Tonight at 8:00 PM (7:00 PM central time) Rev. Rick Warren, the pastor of Saddleback Church and best selling author of The Purpose Driven Life will host a first-of-its kind event -- a one-hour interview with Barack Obama and then John McCain, with both candidates appearing live with Warren, but not on stage with one another. John McCain will not be able to hear the questions that Warren asks Obama, nor will he be able to hear Obama's answers. Neither candidate will have an opportunity to respond to the other's answers.
Pastor Warren says, "I’m going to ask them questions about character, competence, about values, vision, virtue, about their convictions in leadership, about their experience ... Every one of your decisions you make is based on your world view. So I’m going to ask them about abortion. I’m going to ask them about the definition of marriage, but I’m also going to ask them more than that ..."
It is interesting that a church and a well-known and respected Christian pastor are the hosts of this event. If anything, it illustrates just how closely religious and political beliefs are to a significant number of Americans.
But during the interview, Matthew 25, a liberal-leaning Christian PAC lead by influential author Brian McLaren, will be running an ad suggesting that Barack Obama is on a stronger moral footing because -- unlike John McCain -- he has never been divorced. Writing at SmartChristian.com, Dr. Andy Jackson notes, "Now the so-called progressive Christians are becoming as entangled in partisan politics as the Moral Majority once did."
I will shortly be posting a multi-part review of McLaren's latest book, Everything Must Change. I am trying to write a review that is as non-political as possible, focusing on the theology and praxis that McLaren claims will transform the Christian narrative into something that can eventually displace the broken narratives of pleasure, power, beauty, and wealth that control our world today.
McLaren is a good writer, and although some of his ideas are still rough he makes some compelling arguments in his book. However, his decision to unequivocally align himself with the Barack Obama presidential campaign will make a non-partisan review of his book difficult.