Jack's Reviews > The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
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Apr 15, 2016

did not like it
bookshelves: fantasy

This is a disgusting book. The goal of this book is to make you a slave. Don't take my word for it I'll just read straight from the book: "Worship isn't for you. It's for God p.66, God smiles when we obey him wholeheartedly, You have no right to argue with your Creator. You are merely a clay pot shaped by a potter p.75 " Or the chapters titles "Thinking like a Servant " and "How Real Servants Act".

For me, the most revolting thing about the book came on p.80 and this theme was repeated throughout the book "Surrendered people obey God's word even if it doesn't make sense." A few sentences before that Warren says "God would not waste the mind he gave you. God doesn't want a lot of mindless robots following him." Anyone who doesn't see the clear contradiction between those two sentences is a fool. And Warren put them on the same page.

Warren says it over and over and over again, the purpose of life isn't to learn, or to teach or even to just enjoy life, but to OBEY God. It doesn't matter what your own thoughts are or what you think of yourself, it only matters what the Great Self Appointed Tyrant in the Sky thinks of you and your life. According to this book, your only goal in life is to be forever groveling and praising this God and doing your damnedest to get others to do likewise.

There are some decent lessons in the book but all of them are corrupted by the awful dogma of Warren and his twisted theology. The book is designed to get around your intellect, it even says at some points that thinking and doubting are bad things, and go straight for your weakness and insecurities with an open attempt to try and convince you that you and everything you value are worthless without the Dictator's permission. Only a fool, only someone who WANTS TO BE A SLAVE would get anything out of this book.

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Comments (showing 1-27 of 27) (27 new)

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message 1: by Sophia (new)

Sophia Well we are suppose to be servants of God and to follow His plan for our lives. In Judeaism they show their faith by obedience. If you think about it, they are synonyms. I think what Warren meant by not being mindless robots was that God gave us free will. I think God wants us to question things because then we start actively searching for the truth. I am not criticizing your review. I just have this problem of stating my opinion all the time. Honestly i never read the book but I am just commenting on a few things from your review. Good luck to you and your walk in Christ. :)


message 2: by Jack (new) - rated it 1 star

Jack You can't both be a servant and think for yourself. In his book Warren says (on the same page)that God doesn't want a bunch of mindless drones following him but then a few lines later he says that good Christians obey God even when his orders don't make sense. Why can't you see the clear contradiction between those two points? Why are you making excuses for such deplorable sentiments?


message 3: by Sophia (new)

Sophia I am not making excuses for his sentiments. I am just saying we show our faith in God by being obedient. I can see how the statements can be seen as contradictory. Like I said I have never read the book, because when we went over it in high school, all my teachers that loved it I considered hypocrites. But we have a choice to follow God and be his servant, and I do not think we should follow blindly. I think God wants us to think about our choices before we make them and pray about our decisions. What we may think is from God, may not be. When I think of being a servant of God, I am thinking about doing His will for my life. I have a choice in how I use my own spiritual gifts and how I give back and reach people. I don't think of being a servant as being held against my will and calling God, Master. I am just asking, does he really use the term "good Christians?"


message 4: by Jack (last edited Feb 25, 2013 12:21PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Jack Please pardon my very late reply.

I suppose there is a difference between obeying blindly and obeying because you've thought it through. But, if something doesn't make sense, even after you've thought about it and you still have lingering doubts, then by all means you shouldn't do it! You should ask questions first (unless you're in some sort of life or death situation etc). Warren doesn't draw that distinction at all. He just says "Surrendered people [aka good Christians]obey God's word even if it doesn't make sense." Nor does the God of the Bible because 1 Corinthians 4:6 says "...Do not go beyond what is written..." and some version like KJV have it translated do not THINK beyond what is written...


message 5: by Sophia (new)

Sophia Oh I completely agree with you. If something doesn't sound right to me, I am going to take that as God saying maybe I shouldn't do that. I have that feeling a lot at church, esp. when they go into topics I do not agree with. And 1 Corinthians 4:6 is another verse that is just taken out of context and giving crazy people some sort of justification for doing crazy ass shit in the name of God (excuse my French). A lot of Christians just do not seem to understand that some of the laws and things that were said were due to circumstances going on.


Lisa I would rather be a "slave "for Christ than a prisoner to satan.
You can't read this book without knowing God's Word. There are no contradictions.


message 7: by Jack (new) - rated it 1 star

Jack Lisa- There are clear contradictions within Warren's book as I've shown in my review and within the so called "Holy" Bible which are easily found if you just do a tiny bit or research.


message 8: by Jude (new)

Jude The truth is you have never thought for yourself. You have been conditioned just like the rest of us. You are now coming to the age where you realize contradictions in your conditioning and what you are actually experiencing in life. Your worldview is not your own. The bible is divine and increasingly complex. No one completely understands the Bible, I am a former atheist, nevertheless it remains true. I'd advise you to do some more reading. Look into Anselm's argument if you do not want to read faith-based literature. It's a tough realization to come to but everyone is a slave to something. We mortals are just built that way. Best of luck on your journey. God bless.


