Rick Warren, Jon Meacham and Tim Russert: History, Christianity, and the United States Wednesday, Apr 18 2007 

Here is a great interview with Rick Warren and Jon Meacham done by Tim Russert on Meet the Press. It addresses Christianity in America, in history and in the world today.

MTP Transcript for Dec. 24
Rick Warren, Jon Meacham
Updated: 1:17 p.m. CT Dec 24, 2006
MR. TIM RUSSERT: Our issues this Christmas Eve morning: faith in America. Can religion unite the country for the greater good? And what role will God and values play in the 2008 presidential election? With us, the pastor of one of America’s largest churches and author of the best-selling hard-cover book in U.S. history, “The Purpose Driven Life,” Dr. Rick Warren; and the editor of Newsweek magazine and author of “American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers and the Making of a Nation,” Jon Meacham. Then, two MEET THE PRESS holiday traditions, our MEET THE PRESS MINUTE from Christmas Day 51 years ago with poet Robert Frost and a special performance by the U.S. Navy Band Brass Quartet.
But first, we are joined by Pastor Rick Warren and Jon Meacham. Welcome both, Merry Christmas.
DR. RICK WARREN: Thank you, Tim. Merry Christmas to you.
MR. RUSSERT: Jon Meacham, let me start with you. Ninety-five percent of Americans say they believe in God. (more…)

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Christianity and Atheism; Rick Warren and Sam Harris in Newsweek Tuesday, Apr 10 2007 

I was sitting in class today when I noticed a Newsweek sitting on the empty chair beside me. I quickly flipped through it seeing if there was anything that caught my eye when I saw Rick Warren’s name. it seems like every time I open Newsweek they have some article on Rick Warren, his books The Purpose Driven Life / Church, or his church. This article was an interview between Rick Warren and Sam Harris, the well known atheist who has written many books on the subject. I started reading and couldn’t stop. This was a great interview that I encourage you to read, especially if you have questions about Rick Warren and his Christian faith or atheism and its worldview.

God Debate: Sam Harris vs. Rick Warren
At the Summit: On a cloudy California day, the atheist Sam Harris sat down with the Christian pastor Rick Warren to hash out Life’s Biggest Question—Is God real? A NEWSWEEK exclusive.
Newsweek
April 9, 2007 issue – Rick Warren is as big as a bear, with a booming voice and easygoing charm. Sam Harris is compact, reserved and, despite the polemical tone of his books, friendly and mild. Warren, one of the best-known pastors in the world, started Saddleback in 1980; now 25,000 people attend the church each Sunday. Harris is softer-spoken; paragraphs pour out of him, complex and fact-filled—as befits a Ph.D. student in neuroscience. At NEWSWEEK’s invitation, they met in Warren’s office recently and chatted, mostly amiably, for four hours. Jon Meacham moderated. Excerpts follow.
JON MEACHAM: Rick, since you’re the home team, we’ll start with Sam. Sam, is there a God in the sense that most Americans think of him? 
SAM HARRIS: There’s no evidence for such a God (more…)

Time Magazine’s cover story on the Bible Thursday, Mar 29 2007 

20070402_107.jpgThis weeks Time Magazine features a cover story on teaching the Bible in schools. After all of the controversy and court cases over the past fifty years is the United States going to change it’s mind and put Bibles back into the schools? That is the question Time asked saying, “Should the Holy Book be taught in public schools? Yes. It’s the bedrock of Western culture. And when taught right, it’s even constitutional.” In a well written and fair article David Van Biema makes the case that the Bible should be taught in American schools. He writes:

SIMPLY PUT, THE BIBLE IS THE MOST influential book ever written. Not only is the Bible the best-selling book of all time, it is the best-selling book of the year every year. (more…)

“The Big Debate” James Dobson and Jim Wallis Tuesday, Mar 20 2007 

In a response to James Dobson’s (along with others) letter to the National Association of Evangelicals addressing the issue of NAE vice president Richard Cizik’s “relentless campaign” on global warming Jim Wallis has “invited Dobson to a debate on the question, ‘What are the great moral issues of our time for evangelical Christians?’ and suggested that a major evangelical Christian university should host it.”

I heard Richard Cizik speak at Gordon College on February 16, 2007. He showed a video called The Great Warming, a film about global warming, its effects, and our need to act to stop it. While I think that he did a fair job of talking about the need for stewardship and creation care, Richard went over the top when he said that there has been no evidence to the contrary of global warming. He did not mention that many respected scientists do not believe in global warming. I believe that we should live responsible lives of stewardship, but telling people lies in order to convince them of your opinion is a terrible way to make your point. I look forward to seeing this debate between Dr. Dobson and Jim Wallis and would love to see it take place at Gordon College.

vacation in the bahamas and theology Wednesday, Mar 14 2007 

bahamas.jpgThis week I am enjoying a wonderful vacation with my family in the Bahamas on the island of Grand Bahama. I plan to do a lot of reading, scuba diving, sailing, and swimming in the ocean, all while enjoying some much needed time away with my dad, mom, brother, and sisters. For books, I brought along Chosen for Life by Sam Storms, The Cross of Christ by John Stott and, of course, my Bible (ESV). So far Chosen for Life has been very good. As someone who just a couple of years ago would have called himself an Armenian Christian (more…)

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom Tuesday, Mar 6 2007 

10631067.gifI just finished reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. It is a very well written and powerful first hand account of the torture that Jews and non-Jews alike had to live through in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany during World War II. Corrie and her family were Christians in Holland who had always been ministers of Christ’s love to those around them. They continually opened their home to the poor and needy, at times having as many as eight orphans living with them at once. This love did not change when Nazi Germany took over and occupied Holland in 1940. At the risk of her life, Corrie began work in the underground system helping to move hundreds of Jews from the city to safe houses around the entire country. Eventually Corrie and her family were caught and they were sent to concentration camps. In this book Corrie recounts the tremendous horror that took place in those camps as well as the continually faithfulness of God to preserve and protect her and her sister Betsy.
One specific occasion Corrie wrote about that really impacted me was when she and her sister, Betsy, were at a concentration camp in Germany. They were standing outside, nearly naked, in the middle of the winter. Unclothed and freezing, the thousands of prisoners were standing in line waiting for their name to be called during the 4:30 AM roll call that happened every morning. While they were standing in line, women were literally collapsing from the lack of food, clothing, and extreme winter weather’s impact on their bodies. As if that was not enough, they were also pushed around and beaten by the guards who treated them worse than animals. Standing there, sick and freezing, Betsy said to Corrie that they needed to pray for these poor and sick women. Corrie said she agreed. It wasn’t until later that day that Corrie learned her sister was speaking of the prison guards who were torturing them. Corrie marveled that the amazing grace God had given her sister to love the very people who eventually killed her.
This book is an important book for Christians to read. The Hiding Place is a picture of Christians living out their faith in the most extreme of circumstances and God’s faithfulness through it all.

Martin Luther on sin and temptation Tuesday, Mar 6 2007 

Michael Foster posted this great quote from Martin Luther…

Luther said it well, “Do not suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused. Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we prohibit and abolish women? The sun, moon, and stars have been worshipped. Shall we pluck them out of the sky.”

Humility: True Greatness Friday, Mar 2 2007 

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C.J. Mahaney writes in this great book:

Here’s an essential truth: To learn true humilty, we need more than a redefinition of greatness; we need even more than Jesus’ personal example of humble service. What we need is His death.

Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45