I commend Warren for putting the glory of God first and foremost --- starting out by saying, "It's not about you, it's about God and His glory." But from them on, he gives the church quips and quotes and does at the end of the day end up compromising the message.First off, did you notice how many different versions he used? I believe I saw 15+. Most of these verses are taken out of context to prove Warren's point --- and most of the versions are from non-literal translations, which further muddies the real thrust of what the Scriptures' author intended.Plus, he makes coming to Christ easier than even Christ did. He strays his focus away from understanding and accepting the resurrection (Romans 10:9-10) and the fact that Christ has called us to deny ourselves and die daily before we can follow Him(Luke 9:23). This is a hard teaching --- but according to Warren, only positive uplifting sermons need apply!All that glitters is not gold! All that sells does not mean it is sanctified! If you want to truly understand the human heart, look to Bunyan, Edwards, Calvin, or Luther --- they and the Puritans had a great understanding of God's glory and the frailty of the human understanding. Approach Bro. Warren's book with caution.
I would typically cast my lot with those opposed to the mega church phenomena and Warren's ideas fit the mold precisely. However, using his writings as advice and not rules, MUCH good can be accomplished. There is much benefit to be gained from a careful reading of this book. This book can do for the modern church what Stephen Covey did for self management.
Great book with great biblical concepts. Realize that purpose-driven model is only "one" model in a dozen out there (including seeker-sensitive, discipleship, etc.). Realize also that Rick Warren planted his church from scrap with this concept. He did NOT go to an existing church and change it. But there are plenty of churches that have successfully changed into purpose-driven model and are growing and thriving. If your church is running into problems, the problem isn't this model, but other areas: either leadership, followers, situation, or combination.
Rick Warrens experience as pastor of one of the nations fastest growing churches explains that success: there is a reason for the church. His proven five-step program for identifying the purpose of the church is worth the consideration of anyone pastor or layman who are in the ministry of developing godly congregations. The reviewer always suggests: THE PRAYER OF HANNAH to compliment The Purpose Driven Church. Both are available from christianbook.com