The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for? by Rick Warren

The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?

A #1 New York Times bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life will help you understand why you are alive and reveal God's amazing plan for you both here and now, and for eternity. Rick Warren will guide you through a personal forty-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 creat...

Title:The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0310276993
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:336 pages

The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for? Reviews

  • J
    Mar 09, 2007

    At its best, this book is filled with porous theology that is modestly helpful to someone who has no knowledge of Christianity whatsoever. At its worst, Warren mangles scripture to fit his own agenda (40 days to find purpose in your life) and promotes personal experience over the truth found in scripture.

    This book is symptomatic of feel-good consumerized Christianity so prevalent in America today. Finding your purpose in life takes far longer than 40 days and it cannot be easily summarized (besi

    At its best, this book is filled with porous theology that is modestly helpful to someone who has no knowledge of Christianity whatsoever. At its worst, Warren mangles scripture to fit his own agenda (40 days to find purpose in your life) and promotes personal experience over the truth found in scripture.

    This book is symptomatic of feel-good consumerized Christianity so prevalent in America today. Finding your purpose in life takes far longer than 40 days and it cannot be easily summarized (besides the obvious - to love and worship God). "The Purpose Driven Life" offers nothing new and while not quite heretical, it is very unsound and I cannot recommend this book to anyone. The fact that Warren makes references to the other "Purpose Driven"-branded items in his book that one can purchase pretty much sums it up.

    I was given a free copy of this book by a friend at my church a few years ago. I finished reading the book simply to say that I had read it in its entirety. If you want good, thoughtful Christian writers, check out -

    Links (for the lazy):

    J.I. Packer ("Knowing God")

    [

    ]

    Augustine of Hippo ("Confessions" translated by F.J. Sheed, "

    ")

    [

    ]

    C.S. Lewis ("Mere Christianity" "The Screwtape Letters" "The Problem of Pain")

    [

    ]

    G.K. Chesterson ("Orthodoxy" "The Everlasting Man")

    [

    ]

    John Piper

    [

    ]

    Ravi Zacharias

    [

    ]

    A.W. Pink

    [

    ]

    A.W. Tozer (no relations haha)

    [

    ]

    I spent way too much time on this. Hope it helps.

  • Tucker
    Dec 30, 2007

    "God made you so he could love you" (p. 24), Warren tells us, and the purpose that drives our lives should be loving God in return. "Worship is as natural as eating or breathing. If we fail to worship God, we always find a substitute, even if it ends up being ourselves. The reason God made us with this desire is that he desires worshipers!" (p. 64)

    This worldview quickly becomes incoherent. Consider these two statements, made side-by-side: "You are free to choose what you surrender to, but you ar

    "God made you so he could love you" (p. 24), Warren tells us, and the purpose that drives our lives should be loving God in return. "Worship is as natural as eating or breathing. If we fail to worship God, we always find a substitute, even if it ends up being ourselves. The reason God made us with this desire is that he desires worshipers!" (p. 64)

    This worldview quickly becomes incoherent. Consider these two statements, made side-by-side: "You are free to choose what you surrender to, but you are not free from the consequences of that choice. E. Stanley Jones said, 'If you don't surrender to Christ, you surrender to chaos.'" (p. 82) The first sentence is a scientific worldview. Actions have consequences that should, at least in principle, be predictable. The second sentence says that our actions have consequences that are chaotic, meaning unpredictable. Being bound to consequences and surrendering to chaos are two quite different things (unless one has some quantum physics approach that reconciles them).

    In Warren's worldview, people are pawns who unknowingly carry out a plan that is beyond their comprehension. "Most amazing, God decided

    you would be born...They [your parents] had the DNA God wanted to make you...Many children are unplanned by their parents, but they are not unplanned by God. God's purpose took into account human error, and even sin." (p. 23) Such an absolutist stance against free will is difficult to maintain. For example, if God creates everything about us, then God must have created heterosexual attraction, as he assumes here: "You can be attracted or even aroused without choosing to sin by lusting. Many people, especially Christian men, feel guilty that their God-given hormones are working. When they automatically notice an attractive woman, they assume it is lust and feel ashamed and condemned. But attraction is not lust until you begin to dwell on it." (p. 205) Warren does not comment on the question of whether God created

    attraction, which would also logically follow if God creates everything.

    Warren says, "Of course, sincerity alone is not enough [in worship]; you can be sincerely wrong." (p. 102) However, he shows no recognition of his own fallibility, nor even that a single sentence he has written in this book might be wrong. Assuming Biblical inerrancy, he advises: "Determine to first ask, 'What does the Bible say?' when making decisions. Resolve that when God says to do something, you will trust God's Word and do it whether or not it makes sense or you feel like doing it." (p. 187) But this is unacceptable behavior for anyone--even a Jew, Christian, or Muslim--who does not believe that the Bible

    is infallible. If someone is willing to do things that do not make sense even to himself and he refuses to analyze them, it is unclear how he is supposed to avoid being "sincerely wrong."

