MSNBC/Newsweek: ‘We’re Made for More Than Success’ — In his best-selling book, Rick Warren explored the purpose-driven life. Now the popular pastor is tackling global poverty and disease.

This is very good news. Of course I wish that he would take a bit further (I find it ironic that he calls his campaign “PEACE” since in the past he has preached sermons defensive of American war power (see Pastors.com: When is it right to fight? — by Rick Warren — thanks go to LifeChurchvsIraq.com for sharing this link), but all the same I’m so glad to see someone who has popularity in popular Christianity speak out with such clarity.

And it is happening all over the place. Evangelicals seem to really be waking up to the teachings of Christ with regards to global poverty and AIDS issues in a way that they were not active (with a few exceptions – i.e. Tony Campaulo, etc.) a few years back, which is tremendously good news if for no other reason than that the majority of folks in this part of the country are evangelicals (non-evangelical Christians like myself are a definite minority). I really do believe that progressives (particularly of the religious persuasion) need to find ways to encourage this change and dialogue with those in the midst of it.

Also, on a sidenote the word “evangelical” is a term of art which I need to define in a later post… but the short version of it is that an evangelical protestant is a Christian who believes that the central purpose of the Christian faith is to save souls. Beyond this commonality though, Evangelicals are very diverse — everything from leftist-communals folks like JPUSA, free-thinking believers in the value of art and culture, political conservatives who see their faith as being closely intertwined with their politics, and more hardcore fundamentalists who believe that there is only one way to interpret scriptures and they know what it is… anyway all of that is to say that I’m using the word “evangelical” to refer to this broad religious/social movement, and not in the way that many progressives use it, which confuses evangelicals with fundamentalists… or to say it another way — all fundamentalists are evangelicals, but not all evangelicals are fundamentalists.