Is there no end to things Rick Warren does?
On Monday, he’s hosting a forum for World AIDS Day at the Newseum here in Washington that will honor President Bush for fighting against AIDS. That is not one of the top topics I’d say was part of the Bush Administration’s agenda but nevertheless, Mr. Warren’s Global Peace Coalition is giving the president an “international medal of peace” during a Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health. Laura Bush will also show up and a taped message from President-elect Obama will be shown.
Now this man leads a church of 22,000. With all this hobnobbing with top political leaders, does he ever get to do any pastoring? What is kind of impressive is that Mr. Warren is a dynamo that just does not stop.
His Saddleback Forum on the Presidency last August had better questions for both candidates than did any of the official debates. Most pastors would settle at that in terms of reaching the apex of religion and politics, but not this guy. Somehow, he has the gravitas to summon heads of state to his events and they show up. He’s even got a site that advertises and explains all this: RickWarrenNews.com. What’s next, his own TV channel?
Well … almost. I just picked up the news that he’s launching an effort with Reader’s Digest for a “multimedia partnership” that will produce DVDs, workbooks, discussion guides, a social networking web site (for Christians, apparently) and a quarterly magazine called “The Purpose-Driven Connection” based on his best-selling book “The Purpose-Driven Life.”
Does Rick Warren ever stop? With Focus on the Family laying off people in droves and Rick Warren ramping up his product, you can see where America’s religious focus has shifted.
— Julia Duin, Washington Times religion editor