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The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? Paperback – Special Edition, December 31, 2013
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About the Author
As founding pastor of Saddleback Church with his wife, Kay, Dr. Rick Warren leads a 30,000-member congregation in California with campuses in major cities around the world. As an author, his book The Purpose Driven Life has sold more than 34 million copies. As a theologian, he has lectured at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, University of Judaism, and dozens of universities and seminaries. As a global strategist he advises world leaders and has spoken to the United Nations, US Congress, Davos Economic Forum, TED, Aspen Institute, and numerous parliaments. Rick has also founded the Global PEACE Plan, which Plants churches of reconciliation, Equips leaders, Assists the poor, Cares for the sick, and Educates the next generation in 196 countries. You can listen to Pastor Rick’s Daily Hope, his daily 25-minute audio teaching, or sign up for his free daily devotionals at PastorRick.com.
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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.