Idol Chatter

rickwarrenforidolchatter.jpgThere’s a new kind of media emerging, the kind related to much of what Beliefnet offer, and a window into what will probably be a major future trend.
The Washington Post and Newsweek have teamed up for “OnFaith,” advertised as the place “where news and religion converge.” (Sounds a lot like Beliefnet, huh?!)
But in this celebrity interview series, the current and most recent “celebrity” interview is with Rick Warren, the best-selling author of “The Purpose Driven Life” and the Founding and Senior Pastor of the largest Christian church in Southern California.
In the interview, Rev. Warren discusses a wide range of matters including the status of atheists, the role of music, the hope of Jesus, and the evidence of God.

What strikes me as most powerful, though, is the prior line-up of “celebrities.” Richard Gere was one, as was Desmond Tutu and Christopher Hitchens. There was a day, not so long ago, when Christian leaders weren’t considered “celebrities” at all. Sure, there have been some in the religiopolitical arena who the media has seemed to focus on, like the Jerry Falwells or Pat Robertsons or Jesse Jacksons through the years, but these have been featured as much as media caricatures or even jesters more than bona fide celebrities.
Rick Warren is one pastor who has not sought the spotlight nor has he become involved significantly in politics. His focus has remained his flock and his calling.
It is refreshing that today’s media age gives rise for someone like Rev. Warren to become a “celebrity,” and I hope many more people of faith will find “celebrity” (and the ability to influence large numbers of others) without having to seek it. If spiritual leaders will do the right things, the media will find you, more so today than ever.

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