|The Barnabas Ministry
The Purpose Driven
Life- What on
Earth Am I Here For?
Warren, founding pastor of the Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose Driven Church, takes the approach of stating basic theological concepts, discussing some of the practical implications of those truths, and making them the foundation for one's Christian life. The book is especially useful for young Christians and people wondering "what" to do with Christianity in the first place or “now what” to do with an immature or ineffective faith. It is a very stimulating and thought-provoking book.
The book begins with the question, "What on earth am I here for?" Answering this question leads to the five purposes that form the cornerstone of Warren's approach:
However, I caution those recovering from a spiritually unhealthy situation to think twice about reading this book. Just as people in a hospital need a different diet than healthy people, people that are sick spiritually need a "spiritual diet" that specifically addresses their illnesses, not something designed for people who don't have an illness. I am concerned that any reader who has been hurt by an unhealthy performance-oriented church experience is likely to feel overwhelmed and like a failure.
Warren's presentation isn't harsh or graceless at all--
Christians sin. At times, Warren often comes across like quite
matter-of-factly, "here is what is right, and there's no excuse for why
you're not doing it." But we humans don't always do the things we
ought, no matter how hard we try, how long we try, or how guilty we
feel for the last failure. It's part of the human condition; we always
are in need of forgiveness. Most unhealthy or abusive churches are
seizing upon people's failures and urging people to therefore "do more"
or "try harder" instead of embracing the truths that 1) all Christians
sin and 2) God's power is made perfect in weakness. By its very nature,
any action-oriented book
like The Purpose Driven
Life isn't necessarily going to help anyone still hurting from
abuses due to imbalances in this area. Nevertheless, I think The
Purpose Driven Life presents
a healthy approach and could be of great use once some healing has
taken place and healthy perspectives of God's grace and love have been
Having said all of that, I recommend The Purpose Driven Life to those looking for concise and healthy ideas for integrating theological truth and practical applications, but I caution those in the midst of spiritual recovery to seek careful guidance through resources more precisely designed for that purpose.
Link: The Purpose Driven Life website
Copyright © 2004 John Engler. All rights reserved.
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