I did watch the event. As a pastor myself, and one who has visited Saddleback on two occasions, and has utilized the tools of the purpose-driven church and life and the 40 Days of Purpose program, I was quite pleased with the idea of Pastor Warren serving as host, and the event being held in a church setting. I thought the format was good - asking both men the same questions, but not just the typical debate questions. I was very concerned, however, when I learned that the whole "cone of silence" that was promised was simply untrue - and whether or not Sen. McCain actually did learn the questions ahead of time, it gave those who are already suspicious of the church even more reason for doubt, and brought into question Pastor Warren's credibility. I was also very troubled by the selection of the questions - heavily slanted toward traditional evangelical issues - abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research - with no questions asked about the economy, poverty, health care, or environmental issues. I heard Pastor Warren's explanation that he ran out of time, but yet he managed to get to those core evangelical issues.
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