WARREN: We both stand in a relationship of faith. You have faith that there is no God. In 1974, I spent the better part of a year living in Japan, and I studied all the world religions. All of the religions basically point toward truth. Buddha made this famous statement at the end of his life: "I'm still searching for the truth." Muhammad said, "I am a prophet of the truth." The Veda says, "Truth is elusive, it's like a butterfly, you've got to search for it." Then Jesus Christ comes along and says, "I am the truth." All of a sudden, that forces a decision.
HARRIS: Many, many other prophets and gurus have said that.
WARREN: Here's the difference. Jesus says, "I am the only way to God. I am the way to the Father." He is either lying or he's not.
It is certainly true that in the Gospel of John Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the father except by me." But even a modicum of knowledge about biblical scholarship teaches you that there is a vast difference between the Jesus of John and the Jesus of the synoptic gospels: Mark, Matthew, and Luke. In John, Jesus makes all kinds of "I am" statements: I am the bread of life, I am the true vine, I am the way... These pronouncements are unique to John and completely unlike the Jesus presented in the other gospels. Biblical scholarship has long recognized this difference, and mainstream biblical scholarship has long said the "I am" statements of John are likely the product of the community of John and do not likely go back the the historical Jesus. It is highly unlikely that Jesus himself ever said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life."So it isn't accurate for Rick Warren to say that either Jesus is lying or he isn't. Unless he is ignorant of or chooses to ignore good biblical scholarship. My guess is that he knows the scholarship, but it doesn't fit with his faith perspective.