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10 June 2004 @ 10:27 pm
Purpose Driven Life  
My church has jumped on what seems to be the latest church fad, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. More than 70 members are enrolled in PDL classes. As a staff member I was strongly urged to take one. I'm just starting into the book, but it is setting off alarm bells for me. Partly that's because of the decidedly unMethodist theology, but in part it's the conservatism, and the fact that people seem to be embracing it as if it were the Bible. I'm also quite disturbed by the way he uses Scripture; he leans heavily on paraphrases, and in several cases already I'm finding that the paraphrasing is pretty broad.

Has anybody out there read this book, or studied it in a church class? I'd be glad to hear your thoughts and experiences. Thanks!
Charles, a sinnercpk on June 11th, 2004 03:00 am (UTC)
I learned all I needed to know about PD®L after I noticed the registered trademark symbol [®] after "Purpose-Driven."
put that on your balls!: Joan - Losing my religion _ Methenewhope on June 11th, 2004 05:21 am (UTC)
I got a copy as a grad present from my church a couple of weeks back. It took me all of five minutes reading time to realize that it was another conservative fad and I'd only end up yelling at the book if I forced myself to read it.
Conundrum #5fifthconundrum on June 11th, 2004 05:37 am (UTC)
A friend and I made it through only a few chapters of the book before we had to put it down. I didn't notice the paraphrases, but my friend did, and she was uncomfortable with them for the same reason. I was uncomfortable with the tone if the book; it seemed to be suggesting one has no chance of becoming a mature Christian, unless they see things the way the author sees them. I am at a point in my spiritual growth where I am recovering from having sat under such attitudes all of my life (suppressing what my heart was saying in an attempt to fit in with the Christians around me), so a book like that is detrimental to my spiritual growth.

I think my friend summed it up best when she said she believes that book is written for a very small subset of Christians: people who want to significantly narrow their life's focus down to one purpose, even if it means sacrificing most other practical interests, enjoyments, and pursuits. She and I are not such people, so we gave up on the book.
duckcraftduckcraft on June 19th, 2004 07:17 am (UTC)
Working at a Christian bookstore, I will confirm the fad fact. There are now PDL greeting cards, graduate editions, scripture keepers, journals and other books about PDL. I just go with the milk in the grocery store theory. If they go to pick up PDL they just might pick up another book that could help their faith walk. I started reading the book but put it down because the content didn't keep my interest. I was wondering if you would be willing to share what you found un-methodist about it?

--Tony <><
Carolkayre on June 19th, 2004 11:10 am (UTC)
Re: Fad
I was wondering if you would be willing to share what you found un-methodist about it?

Specifically, predestination. Methodist theology is much more free will oriented. Right from the beginning, Warren is saying that God planned every moment of our lives-- God knew we would pick up his book, even. That kind of micromanagement just doesn't tally with Wesleyan theology.
concernedberean on May 3rd, 2005 01:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Fad



"First they came for “resisters” and “pillars” of Brunswick Reformed Church, Brunswick, Ohio

because they opposed Purpose Driven Life and Church, but I didn't speak up because I was not a member of Reformed Church of American (RCA) denomination.

Then they came after a lady who was an elder lady in the faith who had been with the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas since 1956 by shouting her down with spiritual euthanasia and aggressive mean-spirited behavior, and the intimidation of seven attorneys, because she opposed them turning their landmark Criswell Center into a Purpose Driven entertainment center. But I did not speak up because I was not a widow.

Then they held a trial for two families at Valley Baptist Church in Lakeland, Minnesota, but I didn't speak up because I was not a member of the General Baptist Convention.

Then they came after 165 members of Gardendale Baptist Church, Corpus Christi, Texas and ran them out of the church, but I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Southern Baptist.

Then a brother did finally speak up and tried to warn Eugene Christian Fellowship because they had gone Purpose Driven, but they threatened legal action and told him to stop spamming them. But I did not speak up for fear of being accused of spamming or being sued by a church.

Then a news reporter for a large Christian radio network sounded the alarm on His Holy Hill of this clear and present danger. They ran the story, but received more gnashing of teeth from callers then they had ever had, so they censored this story from their Agape Press print media news service.

Then still another brother on another Christian radio ministry broadcast testimonies of Christians thrown out of their churches across the country, but the network threatened to remove his show from the air, if another broadcast was ever made that said anything bad about Rick Warren. But I did not speak up because I had friends and family who were either employed by an organization that promoted Purpose Driven Church, or were in Purpose Driven Church, and I did not want to lose those relationships.

Then they came after a large group of members at New Hope Church in Bend, Oregon. But I didn't speak up because I wasn't a member of The Evangelical Church denomination or the National Association of Evangelicals.

Then they came after a carpenter and his wife at Calvary Community Church in Phoenix, Arizona with the police and a sheriff and escorted him out of the church and off of the grounds for trying to expose the deeds of darkness and the teachings of Rick Warren, telling him that if he returned, he would be arrested. But I didn't speak up because I wasn't a member of the Calvary Chapel denomination.

Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me, because every church in the nation had become Purpose Driven and part of his Global PEACE Plan."


For further information on Rick Warren's teaching, I invite you to consider "Who's Driving the Purpose Driven Church?" at amazon.com which is published by Southwest Radio Church and available there too at swrc.com

Here is Chapter 11 which proves that Warren's SHAPE Discovery 301 Class and questionnaire is embedded with Carl Jung's teachings, compulsory for members of Saddleback Church: