Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Getting Warrren Right

Recently an article appeared in the Orange County Register (the original article is here) which claimed that Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church (author of The Purpose Driven Life) had stated that Muslims and Christians worship the same God, along with some other outrageous statements.  This article has been widely distributed and commented on at many Christian websites and blogs, with much strong condemnation of Warren's reported views.

Pastor Warren has since issued a clarification and refutation of many of the things in that article.
QUESTION: Do people of other religions worship the same God as Christians?

WARREN: Of course not. Christians have a view of God that is unique. We believe Jesus is God! We believe God is a Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Not three separate gods but one God. No other faith believes Jesus is God. My God is Jesus. The belief in God as a Trinity is the foundational difference between Christians and everyone else. There are 2.1 billion people who call themselves Christians . . . whether Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Pentecostal, or Evangelical . . . and they all have the doctrine of the Trinity in common.

QUESTION: A recent newspaper article claimed you believe Christians and Muslims worship the same God, that you are “in partnership” with a mosque, and that you both agreed to “not evangelize each other.” You immediately posted a brief refutation online. Can you expand on that?

WARREN: Sure. All three of those statements are flat out wrong. Those statements were made by a reporter, not by me. I did not say them . . . I do not believe them . . . I completely disagree with them . . . and no one even talked to me about that article!...
Read the whole thing here.

I have benefited from some of Rick Warren's books and admire his work, even though not agreeing with him on every method or emphasis. However, if bloggers are going to criticize Pastor Warren, they should at least make every effort to get the facts right and let him speak for himself. I don't think it is ever safe to rely solely on a piece in a secular publication for accuracy on Christian theology or practices, especially not an article about such a well-known and influential person as Rick Warren.