message 9: by Bittersweet (new)

Bittersweet Cupcake My grandmother got me this book several years ago and I've had much more important books to read; the book just stood there on my shelf, untouched. I was just checking out what I have unread, and I saw it. I came to check the reviews, not for "personal" opinions, but just to know what this book is about because I hate wasting my time on a book I don't enjoy.
I want to thank you for your review; the contradicting quotes that you stated were enough. I am glad I didn't even try.
I thought that it would be about spirituality, not religion. I thought by God, he meant a higher power-not Christ.
The couple of quotes you provided are more than enough to shove the book in the garbage. Or give it to a Christian-believer friend.
I am not judging a book by its cover, I'm not being prejudice and I DEFINITELY approach books with an open mind. Nevertheless, these quotes you provided spoke for themselves. I can totally understand where you're coming from and I agree on every single word you wrote both, in your review and the following comments :)


message 10: by Jack (last edited Nov 08, 2013 07:35PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Jack Jude wrote: "The truth is you have never thought for yourself. You have been conditioned just like the rest of us. You are now coming to the age where you realize contradictions in your conditioning and what yo..."

Spare me. You're making excuses for a book that demands you believe impossible nonsense for no good reason. I don't care whether you're a "former" atheist or "former" Muslim or whatever, the only thing that matters is the evidence, not some anonymous Internet wanna-be guru who projects his own faults onto others when he says that "everyone is a slave to something." I presented evidence in my review showing that Warren's book is internally inconsistent. You presented nothing but still expect to be taken seriously. Hell, your brief argument doesn't even make sense. If we're all just slaves to whatever we're conditioned to believe and our world views aren't our own, then how can you assert that you know the Bible is "divine"? How do you know that your "conditioning " wasn't just replaced by some other type of "conditioning"? And since you just contradicted yourself, why should I even listen to you?

Also, some of us actually do base our conclusions on evidence (not faith) and will change our minds when the evidence changes. Just because you can't (or won't) doesn't make it so for everyone else.

As for the Ontological Argument, Anselm doesn't present a coherent positive definition of what God is( nor does he say HOW he "knows" it)so whatever follows is meaningless.


message 11: by Jack (new) - rated it 1 star

Jack Bittersweet wrote: "My grandmother got me this book several years ago and I've had much more important books to read; the book just stood there on my shelf, untouched. I was just checking out what I have unread, and I..."

Glad my little review helped, along with my comments. :)


message 12: by Bittersweet (new)

Bittersweet Cupcake And I love the way you think. You're very reasonable; I rarely see that in people.


message 13: by Lori (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lori Perez Your interpretation is based on your own understandings. Becoming a slave in the believers POV is surrendering control. Saying,"okay Lord,I do not have all the answers and I will not manipulate the things around me to get what I want. Instead, I will make my decisions given my free will and take the results of those actions as you so feel fit they should fall. I will accept when things do not fall according to the way I like because I realize I am living for YOUR purpose and not my own. I realize that I do not have all the answers and for whatever reason things turned out the way they do or did its because your plans for me are in the works."


message 14: by Jack (new) - rated it 1 star

Jack Lori wrote: "Your interpretation is based on your own understandings. Becoming a slave in the believers POV is surrendering control. Saying,"okay Lord,I do not have all the answers and I will not manipulate the..."


I'm glad we agree that surrendering control over your own life to someone else makes you a slave. I'm sorry that we disagree over whether this is desirable or not.


message 15: by Deanne (new) - added it

Deanne Brekhus All I can say is Wow for someone to respond so negative n defensive to this great book , that is loved by many, should take a look at their own attitude n perspective!!


message 16: by Jack (new) - rated it 1 star

Jack Deanne wrote: "All I can say is Wow for someone to respond so negative n defensive to this great book , that is loved by many, should take a look at their own attitude n perspective!!"

The Qur'an is also loved by many and considered by many to be a great book but I doubt you would have cared if I had posted a negative review of that.


message 17: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Roman I haven't read this title yet. However as I was going through I noticed Jack's review and ran into this somewhat offensive and defensive stance that has been taken by some people... Jack is merely stating his opinion wether it be ignorant at first glance or not. Fact is, if he sees the term servant and interprets it as slave then he simply doesn't know the kind of servant hood that some of us as Christians have succumb to. There is no arguing with a fixed mind when it comes to interpretation of this. The only example you could give him is Christ when He walked this world. He was a servant not only to God, but to others and took nothing for himself except that of which he needed to clothe and to feed himself. Our goal, same as anyone who would acknowledge this title, is to become more like Christ. This can only be attained by becoming a servant as Christ did. But there is no arguing that to someone who refuses to accept it as necessary.


message 18: by Isabella (new)

Isabella I think you should just try to respect the fact that many people are Christians and believe in God and your comments are not just "God does not exist" etc, no they are worse where you write that we are slaves to something evil and that we are not ourselves and all those things. You are allowed to have your say and voice your opinion, I just think it is a matter of respect that we all need to think about. To some, God is real and he is our savior, which is what I believe and to others, He is not.
That does not mean that you write horrible things about it. "Slaves" does not mean what you think it means. A comment above already wrote this but it means that you just give yourself to God and let him steer you wherever he has planned.

