Skip to comments.The God Debate (Sam Harris vs. Rick Warren)
Posted on 04/02/2007 8:52:50 AM PDT by Terriergal
April 9, 2007 issue - Rick Warren is as big as a bear, with a booming voice and easygoing charm. Sam Harris is compact, reserved and, despite the polemical tone of his books, friendly and mild. Warren, one of the best-known pastors in the world, started Saddleback in 1980; now 25,000 people attend the church each Sunday. Harris is softer-spoken; paragraphs pour out of him, complex and fact-filledas befits a Ph.D. student in neuroscience. At NEWSWEEK's invitation, they met in Warren's office recently and chatted, mostly amiably, for four hours. Jon Meacham moderated. Excerpts follow.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
Thanks. Will check it out.
The picture presented as representing Rick Warren at the beginning of the article shows someone else. Does this get more accurate at some point, or is Newswreck just as made up throughout the posted interview?
Warren's BIG problem in this article is he still has his fix on the Earth, rather than on the Heavenlies, as directed by Scripture. He was easily boxed into talking about earthly things for most of the "4 hour interview" - because that's where his focus is.
Warren says "One of the greatest evidences of God is answered prayer." Yet the Scripture says that God's miracles were His way of making Himself known throughout history.
Warren is a post-modern man, making arguments that - for the most part - can be blown off with the post-modern attitude of "I'm glad that your truth."
He would be better off quoting Romans 1 (NOT from the Message) than talking about how God answered a prayer. Lost folk are not going to be debated into believing in Jesus. Scripture will pierce hearts, man's wisdom will not.
Nice find Gal!
I'm not very impressed, it seems that Warren was back on his heels the whole time, but when this was said:
Rick, let's be blunt. Is Sam's soul in jeopardy, in your view, because he has rejected Jesus?
WARREN: The politically incorrect answer is yes.
HARRIS: Is that the honest answer?
WARREN: The truth is, religion is mutually exclusive. The person who says, "Oh, I just believe them all," is an idiot because the religions flat-out contradict each other. You cannot believe in reincarnation and heaven at the same time.
.....my opinion of Warren went up a notch.
But then again, Warren didn't point the reader to the truth by saying Christ is the only way. Still, he didn't deny him like Osteen...
Here's the picture from the top of the article. Although he's lost the glasses, the hawaiin shirt, and the double chin, and is sporting a new haircut (either a toupee or a bad combover, plus he's dyed it), it's def. Warren on the left. Did you not recognize him?
NW: Sam, what are the secular sources of an acceptable moral code?
JO: Surprised NW would come up with such a great question / sarc.
WARREN: Sam makes the statement in his book that religion is bad for the world, but far more people have been killed through atheists than through all the religious wars put together. Thousands died in the Inquisition; millions died under Mao, and under Stalin and Pol Pot. There is a home for atheists in the world todayit's called North Korea. I don't know any atheists who want to go there. I'd much rather live under Tony Blair, or even George Bush. The bottom line is that atheists, who accuse Christians of being intolerant, are as intolerant
JO: Warren scores a big one!
HARRIS: Religion is the only sphere of discourse where dogma is actually a good word, where it is considered ennobling to believe something strongly based on faith.
JO: No. My faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. I base my belief in the Bible on it's historical accuracy - TRUTH.
WARREN: For years, atheists have said there is no God, but they want to live like God exists. They want to live like their lives have meaning.
HARRIS: Many, many other prophets and gurus have said that (they are the truth).
WARREN: Here's the difference. Jesus says, "I am the only way to God. I am the way to the Father." He is either lying or he's not.
JO: Good job, Warren!!!
HARRIS: ...there is no good reason, certainly not a supernatural good reason, for the fact that I have so much and my neighbor has so little.
