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Smith, Warren keeping in touch on daily basis


(RNS) Best-selling author Rick Warren says he's keeping in touch with the Atlanta-area woman who recently used his Purpose Driven Life book to help free herself when she was held hostage.

"As soon as I heard about this, we were in touch by email, and now we are in regular pastoral conversation," Warren told USA Today in an interview published March 23. "We talk every day about verses of the Bible and pray together, and I encourage her."

Warren, who recently returned from a trip to Africa, also was a guest on CNN's Larry King Live on March 22. He told King that Ashley Smith's time with alleged courtroom murderer Brian Nichols demonstrates "that God can use anybody."

"Ashley will tell you, she's just an ordinary person," Warren said. "She wasn't some saint. She wasn't some preacher or some theologian. God uses normal ordinary people in daily life. And if God only used perfect people, nothing would get done.

"There's not a single new thought in Purpose Driven Life that hasn't been said in historic Christianity or Judaism," he told the newspaper. "I'm just a communicator for the 21st century."