Steven Waldman Interviews Rick Warren

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author of "The Purpose of Christmas," spoke with Beliefnet Editor-in-Chief Steven Waldman at the offices of our partner, The Wall Street Journal.

See what Rick Warren has to say about....

The purpose of Christmas
Who goes to heaven
Talking with God
His own doubts
His questions for God
How prayer works
The economy and faith
Abortion
Torture
Gay marriage and divorce
Evangelicals and poverty
Christianity's negative image

What is the purpose of Christmas?

I go back to, Steve, the three things angels said in the very first Christmas. They said, “I bring you good news of great joy, for unto you is born today a savior who is Christ the Lord and peace on earth, good will toward men. “ I say that’s celebration, salvation and reconciliation.

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These are the things, of course, that are the central components of Christianity, that God invaded earth. I believe that Jesus Christ was who he claimed to be; that he was the son of God. That God came in human form. That if God wanted to…, communicate to ants, he would have become an ant. If he’d wanted to communicate with cows, he would have become a cow. But he wanted to communicate to human beings so he became one of us. It’s hard for me to relate to “the force.” You know, ‘may the force be with you.’ I need a God with skin on it. So my God looks like Jesus Christ -- that when I see him, I see God in human form and I can go “oh that’s what he’s like.” And I can get to know him. And of course, it split history into A.D and B.C. And even people who don’t accept the way I see it, every time they write a date, 2008, 2009 they’re using Jesus Christ as a focal point, as the reference point.

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Steven Waldman
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