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Belief.net has interviewed Rick warren on several topics. Below are some excerpts that were of interest to me.
On Doubt …
I think when a lot of times we say, “God why don’t you do something about all the suffering in the world” and he’s saying “I’m asking you the same question. Why aren’t you doing something about it? You think I put you on earth just to live for yourself? Do you think I put you on earth just to be a fat cat?
For a long time, I thought I had to figure out every answer to every question before I stepped across the line and said, I’d like to develop a relationship with God. Well, now I’ve been a pastor for 30years. I’ve been walking with Jesus Christ for over 40 years. And I still have doubts.
On Prayer …
That’s another question I have to ask [God] – about how does prayer work, because I don’t really know. The truth is I don’t really know how prayer works.
On the Economic Crisis
The reason why we’re in the economic crisis we’re in right now is that we’ve walked away from the Biblical world view of economics. The Biblical worldview of economics is taught all through the Old Testament, particularly in theBook of Proverbs, which teaches thriftiness, teaches not living beyond your means, teaches the value of saving and investing.
… if I believed you could change people’s hearts through laws I’d be a politician. But I don’t believe that. I believe only God can change a heart, and I believe that change can only take place in a spiritual conversion inside. And you can’t legislate people to, for instance, drop their prejudice against another race or drop their war mongering. So I’m not looking to any government.
Politics is always downstream from culture. By the time you make a law about it, it’s already in the water. So these people trying to make laws either for or against gay marriage – well I’m sorry, that started 25 years ago. If you want to change culture, you start with music, art, sports entertainment.
If you’ve already seen this video, skip to my brief comments below. Otherwise, watch the video first, then read my comments.
Notice this: The substance of the argument featured in this genius media could also be used as a grounds to justify the kind of “love,” that expresses itself through what we normally call statutory rape and child molestation rather than “love.” The Bible condemns it, but then again, the Bible condemns a lot things. Since people pick and choose, choose “love” over hate. Plenty of 50 year old men “love” children under the age of 15, but we usually incriminate them as if it deserved to punished.
Because of my belief in the ultimate authority of scripture and my understanding of basic rules of hermeneutics, I cannot agree with condoning homosexuality (although excluding marriage rights, I would advocate for certain other gay rights).
However, the rhetoric on this video is impressive. In spite of the fact that it confuses several issues, caricatures Christians, and indicates an inexcusable unfamiliarity with biblical hermeneutics, its persuasive effect is likely powerful for those who share the common ground of ignorance about Christian beliefs, attitudes, and reasonable hermeneutics, and who wish the Bible would just mind its own business and butt out of the discussion.
… — … –… –… … … … — … –HT: Vitamin Z