Faithful Inclusiveness

According to an article in Sojourners, Rick Warren’s prayer was far broader than I realized. Here’s an excerpt from the article by Arthur Waskow:

I was especially moved by his speaking, in English, the Jewish “Sh’ma“ about God’s unity and the Muslim “Bismillah Er Rachman Er Rahim” — “In the name of God who is Compassionate and Merciful.” I doubt that most Christians knew what he was doing in either case, but Jews and Muslims did.

Warren didn’t water down his own beliefs, but was aware that others might not share them, an important starting position for sharing one’s Christian faith. Waskow continues:

And I respected his going out of his way to affirm that he spoke in Jesus’ name not as if Jesus were the self-evidently, universally accepted God Incarnate, but rather explicitly that Jesus is the aspect of God that Warren himself feels called by.

The full article also discusses the great benediction given by Rev. Lowry and notes that it contained lines from “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” something I immediately caught, but many on air commentators apparently did not. As I have indicated in an earlier post, I was enthralled with Lowry’s benediction, and though I often disagree with Warren, I was impressed with his thoughtful faithfulness in this case.

The full article is at: http://www.sojo.net/blog/godspolitics/2009/01/22/gods-inaugural-spokespersons/.