JO: This is telling. Gives liberals license to steal from hard working tax payers. Wealth distribution. No workee. No Eatee. (that's in the Bible)
WARREN: You'd much rather have somebodyan atheistfeeding the hungry than a person who believes in God? All of the great movements forward in Western civilization were by believers. It was pastors who led the abolition of slavery. It was pastors who led the woman's right to vote. It was pastors who led the civil-rights movement. Not atheists.
JO: Another score for Warren.
WARREN: If death is the end, shoot, I'm not going to waste another minute being altruistic.
JO: So much for the religion of Harris, Doing good for goodness sake. Heck. Where does goodness come from?
WARREN: God is not just a God of love. He is a God of justice. (snip) even if there were no such thing as heaven, I would put my trust in Christ because I have found it a meaningful, satisfactory, significant way to live.
WARREN: The person who says, "Oh, I just believe them all," is an idiot because the religions flat-out contradict each other. You cannot believe in reincarnation and heaven at the same time.
JO: One of my most used evangelism points.
HARRIS: I wouldn't put it in those stark terms, because I don't have a rigid view how someone should spend their life so as not to waste it.
JO: Really? But you just said there's no good reason why some people have more than others. You ARE judging people.
WARREN: You're more spiritual than you think. You just don't want a boss. You don't want a God who tells you what to do.
WARREN: We're both betting. He's betting his life that he's right. I'm betting my life that Jesus was not a liar. When we die, if he's right, I've lost nothing. If I'm right, he's lost everything. I'm not willing to make that gamble.
That was impressive. Considering the short amount of time, Warren hit most of the major points. He could have explored the creation and God's laws of science and nature more, but that would have taken much longer.
G.K. Chesterton vs George Bernard Shaw
"Socialism, Family & Religious Faith"
Walter Martin and Ray Comfort
He did an EXCELLENT job. Just nailed Harris on
all points. I believe it was a "Stephen" moment.
Truly God was speaking through Warren.
Also no glasses. Refractive surgery?
Warren got stuck in the earthlies?
Huh? Where else are you going to find common ground when
debating an athiest? They don't believe in heaven. Duh!
Good analysis, thought I take exception with the following:
Warren: snip/even if there were no such thing as heaven, I would put my trust in Christ because I have found it a meaningful, satisfactory, significant way to live.
That is a twist on the old witnessing line "if I live like a Christian and there is nothing, at least I have lived a better life."
Scripture teaches that "If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied." 1 Corinthians 15:19
WARREN: Jesus says, "I am the only way to God. I am the way to the Father." (John 14:6 paraphrased)
A man dead in his sins (Ephesians 2) cannot understand spiritual things. It is useless to debate such with them. There is NO common ground with a lost person on these matters - how can one find it?
As Paul demonstrated on Mars Hill, we who are in Christ must declare Him to the lost world - not discuss ethereal issues of whether heathens can hold moral opinions.
Overall, I think Warren did much better than I've ever seen or heard him in the past.
Just as we read Scripture in context, go back and
reread Warren's "heaven" comment in context. You'll
I agree. Overall, Warren did much better than expected.
Some people aren't into works to score Spiritual
points (heaven offsets). Some people score Spiritual
points by picking gnats out of their teeth.
- Jo Nuvark -
Common Ground - being "all things to all men".
For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found
an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.
Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I
unto you. (Acts 17:23)
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I
have become all things to all men, so that I may by all
means save some. (1Corinthians 9:22)
NO WORKEE. NO EATEE.
For even when we were with you, we used to give
you this order: if anyone is not willing to work,
then he is not to eat, either. (2Thessalonians 3:10)
INDEED. RW has always believed and taught that.
Which is why you should never trust anyone who smiles too much.
Harris: I'm noticing Christians doing terrible things explicitly for religious reasonsfor instance, not fund-ing [embryonic] stem-cell research. The motive is always paramount for me. No society in human history has ever suffered because it has become too reasonable.
WARREN: We're in exact agreement on that. I just happen to believe that Christianity saved reason. We would not have the Bill of Rights without Christianity.
