Published by Zondervan and written with the help of three expert doctors who were recruited to develop the science of the plan, the book illustrates an innovative approach to achieving a healthy lifestyle that is rooted in one’s relationship with God, says CAD. The Daniel Plan will hit retail shelves on December 3.
The plan and book title were inspired by the biblical story of Daniel, where he and his friends, all Israelites from Babylon, asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat the royal food. Their diet consisted of vegetables and water and because of this, “they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food,” – Daniel 1:15 (NIV).
The plan has been tested by Warren who was inspired to curb an obseity epidemic in his church which struck him one Sunday as he baptised 867 people. He realised most of the people were fat and that he too was 40kg overweight. In 2011 12 000 members of his Saddleback Church in Southern California joined him in trialling the Daniel Plan which looks at five key concepts for optimal health. The collective weight loss tallied to over 113 000 kilograms. Warren told Time Magazine that we are responsible (response-able, we are able to respond) as our health does affect those around us, “It affects my kids, my wife, my grandkids and my employer. We need to get rid of the victim mentality and get back to the responsibility mentality”.
The Daniel Plan teaches simple ways to incorporate healthy choices into a reader’s current lifestyle and helps them understand the kind of foods God created to keep them fit and strong, says CAD in a media release. The five key health concepts in the book are faith, food, fitness, focus, and friends. These concepts encourage readers to deepen their relationship with God and offer inspiration as they make positive choices each and every day. “God cares about everything in your life. He cares about the body, soul and spirit. Jesus went into every village — preaching, teaching and healing. Preaching involves our soul. Teaching involves our mind, and healing involves our body. If our body is the temple of God’s spirit, then we had better give him a healthy temple.” Warren told USA Today.
Choice of doctors questioned
Warren’s choice of non Christian medical doctors, has come under some fire. The doctors are Daniel Amen, a psychiatrist; Mark Hyman, a family doctor; who both co-wrote the book and Mehmet Oz, a well-known TV host (Dr Oz Show) and cardiac surgeon. The doctors respectively describe themselves as a Christian, a Jew and a Muslim and have been linked with Eastern meditation and New Age techniques. Responding to spiritual concerns about the doctors, Saddleback Church says they do not endorse any teaching outside of Scripture and “will never compromise our belief that Jesus is the only way to heaven or that the Bible is the 100% completely infallible and perfect Word of God”.
In the official comment on The Daniel Plan website, the church says the expertise of the high profile doctors is respected by the public and medical community at large and has also resulted in reaching much larger audience of people both inside and outside the faith.
“We have already seen literally thousands of people on our campus as a result of involving these physicians who would never have otherwise visited. It thrills us to know that they will have an opportunity to hear the good news about Jesus, and this is our highest goal. We knew ahead of time that some leaders would criticize us for associating with Doctors who may or may not be believers, but we chose, if necessary, to suffer that criticism for the greater cause of enlarging the audience of people who will hear the truth of Scripture about Jesus Christ.”