News Tip: Christianity Expert Available to Comment on New Rick Warren Book

Divinity School professor Kate Bowler says Warren is 're-fashioning church'

Popular pastor Rick Warren released a book this week, "The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life."Kate BowlerAssistant professor of the history of Christianity in the United Stateskbowler@div.duke.edu teaches courses in American Christianity and world Christianity. Her research interests include contemporary evangelicalism, Pentecostalism, megachurches, and religion and ethnicity.Quote:"Pastor Rick Warren, founder of one of America's largest churches, is shedding his chubby, Hawaiian-shirt image for a lean and faith-tested new body. His new book, 'The Daniel Plan: 40 days to a Healthier Life,' helped his congregation lose more than a quarter million pounds in a single year.""His weight-loss plan of faith, fitness, focus, friends and family does what evangelicals do best -- he turns Scripture into recipes for a better life. Evangelicals' sense of urgency, action, pragmatism and all-encompassing faith turns physical failures into spiritual failures.""Overeating becomes gluttony. Lack of exercise becomes sloth. Like other megachurch pastors and televangelists since the 1980s, Warren is re-fashioning church into a place where God can't just save your soul. He has to tone your body, too."                                  _        _        _        _Duke experts on a variety of other topics can be found at