Customer Reviews: The Purpose Driven® Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?
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VINE VOICEon January 12, 2013
Even though the book seems to be written from a more fundamentalist viewpoint that I happen to have, I got a lot out of reading this book and recommend it to anyone with at least Christian leanings.

Following the instructions in the book, I spent some time everyday for 40 days reading one chapter of the book and considering what it had to say until the next day. The time required was minimal, but there were many rewards/insights to be found.

The books is written around 5 purposes that can be summed up as worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and mission. As should be apparent, the importance of service is a key theme. There is no attempt to fit you into a box of a set shape; everyone being different and the desirability of that is recognized as very important.

I avoided reading this book, despite seeing it all over the place for a long time. I am glad I gave it a try. Hopefully, you will too.
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on December 5, 2012
It has been 10 years since the publication of The Purpose-Driven LIfe, the book that topped best-seller lists for months and sold more than 32 million copies.

Rick Warren's simple formula linking each person's purpose to five classic functions of the church--worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and mission--has helped countless people re-examine their lives and deepen their faith.

When the book originally released in 2002, I was editorial director at a Christian publishing house and had previously served as a pastor for several years. As a "professional Christian," I was skeptical that Warren's seemingly simplistic approach had much to offer.

But when the church I attended did a Purpose-Driven campaign, I dutifully agreed to read a chapter a day. I was immediately hooked by Warren's unassuming voice and clear, biblical message. I read the entire book in two days and was highly motivated to re-engage in the practice of spiritual disciplines and ministry.

Since then I've used the book as the basis of a small-goup study on two occasions. This material continues to connect with basic questions people have about how to live a meaningful life.

Now Zondervan has released an anniversary edition in an attempt to reach a new generation of readers.

The expanded edition includes two additional chapters, plus online supplemental resources: a one-minute video introduction of each chapter, and a roughly 60-minute audio recording of a Sunday sermon by Warren to accompany each of the 42 chapters.

The bonus materials don't add much value to the book, however. The chapters really don't need an introduction, and I can't imagine anyone listening to 42 hour-long sermons in addition to doing a six-week group study of the book.

Purpose-Driven has been criticized by some for being too simplistic about spiritual matters and for Warren's hopscotch approach to using Scripture when supporting his points. Even so, the material is useful.

Here are six reasons I still recommend The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?

1. It makes basic Christian concepts accessible to just about everyone.

2. It's a surprisingly inspiring read.

3. It makes a good text for a new converts class.

4. It's an easy choice for a six-week small group study.

5. It is a versatile resource for one-on-one discipleship or mentoring groups.

6. Though the book has some shortcomings, they are outweighed by strengths.

No book is perfect, and Purpose-Driven is no exception. Yet for a decade it has been a value to pastors, small group leaders, and every-day Christians get in touch with God and themselves.
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on December 21, 2012
What on Earth am I here for?
The purpose Driven Life
Rick Warren

A 42- Day spiritual guide, with the three answers of life's most important questions....

The question of existence..... Why am I alive?
The question of significance.....Does my life matter?
The question of purpose......What on earth am I here for?

Five benefits of knowing your purpose.....
It will explain the meaning of your life.
It will simplify your life.
It will focus your life.
It will increase your motivation.
It will prepare you for eternity.
First I'd like to say that I am a lover of daily books. Anything that is uplifting, clear and meaningful that can help me increase my knowledge of the living word is something that I will instantly pick up and start reading the first entry.

Life has been trial after trial after trial for me and my family as well. Once one thing fits in place the other falls apart. I find myself constantly questioning everything and wishing that things could just change. When I saw this book on the book sneeze website I knew I had to give it a go. Because that should be our focus what does God want our lives to turn out to be. He is the one who put all the work and effort into creating us. Surely there is more to it than just building a world and it just goes from year to year. He did it for a reason and we are here to find out what that is and figure out what we need to do next.

After reading these entries, The Purpose Driven Life. Has opened my eyes to see that God created us out of LOVE to share his LOVE and for us to share his LOVE....Growing up I honestly thought that he was a big guy up in the sky who just made us to play with... Like when we were kids and had our blocks and dolls and toys etc. I didn't feel like I was loved our wanted... And now as I come to realize that he does care and what the best for me. That I am loved and wanted. Now as I open my Bible everyday the scriptures become clearer and the Holy Spirit gives me understanding so I can learn. And I'm finally learning! I have wanted to learn from the word for so long it was so frustrating when I didn't get it. When I went to church and just sat there like a zombie watching the clock go by because I didn't feel like I belonged. That God didn't care and now that I know he does it has helped me grow a lot closer to him and now I can't set my Bible down. It is the best feeling ever. This book is an eye opener and I encourage every one of you to give it a try.
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on May 30, 2013
My church decided to read this book as a congregation and I was a little put off when our pastor insisted that we purchase the newly released edition (I already owned "The Purpose Driven Life"). However, after reading the first chapter I quickly understood why. I LOVED having it on my Kindle because I could click directly on the links that led me to Rick Warren's sermons that related to each chapter. I also liked the fact that I can highlight and add little notes in the book on my Kindle. "What on Earth Am I Here For?" takes you so much deeper into your journey to finding your purpose and has new ways of teaching and building on each point. I highly recommend it but I encourage any reader to take this journey with a friend or even a group of people so that you can discuss the readings and hold one another accountable. Best wishes and blessings on finding your purpose!
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on September 2, 2011
The Purpose Driven Life is a devotional book, and with over 30 million copies sold, it's become quite popular. So what's all the fuss about? Well, the book offers readers a 40-day personal spiritual journey, and presents what the author says are God's five purposes for human life on Earth. They are:

