Okay, I know that I am probably the last person on earth to read Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life.” I heard Warren beautifully share the gospel on a Christmas eve TV program and that, coupled with the fact that a niece of mine came to Christ as a result of the book caused me to want to read it for myself.
I have heard the “anti-purpose driven” talk from several from within the Church and seen some of it on NazNet and elsewhere. I also know that the Nazarenes came up with their own version of it and are marketing it.
Honestly, I have been impressed with the book, especially the first half. Either I wore out a bit on it or Warren lost some of his pizazz in the second half, so I read more out of discipline than inspiration after the first 150 pages or so.
However, I found a lot of inspirational stuff in the book as a whole. Warren’s description of true worship and full commitment to God is powerful stuff.
Now, he’s a Baptist through and through and because of that his “we all sin” theology slips in every once in a while. Because of such things I know it has to be read with a certain amount of reservation. Still, this is pretty solid material that I think will help those who read it.
American society is awash with religious teaching today. I don’t think we Nazarenes do ourselves any favors in trying to direct our people away from material like this. Instead, we need to clearly and consistently make our case concerning the 1% of the material that we have issues with and then not discourage our folks from reading it. (Frankly, we might as well do it, they are reading and listening to people from across the spectrum anyway.)
So, I give “Purpose Driven Life” a solid thumbs up and recommend it to those who seek to be better disciples of Jesus.