Unfortuntately Warren not only did not take Harris to task on embryonic stem cell research, he appears to be in agreement that it is explicitly terrible to be against it.
Smile with your mouth closed? LOL!
Here’s a poll conducted by Newsweek, which is associated with this same article on this thread (above) —
91% of American adults believe in God
87% of American adults identify with a specific religion
82% of poll respondents identify themselves as Christian
5% of poll respondents identify themselves as non-Christian (such as Judaism or Islam)
48% of the public rejects the scientific theory of evolution
34% of college graduates say they accept the Biblical account of creation as fact
73% of Evangelical Protestants say they believe that God create humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years
39% of non-Evangelical Protestants and
41% of Catholics agree with that view
10% of Americans identify themselves as having “no religion”
6% said they don’t believe in a God at all
3% of the public self-identifies as atheist
Now, with that information, as indicated in the poll, something is terribly wrong in America between the stated positions and opinions of the public versus the antagonistic and suppressing tactics of the “culture” towards Christianity. There is an agressive and sustained attack upon Christianity going on and has been for over 50 years, in this country.
Just from that article alone we see two men. One man represents (at least in his “profession of belief”) anywhere from 82-91% of the public while the other man represents a mere 3% of that same population of the United States.
And yet — they are given a “platform of equivalence” — as if the one is just as good as the other. And so, this (so-called) “objective” publication, which gives us this interview, ends up elevating the 3% extreme minority position (of atheist) to an highly exalted and elevated position — by simply “pretending” to be “objective.
If they really wanted to be objective, they would find out why atheists are in the deplorable position of being a mere 3% of the population and why they cannot sustain greaters numbers than that. But, for Newsweek to do *that*, they would have to get people to understand that what Romans 1 says — is true...
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
And if Newsweek got too close to that story — about how all recognize and know that there is a God — they *also* might get too close to the following story.
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,
30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
And to get too close to this “story” would certainly be an embarassment to a liberal magazine, to many Democrats (for sure) and to the homosexual agenda that many of those same people support.
They certainly would not like to be identified as being in verse 32, being those —
[ ... ] who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
You said — “Unfortuntately Warren not only did not take Harris to task on embryonic stem cell research, he appears to be in agreement that it is explicitly terrible to be against it.”
Well, I’m not a fan of Rick Warren, by any means. I think he’s going along the lines of the “Emergent Church”, perhaps trying to address post-modernism, but actually being sucked into it.
See http://www.crossroad.to/charts/postmodernity.htm for some information on post-modernism versus biblical truth.
HOWEVER, with that being said, the magazine article did not include all of what Rick Warren said. I would like to see all of it. They said, in the article, that there was four hours of it. I don’t see four hours of transcripts. I only see a few minutes.
It appears, to me, that the magazine has been highly selective of what both of those guys said. I would like to read the entire thing.
FYI Pastor Rick included “using unborn babies for
stem-cell harvesting” as one of his five “non-negotiable”
issues in choosing a candidate on the eve of the
presidential election in 2004.
Warren was agreeing with Harris’ statement “No society
in human history has ever suffered because it has become
too reasonable”. I doubt he was agreeing with the stem
cell comment. (EDITING)
As usual your posts are lush and thoughtful.
What is wrong with America is that we confuse
being “spiritual” with being Christian. I don’t
think for a minute 82% of Americans are Christian.
At the least, and sadly, 82% cannot possibly be
Agree... there was an avoidance of discussion
regarding SIN. Another day perhaps.
And yet he welcomes an pro-abortionist candidate to his church to speak.
I’ve been accused of a lot of things around here, but never the cause of someone joining. Welcome!
Your long time lurking has probably revealed . . . folks don’t always seem to need hard specific facts to RW bash. That he doesn’t do things precisely as they do; or have theology precisely as theirs is . . . . affords seemingly ample rationalization for shredding a fellow believer up one side and down the other.