    He occasionally uses weird, violent metaphors for faith:

    - "You

    move against it [fear] with the weapons of faith and love." (p. 29)

    - "If you don't have any Bible verses memorized, you've got no bullets in your gun!" (p. 215)

    - "Lane Adams once compared the process of spiritual growth to the strategy the Allies used in World War II to liberate islands in the South Pacific....Our pre-conversion experience is Jesus saying,

    (p. 218)

    I guess this answers the popular rhetorical witticism "Who would Jesus bomb?"

    To be fair, he did not intend this book as philosophy. The first half of the book assumes belief in God, in the immortality of the soul, and in the Christian version of the Bible. The second half of the book goads committed Christians to join churches to strengthen their faith. Readers who want this material will get what they paid for. But skeptics and outsiders will not be persuaded of anything.

  • Ron
    Sep 04, 2008

    "It's not about you."

    Changed my life.

    I took Warren's challenge and found that I was not where I should have been. Paradoxically, I was at that time employed by a Christian ministry highly regarded by many (and vilified by some), but I knew--I knew--that wasn't where I was

    to be. So, I quit my job and sought a new direction.

    Not there yet by a long shot, but thanks to Rick Warren I'm on my way.

  • Benjamin Kittleson
    Oct 04, 2008

    I don't even know where to begin with this book... It has been suggested that the information provided within is "Christian" in its delivery... Though, I would suggest to you that everything in this world that refers to itself as Christian is not necessarily so...

    Simply because a book includes Bible verses does not mean that those verses have anything to do with what the Word of God is commanding of those who would follow Him... Marilyn Manson's song lyrics contain scripture, however, no one in

    I don't even know where to begin with this book... It has been suggested that the information provided within is "Christian" in its delivery... Though, I would suggest to you that everything in this world that refers to itself as Christian is not necessarily so...

    Simply because a book includes Bible verses does not mean that those verses have anything to do with what the Word of God is commanding of those who would follow Him... Marilyn Manson's song lyrics contain scripture, however, no one in their right mind would ever even suggest that his music has anything to do with "God's Plan."

    Based upon the idea that 40 days is some sort of spiritually significant span of time in God's Daytimer, this book encourages it's readers to embark on a sort of 40-day study into what God's plan is for you...

    What's dangerous about this book, in my opinion, is that it professes to hold some sort of secret about God and His desire for mankind, that perhaps He has not clearly revealed in His Word... The scripture that Rick Warren uses to make his points, and state his case that we should be a "purpose driven" people, seeking out a more "church driven" life, is simply mis-used as many of the books of Mr. Warren's contemporaries, such as Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes. Both "megachurch" pastors publishing works that encourage their readers and followers to seek out their "divine purpose" so that they can "do more and be more" for Jesus...

    We are to repent of our sins, and trust in Christ - love God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength - and love our neighbor as ourselves... And go into the whole world, and preach the gospel to all of creation... That is our purpose, plain and simple... If anyone calling themselves a follower of Christ wants to know what more is required of them as a believer, they merely need open the Word of God, not the next Prayer of Jabez.

  • K.D. Absolutely
    Jul 25, 2009

    This book teaches its reader God's five purposes for his or her life on earth: He makes you a

    of His family, a

    of His character, a

    of His glory, a

    of His grace, and a

    of His Good News to others.

    Among those five purposes, at this stage in my life, the only engaging read for me was the first one. There was nothing new about it really as I basically studied at several Catholic universities during my younger years. However, there were some bible passages an

    This book teaches its reader God's five purposes for his or her life on earth: He makes you a

    of His family, a

    of His character, a

    of His glory, a

    of His grace, and a

    of His Good News to others.

    Among those five purposes, at this stage in my life, the only engaging read for me was the first one. There was nothing new about it really as I basically studied at several Catholic universities during my younger years. However, there were some bible passages and pointers that Warren reminded me of and the book had the usual positive impact to me so I still liked it. It's just that pages after pages of it sounded like some of the religion teachers that I had in the past. Maybe when I am in the twilight years, I will read this book again and its the impact will be greater than it has on me now.

    There are also many quotable quotes that were able to inspire me there past few weeks. The book is designed to be read one chapter a day for the reader to "digest" and ponder the point that the chapter wants to convey. I recently had a couple of misunderstandings with someone close to me and this book became my companion in threshing out what could be done to fix things. Warren actually helped me in seeing things at that someone's points of view so saying sorry, forgetting and granting forgiveness were not really that difficult.

    We have three copies of this book at home. The first was a Christmas gift from an office mate. The second was a retirement gift to my wife by another office mate. The third was the book my daughter bought for herself. I am not sure which one I read but since this book was first published in 2002, it has sold 25 million copies worldwide. I was in a bookstore last week and the latest copy proudly bears 30 million mark. Why did I not read this right away say when we received the first copy of the book at home? I dunno. Just browsing the book gave me then an impression that it was saccharine sweet and was unrealistically all positive that means falsely deceptive.

