The purpose-driven life : what on earth am I here for?

by Richard Warren

Paper Book, 2002



Call number



Grand Rapids, Mich. : Zondervan, c2002.


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.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member nesum
You know, I've heard from people I trust that Rick Warren's sermons are very good and doctrinally sound. I will assume they are right. If so, I don't know where this book came from.

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!
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LibraryThing member tloeffler
A great example of how words in the Bible can be interpreted to mean whatever you want them to mean. I agree that life needs to be lived with a purpose, but none of his stuff seemed to follow anything logically.
LibraryThing member ukbar
Brainwash for fundamentalists. The Reason Driven Life by Robert Price is a great explication of what is wrong with this book.
LibraryThing member jonmodene
Shallow and callow look at man from man's own view point.

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.
LibraryThing member perrigoue
Gospel-lite at it's greatest! When I hear people reference their spiritual life with whethe or not they've read this book I get worried. Could do a better job with helping the reader understand their total depraved sinful nature and their absolute need of a God that will save them from death.

Read Piper's "Don't Waste Your Life" instead.… (more)
LibraryThing member JeremyMeeks
Worst book ever. This thing is a joke. Had to read it as a TEXTBOOK for a class. My University shall remain nameless. Laughable.
LibraryThing member writestuff
I received this book as a gift - otherwise I probably wouldn't have read it. I don't read a lot of nonfiction, and when I do it is not usually self-help or inspirational nonfiction. The Purpose Driven Life is meant to be read slowly over 40 days - one chapter a day. My husband and I read it together and discussed it; and in this regard it was a good experience.

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.
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LibraryThing member ScottBridwell
Didn't finish this book...In college I studied "The Purpose Driven Church" as a text book and I've been to the conference at Saddleback. This book was for me a re-run. I don't like devotionals or fluff or hype and thi book has all of that and more. I keep waiting to see the Purpose Driven Happy Meal where I can collect all 6 Purpose Driven Toys.

Maybe, just maybe this would be a good book for a new believer, but I hope they don't stop there.
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LibraryThing member herlibrary
I've heard it all before. God loves you, you are here to serve God; the only way to serve God and have an eternity in heaven is through Jesus Christ; the Bible (in it's many versions and translations)is the word of God....yada, yada, yada....All this as a prelude to spend an eternity with God. No thank you. I find the thought of living blissfully happy and praisng God for E T E R N I T Y eternally and blissfully boring. Don't forget that quite a few of those blissfully happy angels and Watchers rebelled against this eternal bliss and abandoned the blissfully happy "Eternity" ship.

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.
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LibraryThing member grace4quiddity
Well what can I say that wont go against millions of people who think this book is great stuff? Well... I enjoyed chapters 17-19 concerning the church family. It helps to reaffirm that you can be a part of a family and still accepts it's faults.

That's it... oh... and it has nice graphics!
LibraryThing member eschator83
I'm astonished at how hard it is to find much else written about whether humans have a purpose in life-and what that might be-and what it's orgination is. I am delighted to see the popularity of this Warren book (345 as I write this), and I encourage every member to consider the subtitle (What on Earth Am I Here For) and read Warren's answer if you haven't found another answer you think is more valid and truthful. This would be a great discussion topic for an LT group, I'll go look for one now and hope other members will join me (Seeking Purpose).… (more)
LibraryThing member pkb
Starts out pretty good....but then gets a little "too worldly" in ideas/thoughts. Not sure it's so Biblically based! (sounds like it is tho...)
LibraryThing member manders76
My grandparents foisted this on us last Christmas. It's not my fault. I haven't read it yet, to be honest.
LibraryThing member SCRH
A popular work. Millions sold. The book is much like a long sermon. But will it have a lasting impact? Warren packages some truths that are worth pondering.
LibraryThing member wScott
The huge success of this book has brought out all the contrarians. I'm a Christian and this is one of the most inspiring books that I have ever read.
LibraryThing member TexasTam
This book made me stop and take note of just what my purpose was. I found it doing this study with a small group...which is better than just reading it by yourself. I found that I am made to worship our Lord and Savior, love others as I love myself and that I am part of a family and I will be glad to do that for all eternity.
LibraryThing member n_yay
I learned a lot. Make sure you take it one day at a time. It's not about the content, it's about the reflection.
LibraryThing member PeaceUMC
In 40 brief chapters, which can read as daily devotional, Rick Warren answers the age-old questions: Why am I here? What is my purpose? Asserting that our responses to those quandaries must start with God, he explains how we can achieve fulfillment by enacting His plan.

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.
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LibraryThing member nycbookgirl
This was a wonderful devotion that my sister and I did together. I definitely recommend this devotion and only read one chapter a day. Also, do the devotion with someone because it's great to bounce thoughts off one another. It really makes you sit and re-evaluate your life, your commitments, and your priorities. But no, it won't tell you what career path to choose.… (more)
LibraryThing member rybeewoods
For as much as I want to hate it 'cause of it's popularity and all that, it has served a good purpose and has a good message.
LibraryThing member djaquay
Interesting, but IMO very overrated. About 1/4 reads like a promotion for his church (or at least how he runs his church). The rest has tidbits here and there, but nothing that I found earthshattering, and I think my wife stopped reading 3/4 of the way through.
LibraryThing member ShortyBond
This book DID change my life!! Wonderful. Absolutely amazing!
LibraryThing member musicworks
Absolute must for every serious Christian seeking to find the fullest potential in life, walking with God.
LibraryThing member CateBookworm22
Truly inspirational...It can make you change your views in life in a positive way. A must read book.
LibraryThing member OneWithGrace
A look through the different facets of our Christian life.
A practical answer to 'What on earth am I here for?'


Original publication date


Physical description

334 p.; 24 cm


0310205719 / 9780310205715
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