1 You were planned for God's pleasure
2 You were formed for God's family
3 You were created to become like Christ
4 You were shaped for serving God
5 You were made for a mission

What you're suppose to do with the book is this. It's divided up into 40 brief chapters, and the reader is urged to read but one chapter a day so you can take time to think about it's implications for your life. Therefore, you really start finding yourself interacting with the book, and not just merely "reading" it. To that end, each chapter finishes with points to ponder, a verse to remember, and a question to consider.

All-in-all I found this to be a pretty thought provoking and inspiring book. The chapters are short, which I greatly appreciated due to my busy daily schedule. Additionally, I found the author's writing style easy going, which makes the book an overall enjoyable read. So if you're looking for a good book to help guide you along your spiritual journey, or a "workbook" to help you answer some of life's most important questions, I can definitely recommend you check it out. Other self-help books I liked include The Prayer Project: How Each One of Us Can Make The World a Better Place to Live - In a Few Minutes a Day.
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on January 1, 2004
I rate this book as one of the best christian books available. Although I was aware of this book for quite some time, The Purpose Driven Life was given to me as a gift for Christmas. I read the whole book in a few days over the holiday vacation and have since started over taking a chapter a day and really absorbing the contents.
The Purpose Driven Life is truly a life changing book and a must read for anyone who wants the most out of life and live their lives according to the principles of God.
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VINE VOICEon November 13, 2003
The Purpose-Driven Life focuses on helping readers answer the question, "What on earth am I here for?" Warren sets out to help readers become the people that God wants them to be.

He elaborates on five truths to answer this question of why we are here. According to Warren, we exist for the purposes of worship, ministry, evangelism, fellowship and discipleship. He states that in fulfilling these roles on earth, we find and fulfill our purposes.

This is a comprehensive book about how to live the Christian life successfully. It discusses most of the major themes of The Bible. Warren cites over 1,000 scriptures in the book. He rarely makes a point without quoting from the Bible. The messages of the chapters are relevant for new and mature Christians.

The book is formatted in 40 chapters. Warren suggests readers study a chapter a day for 40 days, so that the reader can take time to reflect and meditate on each chapter's lesson. Each chapter ends with a main point to consider, a scripture to remember and a question to answer. I found these questions to be thought-provoking and meaningful.

This book is an excellent tool for study groups to read and discuss. It emphasizes the importance of Christian character development and of becoming an active member of a community of believers. Warren provides reasons and practical ways for the reader to serve others inside and outside the church.

For a church wanting to develop individuals excited and prepared to do ministry, promoting studies of The Purpose-Driven Life would help to meet this objective. Warren concludes the book by addressing each person's mission within the church and world. He also includes an appendix with further questions to initiate discussion among readers.

In citing 1000 scriptures throughout the book, Warren uses 15 different Bible translations interchangeably. He explains that all translations have limitations and that he uses various translations to present scriptures in a fresh way. The references for the scriptures he quotes are in endnotes, so I was continually turning to the back of the book to discover the version and verse of a scripture. To a minor extent, I think this undermines the integrity and flow of the book.

I always try to keep in mind when reading a book like this that the author's opinions are not infallible like the Bible. I say this because there are a few times while reading this book when I disagreed with an opinion of Warren's which was stated as a fact. Readers should keep in mind that opinions of Christian authors are debatable and not gospel.

I don't think these two criticisms detract much from the value of this book.

Warren writes that "The purpose of your life fits into a much larger, cosmic purpose that God has designed for eternity. That's what this book is about." In The Purpose Driven Life, Warren has written indefatigably about this purpose, and I think reading it will help you identify and fulfill your purpose.

Craig Stephans, author of Shakespeare On Spirituality: Life-Changing Wisdom from Shakespeare's Plays
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon October 30, 2003
I try to keep abreast of things going on in the world. Sometimes things come along that are total fads: here one day, then gone and forgotten the next. It's sad to say, but as a Christian I have to admit that there are also fads in the contemporary American part of the Church. THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE is one of these.

I had never heard of THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE until a couple of local churches started doing the 40-Days of Purpose campaign. About the same time, a friend of mine mentioned this book as the next "big fad in the Church", and asked me if I got a chance, to read it. He believed I would agree with him and I do.

As a whole, there isn't really anything wrong with the book. Suspicious as his intentions might be, I'll give Rick Warren the credit and believe he primarily wrote this book to help Christians in their walk with Jesus. I believe that this book could be useful to a new Christian or someone who is possibly thinking about converting to Christianity. I also don't wish to discredit all those who have been helped in their life because of this book. The book is written in a very simple style that a third or fourth-grader shouldn't have a problem reading it. Warren supports much of what he says with Scripture and the book is filled with Biblical references.

