A groundbreaking manifesto on the meaning of life. The purpose-driven life will help you understand why you are alive and God's amazing plan for you -- both here and now, and for eternity. Rick Warren will guide you through a personal 40-day spiritual journey that will transform your answer to life's most important question: what on earth am I here for? Knowing God's purpose for creating you will reduce your stress, focus your energy, simplify your decisions, give meaning to your life, and, most importantly, prepare you for eternity. This recording offers a blueprint for Christian living in the 21st century -- a lifestyle based on God's eternal purposes, not cultural values. Using over 1,200 scriptural quotes and references, it challenges the conventional definitions of worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism. In the tradition of Oswald Chambers, Rick Warren offers distilled wisdom on the essence of what life is all about. Full of hope and challenge, The purpose-driven life will be a classic treasured by generations to come.
Most of the points in this book are sound, but a good chunk of it is so incredibly off that they really made me quite angry. Some of the points were small and minor, such as the statement that there is no such thing as Christian music (chapter 8), only Christian lyrics, which is directly opposed to Scripture (Psalm 150, for example -- how else can we "praise with a trumpet"). Then there are huge points, like where we suggests that we can force Jesus to come back earlier by our own actions (chapter 36).
He uses a very wide variety of Bible versions, supposedly because he wants to "compare translations." But he leans most heavily on paraphrases, especially The Messages, which is notorious for being just a terrible version of the Bible, filled with inaccuracies and Eugene Peterson's own theology. Obviously, Warren here is just trying to pick and choose which version of a verse agrees with himself. And then he hides the verse citations in the end notes where it is very difficult to find them so you can check his quotation.
But there are two major problems here. The first is that this is a very man-centered vision of Christianity that hardly seems to seek God at all. It is all about making God make your life wonderful. And that's wrong. Our faith is God-centered, because only He is worthy of it.
The second major problem is that this book is directed to people who don't know any better. Normally, I will give a book a few stars for being "mostly right" or "partially right," but this book is being marketed directly to people who do not know much about Christianity. It is being marketed to small groups that do not read the Bible. Therefore these people do not know better. They cannot test what is said in this book.
If a mature Christian picks up this book, he will recognize the mistakes but learn nothing new. Therefore the book is worthless to him. If a new Christian picks it up, he will learn something new, but not recognize the major mistakes. Therefore it will be harmful to him. Either way, the book should be avoided. Therefore, I must give it my lowest rating and urge everyone to study the Bible (a real translation, not what Eugene Peterson wishes the Bible said); challenge every word you read from any of these books. Look up every reference Warren makes, because half the time, he is either misquoting with a bad version of the Bible or taking the verse completely out of context.
Do this with every book you read, but, most importantly, read the Bible!
He can sell a lot of books but cannot understand the Book.
A modern American tragedy that will have eternal consequences for millions of misled souls.
Read Piper's "Don't Waste Your Life" instead.
As a Christian, I believe that Christ is our savior and died for our sins. I believe in the power of prayer. I believe there are ways to live our lives which make us better people and give our lives purpose. In many ways, this is what Rick Warren writes about - the problem with the book is twofold:
1. Warren repeats everything again and again and again. At some points, I wanted to scream "Okay, I get it!" Some of the information is so basic I felt Warren was talking down to the reader.
2. Warren presents an exceptionally narrow way of viewing the world which I felt was not inclusive enough. He made me feel that if I didn't subscribe to his interpretation of God's word, than I was not the 'right kind of Christian.' I've always hated that view - it makes me uncomfortable and it doesn't feel correct to me. I didn't appreciate the subtle judgment against other faiths which was woven into the text
On the up side, Warren presents information clearly, concisely and gives the reader a series of questions and meditations to strengthen his points. The book is well organized.
I'm afraid I can't recommend this book to a lot of people - even some Christians (like myself) may feel the book talks down to them and doesn't resonate fully with their beliefs. If you are a person who loves inspirational and religious philosophy, you may want to give it a try.
Maybe, just maybe this would be a good book for a new believer, but I hope they don't stop there.
This book will be helpful for those who "believe" and have "faith" in this Bible story and for those who are afraid of dealing with the wrath and smiting of this loving and forgiving God.
That's it... oh... and it has nice graphics!
The Purpose-Driven Life is a blueprint for a lifestyle based on God's eternal purposes, not cultural values. Well-grounded in Scripture, it offers fresh insights on worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism.
This is a book of hope and challenge you will read and re-read.
A practical answer to 'What on earth am I here for?'