told that as a dutiful Biblical wife, you need to place your trust in a celestial being and work on that marriage " And to deny that is ignorance." Yes, fiat declarations go a long way to prove such maxims. Especially when it can be shown that reporting a crime to a cop means you cannot go to a church ever. "Ok, I'm finished with you." Whatever will I do with my hurt feelings, now!
Shripathi Kamath December 10, 2012 at 10:37 PM
"The article was to infer that Christianity needed to accept the Democratic Party line. " How cleverly did they do so, that you spotted it! And evolution. And science. And .. wait what? "The San Francisco Shoutdown has been used by the Democratic Party for the last fifty years to disrupt speakers that the Democratic Party did not want the public to hear." Fortunately, there is YouTube. Where one can hear Pastor Warren rail against the evils of the world. He also managed to deliver the invocation at the inauguration of Barack Obama (D - Kenya). I wonder where the SF were hiding, because that was not "Shoutdown"ed. Liebrul media conspiracy? "Well, fifty years later California is on the verge of the Democrstic commune." Colorado and Washington beat us to it. Damn!
Mike F December 10, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Thanks for re-stating the obvious.
Shripathi Kamath December 10, 2012 at 10:57 PM
You're welcome. I like re-stating obvious contradictions when they are left unanswered by the one asserting them. Like, how did the SF not manage to shoutdown Pastor Warren when he delivered the invocation at Obama's inauguration?
TGB December 10, 2012 at 11:26 PM
I think I will let Shripathi handle my side of the conversation since she is doing such a good job of it. If someone says something so outrageous that I just cannot contain myself I will interject. Otherwise I will just enjoy the ride.

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