The spiritual premise in The Purpose-Driven Life
is that there are no accidents---God planned everything and everyone. Therefore, every human has a divine purpose, according to God's master plan. Like a twist on John F. Kennedy's famous inaugural address, this book could be summed up like this: "So my fellow Christians, ask not what God can do for your life plan, ask what your life can do for God's plan." Those who are looking for advice on finding one's calling through career choice, creative expression, or any form of self-discovery should go elsewhere. This is not about self-exploration; it is about purposeful devotion to a Christian God. The book is set up to be a 40-day immersion plan, recognizing that the Bible favors the number 40 as a "spiritually significant time," according to author Rick Warren, the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, touted as one of the nation largest congregations. Warren's hope is that readers will "interact" with the 40 chapters, reading them one day at a time, with extensive underlining and writing in the margins. As an inspirational manifesto for creating a more worshipful, church-driven life, this book delivers. Every page is laden with references to scripture or dogma. But it does not do much to address the challenges of modern Christian living, with its competing material, professional, and financial distractions. Nonetheless, this is probably an excellent resource for devout Christians who crave a jumpstart back to worshipfulness. --Gail Hudson
From Publishers Weekly
Pastor of Saddleback Church, a Southern Baptist mega-church in southern California with weekly attendance of more than 15,000, Warren now applies his highly successful "purpose-driven" framework, developed in the best-seller The Purpose-Driven Church, to individual experience. The same principles Warren has taught to thousands of pastors to help churches be healthy and effective can also drive lives, he says. The book argues that discerning and living five God-ordained purposes-worship, community, discipleship, ministry and evangelism-is key to effective living. His 40 short chapters are intended to be read over 40 days' time, giving readers small pieces of his purpose-discovering program to chew on. Warren certainly knows his Bible. Of 800-plus footnotes, only 18 don't refer to Christian Scripture. He deliberately works with 15 different Bible translations, leaning heavily on contemporary translations and paraphrases, as an interesting way of plumbing biblical text. The almost exclusively biblical frame of reference stakes out the audience niche for this manual for Christian living. It's practical yet paradoxically abstract, lacking the kind of real-life examples and stories that life-application books usually provide in abundance. The book has flaws editing might have fixed. People are quoted without being identified, and subheads simply repeat lines of text, which tends to make the prose sound too simple. This book is not for all, but for those needing a certain kind of scriptural rock, it is solid.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.