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McCain, Obama & Rick Warren - The "Purpose-Driven Debate"

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Mark Avery/Reuters/Newscom

(Read caption) U.S. Senator Barrack Obama (D-IL), makes Pastor Rick Warren (R) laugh during a news conference at the 2006 Global Summit on AIDS and the Church at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California December 1, 2006.

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Whose side is God on? Although that probably won't be determined tonight, we will see Barack Obama and John McCain on stage together for the first time this political season.

Brought together by the best-selling author and pastor of the fourth largest church in the U.S., pastor Rick Warren will talk to both candidates tonight for about an hour each.

The focus is on faith. Specifically, as Monitor colleague Jane Lampman reported earlier this week, Mr. Warren's questions will focus on how the candidates lead and make decisions and will cover five topics: leadership, stewardship, worldview, compassion issues, and their vision for America.

The format is somewhat similar to a game show with Warren playing the part of Wink Martindale. One candidate in a soundproof bubble (or room) while the other candidate is on stage. Obama is up first and then McCain. The order was determined by a coin-flip.

They will be asked the same questions and their personal life is on the table because "character matters," Warren said.

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