However, the book is filled with severals flaws.

1. Warren says he purposely uses many different translations and paraphrases of the Bible to illustrate how relevant Scripture is to our day to day lives. However, Warren tends to rely on paraphrases more than actual translations of the Bible. This is a dangerous thing. Yes, the Bible was written in such a way that the "common man" could understand it's meaning. That's why paraphrases are so dangerous; they can change the entire meaning of a scriptural passage.

2. There is hardly any reference to the Holy Spirit. I am not a member of a charismatic church, but in many denominations across the country discussion of the Holy Spirit is totally ignored. Like it or not, the Holy Spirit is the seal that differentiates Christians from non-Christians. The Holy Spirit is an essential part of the Trinity and to deny it, by ignoring it, is dangerous.

3. Though Warren uses a lot of Biblical references, there are several times that he says "The Bible says" (or something similar) without actually quoting any passages from the Bible. I found this to be puzzling in a book that contains so much scriptural support.

4. Warren tends to overgeneralize things. He uses words such as "all", "every", "everyone", etc. quite often. This was one of the more disturbing elements of the book to me. When I first started reading the book, I had considered purchasing it and giving it to my mother for a gift. However, about halfway through the text, I began to seriously disagree with some of what Warren was writing. The impression that the text leaves one with is that if you don't do things the way the book tells you to, then you're not a good Christian and there is probably something wrong with you. Many of the book's suggestions aren't Biblical, just suggestions that Warren feels may help people out. But the impressions those suggestions leaves is not necessarily a positive one. Therefore, I am not giving this book to my mother.

5. The other major problem I had with the book is that it is largely a piece of advertising. In various chapters (especially at the beginning), Warren discusses a point and says something like, "if you want more help with that topic, see my other book" or "see the resources of mine listed at the back" which you can purchase. It seemed like every other chapter contained at least one plug for one of Warren's resources which can be purchased. I have nothing against writers plugging their wares. I have nothing against Christian writers writing for money. I do have a problem with people using a tool that is supposed to be for evangelism but also use it as a way to advertise so that they can sell more products and make more money. Though this may not be the original intent of the author, the self-promotion throughout the book leaves a reader pondering Warren's true intentions.

As I mentioned earlier, the book as a whole isn't all that bad despite the flaws. I can't rate this book lower than a three because I know that despite the flaws, there is a lot of material in the book that can be helpful to a lot of people.
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on October 22, 2012
I can not tell you how disappointed I am to realize that this is not a book but a small pamphelt.

I own the purpose driven life (amazing and life changing book) and I though this was another book with similar characteristics but its not.

In fact this pamphlet is pocket size. Very disappointed. I dont know if I was misled or if I was not paying attention when I ordered it???
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on August 25, 2004
The Purpose-Driven Bandwagon

I recently led a small-group study of The Purpose-Driven® Life. I started with no preconceived notions, but long before I reached the middle of the book, I was ready to throw it out the window. Only my commitment to the group kept me going to the end.

This book plays to those who are looking for easy answers, to those who believe the keys to living a faithful life can be reduced to a Purpose Driven® bumper sticker or bookmark . The book does contain much useful content, but it suffers from major problems, both substantive and stylistic. These include the following:

1. The author uses an alliterative bumper-sticker style of writing-"planned for God's pleasure", "formed for God's family"-that quickly becomes very annoying.

2. Content is repeated multiple times in an attempt to artificially fill a symbolic 40-day structure without 40 days' worth of material.

3. The book is highly commercial, with a trademark in its title and a bunch of offshoot products that the author does not hesitate to endorse throughout the book.

4. The author quotes Scripture out of context and massages Biblical content to suit his purposes. For example, to show how God can bring good out of evil, he says, "Ruth [a non-Jew]...broke the law by marrying a Jewish man" (p. 196), yet nowhere in the Book of Ruth is she accused of any wrongdoing, let alone "evil." (At the very least, it would be her Jewish husband who broke Jewish law, not Ruth.) This manipulation of the Bible means that conscientious readers cannot just trust the quotations and examples as presented. However, the tedious page-flipping required to read the endnotes means that many will quit checking the sources.

5. The use of different translations of the Bible is effective in bringing freshness to familiar passages and making Biblical language more accessible. However, the author relies too heavily on The Message, which is a paraphrase written from a particular viewpoint, rather than a true translation.

6. Christians who were baptized as infants and have grown in their faith without a specific conversion experience should take exception to the author's view that "the only way to get into God's family is by being born again into it (p. 118). Warren makes other sweeping theological statements that many faithful Christians will not agree with. It is ironic that many churches whose teachings Warren would seemingly reject are jumping on the Purpose Driven® bandwagon.

On the positive side, let me say that the book provoked great discussions in my college-age Sunday School class. In rejecting Warren's approach, these students have been forced to examine their own beliefs and the teachings of our denomination.
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