On The Purpose-Driven Life

I tried reading this.  My husband tried reading this.  We both quit because of all the misquoted and mangled Scripture and misrepresentations of the Gospel message.  Translations were used based on which one made the exact point the author wanted to make.

You want to know your purpose?  Read the Bible, plain and simple.  It tells you how, more importantly, you fit into God’s purposes.

I’d find you a good Orthodox critique, except that–not counting the Protestant converts who rip it apart on Orthodox forums–it seems to have fallen under the Orthodox radar.  I guess they’re too busy reading Fr. Seraphim Rose, the Church Fathers and the Philokalia instead of fluffy Protestant pop psychology.  So here are some Protestant sites:

A site that critiques PDL in detail: PDL by Tony Capoccia

An Evangelical Lutheran review: Partners Book Reviews by Lawrence R. Wohlrabe

A Lutheran (Confessional/Missouri Synod) review: PDL Sells 20 Million Copies by Reclaim News

Another Lutheran–Missouri Synod (LCMS) review, on the radio show Issues, Etc.: http://www.issuesetc.org/resource/archives/purpose.htm

A review from the point of view of Baptist/traditional Presbyterian (PCA) Reformed theology: Book Review–Rick Warren’s The PDL by Tim Challies

In the last link, this writer also notes Warren’s

carelessness in his use of the Bible.  He continually removes Scripture passages from their proper context in order to make them suit his purposes.  He carelessly applies promises to the reader that clearly do not apply.  He also distorts or changes the meanings of certain passages to make them say what he wants them to say.

What’s even more disturbing to me is that I have heard pastors preach sermons doing all these things.  I have read accounts from others that their pastors do the same.  This is one reason why we left the Evangelical-Free church.  Has this become a common trend in modern American churches?

The Orthodox answer to Purpose-Driven Life (though not intentionally so): Theosis: The True Purpose of Human Life

Written around 2005/2006

Index to my theology/church opinion pages:

Page 1:

End Times and Christian Zionism 
God’s Purpose/Supremacy of God Doctrine 
Cat and Dog Theology 
Raising One’s Hands in Worship 
Christian Music 
On the “still, small voice” and Charismatic sign gifts
On church buildings 
The Message Bible 
The Purpose-Driven Life 
The Relevance Doctrine, i.e. Marketing Churches to Seekers 
Republican Party 
Abortion Protests 
The idea that God has someone in mind for you 
Literalism in Biblical interpretation

Page 2:

Name it and Claim It Doctrine, Prosperity Doctrine, Faith-Formula Theology, Word-Faith Theology,  Positive Confession Theology, Health and Wealth Gospel, and whatever else they call it
More about Pat Robertson
Dr. Richard Eby and others who claim to have been to Heaven
Women in Marriage/the Church
Spiritual Abuse 
Other Resources 

Page 3:

Why do bad things happen?
Should we criticize our brethren’s artistic or evangelistic attempts?  Or, how should we evangelize, then?
Angels: Is “This Present Darkness” by Frank Peretti a divine revelation or fiction?
Halloween: Not the Devil’s Holiday!
Hell and the Nature of God 
Is Christmas/Easter a Pagan Holiday? 
Is everybody going to Hell except Christians?
How could a loving God who prohibits murder, command the genocide of the Canaanite peoples? 
What about predestination?
Musings on Sin, Salvation and Discipleship 
An Ancient View which is in the Bible, yet new to the west–Uncreated Energies of God

Page 4:

The Didache 
Technical Virginity–i.e., how far should a Christian single go? 
Are Spiritual Marriages “real”?  (also in “Life” section, where it’s more likely to be updated) 
Does the Pill cause abortions, or is that just another weird Internet or extremist right-wing rumor?
What about Missional Churches, Simple Churches, Fluid Churches, Organic Churches, House Churches or Neighborhood Churches?
Is Wine from the Devil–or a Gift from God?
What is Worship? 
Evangelistic Trips to Already Christianized Countries
Fraternities, Sororities, Masonic Lodge 
Was Cassie Bernall a Martyr?
Some Awesome Things heard in the Lamentations Service (Good Friday evening) during Holy Week

Conversion Story

Phariseeism in the Church