Time: Rick Warren to Head 200,000 Missionaries
Richard Bartholomew printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:09:42 AM EST
Time reported a couple of weeks ago:

Already established as perhaps the most important voice in contemporary American Evangelical Christianity, Rick Warren last week pressed the button that he hopes will take his "brand" to the ends of the earth.

...If last week's conference increases the number of participant congregations in the PEACE plan from 12 to 1,200 -- a reasonable estimate, given that 1,700 pastors were in attendance and many actually head networks of congregations -- then the number of PEACE missionaries would jump from roughly 2,000 a year to 200,000...

Warren's "PEACE" plan is his vision for the economic and spiritual development of Africa, and it has been "beta-tested" (Time's word) in Rwanda (as I blogged here and here) and Uganda (where Warren recently expressed his strong support for laws against homosexuality). Now Warren has apparently brought much of the US evangelical mainstream on board at a "PEACE Coalition Summit". Various pastors spoke enthusiastically about their wish to "take" countries like Mozambique and Nigeria.

However, none of this is at the expense of the home front; an interview from the Religion News Service notes that he is also planning a "40 Days of Purpose" event for New York City. Says Warren:

The idea behind "40 Days of Purpose" is that the pastor teaches on it so you hear it, then you read about it every day, then you discuss it in a small group and then you memorize a Bible verse about it and then you do a project with a group of other people.

By (using those) five ways, we find that people's spiritual maturity was growing a whole lot faster than if I just taught a series of messages on it. That was the idea of multiple reinforcement.

(Since 2002,) 31,000 churches in America -- 31,000! -- have done "40 Days of Purpose." That's one out of every 10 churches in America. Two thousand churches in the Philippines, 1,000 in Australia, about 800 in the United Kingdom. A group of churches said, "Why don't we do this together as a city?"

At Talk to Action, Bill Berkowitz has discussed Warren and the "PEACE Plan" at some length here, while Fred Clarkson has expressed some scepticism towards Warren's reputation as a moderate. Meanwhile, a recent article by Jeff Sharlet, derived from his book The Family, places Warren's Purpose-Driven Life book (described as a "spiritual time-management manual") in the wider context of "lifestyle fundamentalism". Jeff tells us that "as of April 2008", Warren is "the official sponsor of Rwanda".




Display:
Warren undoubtedly thinks he's invented something.

We liturgical types call it "Lent".

I hate to tell him, his main mission field in Nigeria is the Muslim provinces. He better be ready for martyrs. Or does he want to convert the Christians?

by NancyP on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 01:15:57 PM EST


Have you ever thought about doing a book in this area - fundamentalist activity in specific parts of Africa which you tend to cover, in the last decade or so ?

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 07:31:12 PM EST


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