It's hard to believe that it has been 10 years since Rick Warren's classic, The Purpose Driven Life was released nationwide and caught the attention of churchgoers as well people outside the church. This book has been called, "The Nation's bestselling non-fiction hardback in history" (Publisher's Weekly). Many churches have done studies on this book for the last decade. Some have even done the 40 days of purpose where they read a chapter of the book everyday until they have finished the book. Pastors have even built sermons around the theme of the week that is addressed in the book.
I know I have read this book, only because everyone else seems to be talking about it. I lent it out to several people and now I am not even sure where it is. So when the opportunity was given to me to review this book in its 10th anniversary edition, I had to take it because I know what I believed 10 years ago is a lot different than the theology I have now.
When coming across a book like this, one has to wonder if this is another "Christian" self-help book. Warren wrote in the beginning of the book, that this is not a self-help book. In fact, he writes, "It's not about you...You were born by his purpose and for his purpose" (pg. 21). Okay, we know this book is not a self-centered book, which can gives us some comfort.
What makes this book different than its previous editions is instead of 40 days, it has been expanded to 42 where there are 6 six weeks of "study" to go over. The first week deals with the purpose that we are here for. Talking about it all starting with God and that we were made for an assignment here on earth which sounds like Henry Blackaby's Experiencing God.
The remaining six weeks consist of the five-fold purpose of what God created us for:
You were planned for God's pleasure (Worship)
You were formed for God's family (Fellowship)
You were created to become like Christ (Discipleship)
You were shaped for serving God (Service)
You were made for a mission (Evangelism)
To some of you this may sound familiar because he also addressed these same purposes, in a different way, in his other classic, The Purpose Driven Church, which can out years before Purpose Driven Life.
I know Rick Warren is not the most glorious expositor preacher in the church nor one for making deep theological comments, but there were a lot of things in the book that I agreed with and a lot of things I did not. He knows the gospel and loves Jesus and wants to see people live for their lives to honor God. That is, and should be, the heart of any pastor regardless of what school of theology we are under.
My big concern for the book is the treatment of Scripture. Warren uses the Bible through the book which is a good thing. However, Warren hardly gives the Scripture reference in the book, you have to look in the back for the reference, which is why it can be labeled a study book. That is a minor issue. The major issue is the variety of translations. Yes, we need to use different translations at times, but the way Warren uses it seem to fit what he says. It seems he is one of those guys who let has a thought about God and then uses it to reinforce it without careful hermeneutics. I think what Warren does is a very sloppy approach to the Bible and a pastor should be the last person on earth to treat the word with such contempt.
I am not saying The Purpose Driven Life is a bad book nor a great book. It is one of those book all church leaders need to read because your people will be reading it or already have.
The Purpose Driven Life expanded edition by Rick Warren is a guide for a 42 day spiritual reflection upon your life and discovery of your purpose for living this life. Mr. Warren is the pastor at Saddleback Church in California. He takes the reader through this journey of life's purpose in 42 days. It is suggested in the first few pages not to try to read/study this book any quicker because as explained in the beginning of the book the Bible considers 40 days a spiritually significant time period. God would ask each person in the Bible to spend 40 days to prepare oneself for a new purpose. Mr. Warren asks the reader to do the same. There are scriptural passages to also read in the guide in the back of the book as well as messages to listen to online. The day's devotion can be spent in as little as 15 minutes to get the day's message or more in-depth time can be spent using all the resources provided. It is also suggested that the scriptures should be read in various differ translations or paraphrases. Each chapter also begins with a QR code which can be scanned with your smartphone so that you can listen to a 3 minute video for the chapter. This is an easy to understand new version of the book released 10 years ago which incorporates the newer technology available to most people today. This is a book that can be read by oneself for self reflection by yourself but it is suggested that more can be gleaned when read for a group discussion/devotional study.
I enjoyed this book much more than I expected to. I was surprised at how this book could direct me on a more fulfilling pathway to God and understanding my purpose without being preachy. Mr. Warren writes in an upbeat way without being wishy-washy which I appreciated. I plan to reread this book slower as the writer intended in a group setting with a small group study. I had not read the first book so I cannot say whether the changes made the book better but I can say that this book has improved my philosophy on life. Thank you for taking the time, Mr. Warren, in updating your popular book.
This book was provided for this review by Booksneeze.
It's been ten years since I first read The Purpose Driven Life --along with most people both in and out of the Christian community. Picking up this anniversary edition was like visiting a familiar friend and reminiscing. I was struck anew by the scope of the book. It's truly a foundational work, covering what we're here on this earth for, how to foster spiritual growth, how to function within the church body and how to discover and fulfill God's ultimate purposes for our life.
Warren specifically instructs the reader to move through the book slowly, preferably over the course of 40 days. The anniversary edition includes two bonus chapters covering the most common traps to living a purpose-filled life. So, I tried to move slowly and take time with the reading.
There were moments I was tempted to skim simply because I have read the book before and completed the 40 Days of Purpose study with my church. I would begin to feel like the lessons were "old-hat" and yet I was reminded by taking it slow that sometimes the foundational lessons are the ones we must return to again and again.
Additionally, the updated edition includes many multimedia tools to expand the impact of the lessons with handy QR codes, including audio and video lessons from Rick Warren for each chapter.
The impact of this book speaks to a widespread desire to discover God's purposes for our lives. Clearly most of us long for an answer to this question considering how many people were drawn to read The Purpose Driven Life in the first place. Warren emphasizes, though, that we are truly here to glorify Him and to work with other Christians to fulfill God's plan for us as individuals and as a Church.
If it's been ten years since you read the book, maybe now would be a great time to read it again. It's also updated and interactive, which might appeal to a whole new generation of folks asking, "What am I here for?"
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I love everything Pastor Rick Warren preaches and writes about. He has a brilliant way of breaking things down and making difficult concepts easy to understand. He keeps your interest and he is never boring.
The anniversary edition of "The Purpose Driven Life" is even better. There are two new chapters added: "The Envy Trap - I must be like you to be happy" and "The People-Pleaser Trap - I must be liked by you to be happy".
What I also think is a wonderful addition, are the QR codes and web links incorporated providing a video intro and 30-minute audio message by Pastor Rick Warren for each chapter.
If you are not familiar with Pastor Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life is a great introduction. This is one of my favorite books ever. I highly recommend it to everyone.
I have received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Zondervan and Thomas Nelson.
the goal of Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life is to answer the question that makes up the subtitle... "What on earth am I here for?"
The Purpose Driven Life is the best-selling non-fiction hardcover book in history. it has sold over 32 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 5o languages.
originally published in 2002, 2012 marks the 10th aniversary of the book. and Warren and Zondervan have reworked and re-released the book with an additional two chapters: "The Envy Trap - I must be like you to be happy" and "The People-Pleaser Trap - I must be liked by you to be happy." there are also QR codes, internet links, as well as access to an online community incorporated into this new and expanded edition.
"It's not about you." the book opens with these four words and sends readers on a journey to discover God's purpose for their lives.
if you've read the book before, you'll love to revisit it and reflect once again on God's purpose for your life. you'll also enjoy the additional chapters and features. if you haven't read the book, start with this edition.
it's well written and easy to read. it's understandable and features wonderful references to Scripture.