Rick Warren Can Pray, Right?

Before too many people begin to wonder what on earth Obama is thinking by inviting Rev. Rick Warren to the inauguration, please read The Audacity of Hope, Chapter 6 entitled, "Faith."

In this chapter, a relational theology is set out. One in which the longing for a divine relationship that is eternal and present is set out. In seeking a faith to deal with the existential reality of loneliness, Obama speaks frankly about his mother's spirituality, and his search that led him to faith.

In speaking about his Christian faith, Obama sounds like some of the classic Baptist leaders of the past, especially Roger Williams (I mean the long ago past!), and not much like contemporary liberal or conservative Christian leaders. In fact, he comes out as a bit of an oddball. An oddball that would be too liberal for conservatives and too conservative for liberals. It not just politacal pragmatism, it is a stance that finds much of the certainties and the abiguities of faith too profound to be limited to one "camp" or another.

I think Rick Warren, especially because of his commitment to end poverty, provide HIV care to those in need, and his growing awareness to the validity of a truly social gospel makes Rev. Warren an excellent, albeit initially surprising, choice.