Does God Want You To Be Thin?

A Bible passage inspired Pastor Rick Warren's congregation to lose a collective 260,000 pounds. How faith can fight obesity

Bryce Duffy for TIME

Pastor Power, Warren has lost 55 lb. so far, with 35 to go.

Correction Appended: June 6, 2012

Rick Warren was once a very fat man. It's not as if he's skinny now, which as you discover when you meet him is kind of a nice thing. "Have you hugged a pastor today?" he asks as he enters a room. "It's good for your health." And it does seem that way, since to share a hug with Warren is to be gathered into a big, benign, bearish embrace — a feeling that makes you hope he never loses another ounce.

But Warren, 58, once weighed 295 lb. — 90 lb. too much for...

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