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August 27, 2005

Rick Warren's Grand Vision

Is this the new Christendom? Rick Warren's Purpose-Driven passion is now extending to Rwanda, which he wants to use as a prototype for the first "purpose driven nation".

For months the clergyman has alluded in general terms to an immense volunteer effort called the PEACE plan, aimed at transforming 400,000 churches in 47 nations into centers to nurse, feed and educate the poor and even turn them into entrepreneurs. Its details remain unknown, but its Rwandan element seems to have outrun the rest. Warren says he was "looking for a small country where we could actually work on a national model," and Kagame, impressed by The Purpose-Driven Life, volunteered Rwanda in March. In July Warren and 48 other American Evangelicals, who have backgrounds in areas like health, education, micro-enterprises and justice, held intensive planning meetings with Rwandan Cabinet ministers, governors, clergy and entrepreneurs. One dinner was attended by a third of the Rwandan Parliament. Says Scott Moreau, a professor of missiology at Wheaton College in Illinois: "I've never heard of this level of cooperation in the last 100 years between any megachurch, mission agency or even a denomination and a national government."

In addition to the article's reference to Protestant and Catholic involvement in the 1993 genocide, one wonders about the cross-cultural implications of what is largely a Western approach to life. The history of christian-directed nations does not stand up well. Can one turn a successful voluntary program from another culture into a national imprint?

Posted by gary at August 27, 2005 03:05 PM

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