    That impression is not true. The book is realistic and Warren presents the challenges that every Christian should work for. From the first declaration of "this is not about you" to "living with purpose is the only way to really live," the book is peppered with heartfelt applications of bible passages as Warren presents the five purposes that I mentioned above. My eyes did not get blurred not my heart pounded with sadness or inspiration but I felt that my spirit flew and soured while reading some of its pages.

    A dear friend mentioned that the youngest child of Warren committed suicide this year, April 5, 2013 after struggling with mental illness that caused severe depression. In my life, I've seen several similar cases like this: a successful parent losing a child possibly because the celebrity parent got too focused with fame and in the process neglected his o her own family. But I do not know Warren's complete story so I'd rather keep my comments to myself.

    At some point in your life you should read this book.

  • Jack
    Aug 01, 2011

    This is a disgusting book. The goal of this book is to make you a slave. Don't take my word for it I'll just read straight from the book: "Worship isn't for you. It's for God p.66, God smiles when we obey him wholeheartedly, You have no right to argue with your Creator. You are merely a clay pot shaped by a potter p.75 " Or the chapters titles "Thinking like a Servant " and "How Real Servants Act".

    For me, the most revolting thing about the book came on p.80 and this theme was repeated throughout

    This is a disgusting book. The goal of this book is to make you a slave. Don't take my word for it I'll just read straight from the book: "Worship isn't for you. It's for God p.66, God smiles when we obey him wholeheartedly, You have no right to argue with your Creator. You are merely a clay pot shaped by a potter p.75 " Or the chapters titles "Thinking like a Servant " and "How Real Servants Act".

    For me, the most revolting thing about the book came on p.80 and this theme was repeated throughout the book "Surrendered people obey God's word even if it doesn't make sense." A few sentences before that Warren says "God would not waste the mind he gave you. God doesn't want a lot of mindless robots following him." Anyone who doesn't see the clear contradiction between those two sentences is a fool. And Warren put them on the same page.

    Warren says it over and over and over again, the purpose of life isn't to learn, or to teach or even to just enjoy life, but to OBEY God. It doesn't matter what your own thoughts are or what you think of yourself, it only matters what the Great Self Appointed Tyrant in the Sky thinks of you and your life. According to this book, your only goal in life is to be forever groveling and praising this God and doing your damnedest to get others to do likewise.

    There are some decent lessons in the book but all of them are corrupted by the awful dogma of Warren and his twisted theology. The book is designed to get around your intellect, it even says at some points that thinking and doubting are bad things, and go straight for your weakness and insecurities with an open attempt to try and convince you that you and everything you value are worthless without the Dictator's permission. Only a fool, only someone who WANTS TO BE A SLAVE would get anything out of this book.

  • John Jeffcoat iii
    Sep 24, 2012

    Rick Warren was a customer of mine (Greatsite.com - The Bible Museum) before he released this best-selling and now extremely famous book. I find it curious that so many of my Christian friends are quick to criticize this book as being a "primer" of "Christianity 101" or an introduction to the Christian Faith and Life... and they feel it does not go deep enough theologically. That is not a valid criticism of this book in my opinion, because this book does not represent itself to be a seminary-lev

    Rick Warren was a customer of mine (Greatsite.com - The Bible Museum) before he released this best-selling and now extremely famous book. I find it curious that so many of my Christian friends are quick to criticize this book as being a "primer" of "Christianity 101" or an introduction to the Christian Faith and Life... and they feel it does not go deep enough theologically. That is not a valid criticism of this book in my opinion, because this book does not represent itself to be a seminary-level text of a theologically comprehensive nature. It is precisely and unashamedly what they criticize it for being: an introduction to Christianity. It is an excellent introduction to Christianity, and I see why it is so well-received. It is no substitute for the Bible, nor does it claim to be, but for those who may be intimidated by the Bible... this book has offered many millions a path toward putting aside that intimidation and encouraging them to read their Bible and fellowship with a local body of believers.

  • Natalie Vellacott
    Jun 23, 2015

    Simply put....there is no worldly method to achieving a closer walk with God. It will take time reading God's Word and praying. There is no short-cut to spirituality.

    and other similar series attempt to provide a short-cut and may encourage new believers to think that once they have achieved the twelve steps they can cease striving after God. I gave up on this book half way through and threw it away as I felt as if it was a deception. I have since read many concerning thi

    Simply put....there is no worldly method to achieving a closer walk with God. It will take time reading God's Word and praying. There is no short-cut to spirituality.

    and other similar series attempt to provide a short-cut and may encourage new believers to think that once they have achieved the twelve steps they can cease striving after God. I gave up on this book half way through and threw it away as I felt as if it was a deception. I have since read many concerning things about the author and his links with ecumenism and new-age....I'm not surprised this book was and is a best seller as it provides an easy Christianity and

    I am concerned that some churches are abandoning Bibles for their studies and studying this book instead. Any book that causes people to take their eyes off God and onto a man made method is a danger. Challies expresses my concerns clearly in this post

    I don't recommend this book.


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