Sometimes I think it’s jealousy. Sometimes I think it’s raw pride. Sometimes I think it’s common human perversity. But it’s always sad.
And, I think, from God’s perspective, usually far more reprehensible than the issues they rail at RW about.
So you have no problem with:
-Warren having a pro-murder candidate speak at his church?
-Warren claiming that there is no persecution of christians in Syria?
I’ve made my views clear at various times on countless RW bashing threads.
Your putting untrue words in my fingers does not change my perspective.
Your postings have more weight, to me, when they are more honest, accurate, true.
Lying or distorting what I have and/or don’t have a problem with is not fitting; not brotherly; not Christian, imho. Given that, the pontifications about RW fall enormously flat based on your own integrity toward me about what I say, feel and believe. I shall henceforth consider that any allegations you may have toward RW are wholesale bankrupt because of your obvious lack of integrity toward me about what I say, feel and believe.
Or, in Jesus words Quix paraphrased . . . it’s not fitting to throw rocks at the prostitute when one has slept with her.
Has your religion morphed into a negative focus?
Kind of a . . . what . . .
DEVOTION TO CRUCIFYING RW
DEVOTION TO THE CRUCIFIED AND RISEN JESUS?
Based on your answer you seem to be a pure Warren apologist, which by association indicates you support abortion and persecution of Christian brothers.
This scenario sort of flashes through my head . . .
All the umpteen hundred/thousand? lines bashing RW . . .
on one balance scale . . .
And Christ the Intercessor looking under piles of papers and in waste baskets and desks and shelves all over to find more to put on the other side of the scale.
The pile of time, energy, intent, feeling, attitude, raw statements, lines, pages, . . . on the RW bashing side are sooooooooooooooooooo extensive. Everything else seems to pale by comparison.
A curious ‘ministry.’
I wonder how it ranks in terms of Heaven’s priorities.
No. I don’t wonder any more, really.
Given repeated statements of mine on countless RW bashing threads, I believe that you have every reason to
That I do not support abortion nor abuse of fellow believers. To know that I do not based on repeated statements to that effect on my part . . . and to say as you said above leaves me rather incredulous and almost fingerless--errr almost speechless.
If you construction on reality prevents you from accepting my statements about myself and what I believe and feel at face value, I would greatly appreciate it if you could at least avoid ascribing 180 degrees the opposite to me. I don't recall ever doing that to you--even in illustrative hyperbole.
If you are unable and/or unwilling to abide by such minimal integrity toward me and what I say about my own confictions, beliefs, feelings, I will have no choice but to note that and respond accordingly.
A ONE ANOTHER THREAD has been posted. I'm earnestly renewing my efforts to abide by such Biblical standards. I strongly encourage considering something similar on your part.
Most sincerely and most emphatically, Qx
What about his trip to, and comments about, Syria? Or his status as a CFR member? Would you defend those, too?
I saw the citation on this thread, but I didn’t have the energy reread the entire 10 page source document. If Jo says it’s in there I will take his/her word for it.
Why is Saddleback worried about inviting two different world views when the only worldview that matters is that put forth by God in Scripture?
What the poll really tells us is that 82% of Americans SAY they are Christians, which tells us they believe being a Christian is admirable and want to be perceived that way. The trouble is, of that 82% I bet about 30% go to Church regularly. Of that 30% who go to Church I'd bet about 60% read their Bible weekly out of Church. And out that 60% who go to Church and read their bible out of Church I'd bet only 60% make an honest effort to improve their Christian walk on a daily basis. The numbers crunch down real fast when you start to pick at them.
I don't recall making such a statement myself.
Good analysis, but I’d challenge even the 60% of the 30%
whom you say study God’s Word other than on Sundays.
Say you attend a church of 1000 people. Of that number
perhaps 200 attend the midweek Bible Study. Even if our
estimates meet somewhere in the middle, we’ve got a
sorry class of Biblically illiterate Christians.
...yet RW welcomes pro-abortionist
Barak Obama to his church to speak...