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678 of 815 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overall picture of Christianity--I had 2 criticisms, November 13, 2003
This review is from: The Purpose Driven Life (Hardcover)
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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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 31, 2007 2:59:09 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jun 27, 2010 9:27:07 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2007 9:10:49 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 17, 2007 9:11:14 AM PDT
CQ DX says:
Our purpose here on Earth is to live life to the fullest, and with love, respect, compassion, and ethics. All the aforementioned traits, incidentally, are NOT predicated upon, or reliant upon religion or religious belief. That is a fact. The truth is, the ONLY logical conclusion one can draw, cosmologically, regarding the grand questions of life (who we are, where we came from, is there a 'god'?, etc.) is that AGNOSTICISM makes sense. We have NO proof there ever was, or is, a 'god', yet we have no proof there ever was not. So it makes absolutely NO sense to 'place all our eggs in one basket', and to follow just one, narrow minded religion, since MORTAL MEN wrote ALL religious books, tomes, and manuscripts throughout the past ages gone by. THINK about it! Humble yourselves, and realize, this makes the most sense logically.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2007 12:56:24 AM PDT
Allan 1967 says:
humble yourselves is right...HUMBLE TO GOD, the creator of all...GOD loves you....what's so funny about atheists is....they don't beleive in GOD , but they hate him.........i don't beleive in the tooth fairy, there fore i do not hate it......oh well they always ask for facts...they cannot handle the truth....the truth will set you free, but i guess being chained in hate is their fun.......

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2008 12:14:28 PM PST
Brad Temple says:
CQ DX, agnosticism hardly makes more sense than mindless belief in a god. It is a logical fallacy that it is impossible to prove a negative. Such a thing is done all the time in science. If we operate with the hypothesis that god exists, and all evidence is to the contrary, then we must reject the existence of god. In other words, that we have no evidence for any god is evidence that there is no god. It is the logical conclusion of tests that fail to show any presence of any god.

And, Hawk Moon, atheists don't hate god, we hate religions for cramming imaginary, illogical beings in our faces and telling us that we must perform all sorts of ridiculous and superstitious tasks so that we don't suffer damnation. Even more, we hate that religions make good people do bad things. Religion is a delusion, and it perpetuates all sorts of ignorant, hateful acts. It is a stain on our humanity, and should be left behind as the embarrassing anachronism that it is. Religion is what atheists hate, not some nasty imaginary tyrant.

I will not humble myself to an imaginary creature.

Posted on Feb 13, 2008 9:55:51 PM PST
truth-seeker says:
I was not impressed with this book. While the gods of contemporary Christianity applaud Dr. Warren, millions of Christians who have faithfully served and supported their local churches are being driven like cattle out of their churches, heartbroken and spritually crushed by Rick Warrens teachings with his Purpose Driven Church agenda. You will find alot of new age ideas and terms in this book.

Dr. Rick Warren also idolizes Jimi Henrix. Dr. Warren sang his song "Purple Haze" before thirty thousand in the Angels' stadium to prelude his one billion -man peace plan. Jimi Hendrix was the idol of the pot-immersed, drug-soaked, mind-blown, sex-crazed new youth rebellion generation. He was continually stoned on pot or high on various drugs, including herion. It was not uncommon for him to have sex with six different women a day. Jimi Hendrix died one day in 1970, drowing in his own vomit from a heroin drug overdose. Why would Dr. Warren pay homage to this kind of person?

I recommend that a person read THE DARK SIDE OF THE PURPOSE DRIVEN CHURCH by Noah W. Hutchings. There truly is a dark side to the Purpose Driven Church with its new age message. A lot of churches split when the Purpose Driven Church is forced on its members.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2008 3:10:21 PM PDT
I believed in God without proof from the age of dot to 37. I was brought up as a Catholic and was told about the things of God but never had evidence for myself to support their claims. That all changed when (long story) I met Jesus face to face at 2am out of a deep sleep. Read my story at I am one paper away from finishing my bachelors degree in ministry and I wrote a paper on 'conversion' looking at the detailed events of people throughout histroy who also had this life changing event. What I discovered from the evidence is that conversion or the process of conversion can be likened to a science experiment in a controlled environment. Set the experiment up in one country and then duplicate it again in another country and unsurprisingly you get the same result. Conversion is much like that, when a person comes into the lab of the Holy Spirit and surrenders him/herself to the right conditions, they become converted. Jesus explains all this to Nicodemus in John Chp. 3: Have a read and see if you can work it out.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2008 5:54:54 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 15, 2008 5:57:02 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2008 6:00:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 15, 2008 6:22:20 PM PDT
C. Stephans says:
Raymond, what is the relation of your comment to The Purpose Driven Life?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2008 12:53:38 AM PDT
I think that the fundamental gulf separating readers' understanding in this interesting discussion (and I encourage readers to have a look at the "unhelpful" posts) comes down to one thing: Some readers take the Bible as the perfect and infallible word of God, and others do not. I am amongst those who do not accept the Bible as God's word, though I have considerable appreciation and reverence for its many truths, as I do for many religious texts. Amongst those Biblical truths is that "the truth will set you free"--oft quoted by literalists. The truth that the Bible is not God's infallible guidebook has set me free indeed, and I encourage literalists to challenge their unquestioned acceptance of the Bible. While such an acceptance gives one a sense of security, it shuts one out from many obvious and fascinating truths, like a 15-billion year old universe, evolution, and untold facts that contribute to a true understanding of who we are and where we came from. I certainly do not have all of the answers; like CQ DX, I am an agnostic, though I lean towards the belief in a higher power or intelligence.

Unquestioned acceptance of the Bible (or any book) shuts one out from innumerable truths, and is an impediment to true spiritual or intellectual progress. I have met very few literalist Christians who even know where the Bible came from, and I have never heard a good explanation from any of them regarding why they accept it as they do.

Fundamentalists: when you can defend your assertion that the Bible is "God's word", then and only then will quoting scriptures as absolute truths sway an argument. Many scriptures of course carry profound truths; you might want to examine Thomas Jefferson's beliefs regarding them. He took a pair of scissors and did a cut-and-paste job on the good book, asserting that Biblical truths, like the truths in our declaration of independence, were "self-evident", but that a lot of the Bible need to be tossed. You can buy a copy of the Jeffersonian Bible on Amazon.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2008 4:56:20 PM PDT
Wow...I wish I was a Christian like you so I could be as happy and so free from judgment...
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