[Preface: I hadn't planned on posting another Purpose Driven piece until this ad caught my eye while I was checking out smartchristian.com -- you'll find it in the left sidebar]
Or better said -- Purpose Driven gone mad. For only $3.99/month you can receive "a short devotional thought from The Purpose Driven Life on your mobile phone daily. Now you can take the Purpose Driven Life with you anytime, no matter where you are." Here's the sales pitch you'll be bombarded with after clicking on the Find Out More link...
Sign up nowWhat a deal! For $3.99/month (which happens to be a penny less than a dial-a-sermon download from pastors.com) you can take the inspiring words of Warren with you ... and even share them via the text messaging option. [This is also available from The Purpose Driven Life website...click here.]
Now you can take The Purpose Driven Life with you anytime, no matter where you are. Have special daily devotionals from The Purpose Driven Life sent right to your mobile phone. For only $3.99/month, you can:
Sign up below to begin receiving The Purpose Driven Life daily devotionals.
- Receive a new inspirational message every weekday
- Save your favorites and keep them with you wherever you go
- Share the messages with those around you
The Purpose Driven Life website also lists several personal testimonials persuading you to snatch up this life-changing book. Here are a couple of the testimonials that seem to be rather revealing. Take special notice of what (or, whom) gives these readers guidance and direction, and which book has changed and transformed their lives.
I have read many self help books that promise to guide me to fulfill my dreams and reach my goals. They are sitting on a shelf and I have had no inclination to re-read them. This book is like an old friend. It gives me guidance when I need it. It reassures me when I have doubt. It gives me honesty about my life direction. This book teaches me what other books do not. To fulfill my God Purpose not just my goals and dreams.
I feel that my life is changing through this book and that my Purpose will be clearer. It is like a metamorphosis. God has given me wings and through this book I have been transformed and have learned to fly.
A New Beginning!My wife and I received a copy of TPDL the day after Ash Wednesday from our church upon joining its discussion group. We'd had a few very dismal months prior, dealing with a job loss, my father's death, and the loss of our unborn daughter. My wife ran into an old friend from church, whose husband happened to be the leader of the aforementioned discussion group. He brought the book to our home, and I thought I would be supportive of my wife, and attend the group to help her deal with her grief.
After we began reading the book aloud together, the change in me was absolutely astounding, and we've attended every group meeting, the last one being tonight. We were both transformed by this book's wisdom, like a spiritual rebirth. With spring on the near horizon, it will truly be a season of rebirth. I can't say enough positive things about the joy and closeness to God we've experienced anew, and hope to continue to grow. I would encourage everyone to read this book, and follow the 40 day cycle. I'll truly never be the same again, and will face life with a revitalized spirit, in both good times and bad.
These testimonials reveal a troubling trend among Purpose Driven adherents: allegiance seems to be sworn to a book authored by a man rather than to the Book authored by God.
Now hold on...let me say something (before you hop on over to my profile page and shoot me a scathing email). I do not question these individuals' sincerity. I have no doubt that, through this book, God has regenerated sinners in spite of its watered-down, weak presentation of the gospel. And although we should never judge a book by its cover (which we have not done, even with the PDL), it does seem expedient to judge a book by its product, which in this case, troubles me.
I know many of these testimonials are coming from non-Christians or very young Christians, and I realize they won't converse in over-used 'Christian cliches' (which isn't a bad thing). But when testimonial after testimonial [you can read more here] gives credit to a book and its author rather than to God and His grace, something must be wrong.
So what's wrong? After skimming through the PDL website, I found these quotes, which seem to diagnose the problem... [You can read the entire advertisement here.]
"(This book is) A groundbreaking manifesto on the meaning of life." (emphasis added)
"This long-anticipated book is the life-message of Rick Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church." (emphases added)
This is the problem with the numerous pop-psychology, self-help, 'Christian' books of today: each new book claims to be a "groundbreaking manifesto" of a man's "life-message".
So, how can we differentiate between a book that tells a man's life message and writing that proclaims God's gospel message; maybe by the readers' response? It appears that many of Warren's readers are quoted as saying, "Wow! What a book!" Yet God's message seem to elicit a much different response -- something like Paul's reaction in 1 Timothy 1:15-17 (ESV),
"The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.""Wow! What a God!"
LATE ADDITION: Check out today's Purpose Driven devotional in this post.