After Matthew Warren’s Suicide

I feel so bad for Rick and Kay Warren, grieving the suicide of their son Matthew at 27.

Of course, there are no words, but as Greg Laurie said on his blog, there is the Word: God with us. I can’t imagine losing one of my children at all, much less to spend a lifetime watching them battle any type of mental illness. May God give peace to the Warren family.

Adrian Warnack has a nice piece answering the question, can Christians be depressed? (Yes.)

I was grateful to read this reflection, by Beth Moore. I can understand (barely) why people who aren’t Christians might dislike Rick Warren, but it baffles me that so many Christians not only disagree with but even hate him. [Update: Mark Driscoll’s blog entry on this tragedy and the behavior of Warren’s critics is (surprise!) comprehensive and strongly worded.]

Although I don’t know Rick Warren personally, I did get a hug from him once. Two years ago I was attending a conference on the main Saddleback campus in Orange County. Here’s what I said at the time:

I just got a hug from Rick Warren. I’m at Catalyst 1-Day. On a coffee break, chewing on what Craig Groeschel just said (man up, more or less) and Warren comes up from my blind side and says, “How about a hug for a pastor?”, delivers aforesaid hug, and moves on so quickly I didn’t realize at first who it was. Very timely. I really like that guy.

I wish I could return that hug now, when he and his family need it.

Saddleback Church

I do like Rick Warren, as I said. He says we need to be careful about making heroes of living people, because sometimes they don’t finish well, but I think he’s a pretty good model for pastors to aspire to. Not least because he loves other pastors. He did a series of podcasts for people in ministry as impressive as it was brief, and the “Minister’s Toolbox” (subscribe on is certainly worth the time of anyone in ministry.

If you haven’t read The Purpose Driven Life, I recommend you do. I’m just rereading it (actually reading the tenth anniversary reissue) and I’m more impressed now than I was the first time I read it.

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