I'm sorry, I am not trying to wake any arguments or big heated discussions, I am merely saying that next time people in general need to have respect to other people when writing or saying something. Believe what you want, think wha you want but remember that someone out there takes this very personally and badly.


message 19: by A (new) - rated it 5 stars

A Jack. You're entitled to your opinion and if that's the way you feel then that's the way you feel. It's not right, wrong or indifferent. It's just you're opinion and I respect that. If others can't respect that it's only because they doubt their own faith. They think that by convincing you they're justify their own thoughts and beliefs. Thanks for your review. It was interesting.


message 20: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Luzon dvm Good review... Way too far from criticizing the book...


message 21: by Gbolahan (new) - added it

Gbolahan Dude! You are pissed!
Ultimately, all of us will choose to do EXACTLY what we want to do.
Muslims choose to be slaves of Allah. Their choice.
I choose to be slave, servant and son of Jesus Christ, The Great Self Appointed Tyrant in the Sky...only He's not just in the sky, He's looking over your shoulder right now as you are reading this. Dude is EVERYWHERE.
My choice.
Some things...nah, a lot of things are difficult to accept about The Self Appointed Head Dude. He made Satan, knew Satan was going to sin, and He still allowed it???
He knew Adam and Eve were going to sin, still He kept that tree right in front of their eyes!
Look, everything comes from Him. Evil comes from Him. Think about it: if He had not created Satan, would there be any evil?
Of course, that also means love comes from Him. Your questioning (and angry) mind comes from Him. Sick depraved rapists, who do you think allowed them to be born?
It doesn't matter how hard we fight it. We can NEVER be free of Him.
(I still wonder why He didn't choose to be known as "Her".)
He has given all of us free will. And we always have at least 2 choices in all situations.
Warren may have come across hard. Eh. Tyrant allowed it. I hated the book the first time I read it, doubting the existence of a God and deeply suicidal. The book seemed to make my situation worse then.
But...here I am, reading it again. Go figure.
I believe He made all of us for His own pleasure. Creepy much? Somewhat. I was making love to my wife the other day and it suddenly occurred to me that He was watching us intently, there in the room with us.
Talk about a spiritual stalker.
I doubt He made our small brains to fully understand Him. But truth is, He is the strongest being in existence and I'd rather please Him than please myself.
You know He gave you your mind and that you have numerous choices of how to respond to my comments. Ignoring me is one of your choices. You may even ignore Warren. Or you can respond with words. Your choice. He gave you those choices.
But, please, do not ignore Him. He's right beside you right now, probably smiling and waiting for your next move.
Even though He knows what it is already.
Told you He was sort of weird...


message 22: by Gbolahan (new) - added it

Gbolahan Sophia wrote: "Oh I completely agree with you. If something doesn't sound right to me, I am going to take that as God saying maybe I shouldn't do that. I have that feeling a lot at church, esp. when they go into ..."

1st Corinthians 4:6 says;"Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another."

How is this verse "another verse that is just taken out of context and giving crazy people some sort of justification for doing crazy ass shit in the name of God"? Crazy ass shit like what?


message 23: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John Bond servant:


message 24: by Lora (new) - added it

Lora Swafford Uhm, no offense. But we are servants to God.... We are on this earth to do his will. He is our creator, our King, our father. We are his children, we should strive to live for him... that's part of beinga Christian.


message 25: by Lawal (new)

Lawal Joshua Jack you're highly depraved and blinded by your false sense of sensibility. You're trying to rationalize God with that puny Brain of yours. You don't understand that "self appointed tyrant in the sky" is the author of your life and the holder of your breath and that your existence is at his pleasure. I Hope and pray you don't understand on the last day when it's entirely too late.
And don't let anybody deceive you neither should you deceive yourself that you've your Own opinion. You've that in your personal life and probably at your workplace if you've any but not with God. He's higher than the greatest thing your imagination could conjure, more breathtaking than the greatest work of art man could craft, more powerful than all the energy of the stars and of the whole universe and yet more loving than a mother and closer than the air you breathe in. His awesomeness and love for you, unwilling for you to perish eternally demands your heart, your life and your lifelong devotion.
GIVE IT TO HIM


message 26: by Gbolahan (new) - added it

Gbolahan Lawal wrote: "Jack you're highly depraved and blinded by your false sense of sensibility. You're trying to rationalize God with that puny Brain of yours. You don't understand that "self appointed tyrant in the s..."

Jack is "highly depraved" for speaking his honest mind about God?? Way to go, Preacher Lawal.
(I hope you get that I am being sarcastic)


message 27: by Alysa (new) - added it

Alysa I know this conversation has been going on for a while and I am jumping in late, but the conversation intrigued me and I read through it a bit. I am not trying to change anyone's mind.Though I am going to try to defend God. I have never read this book, I want to but haven't. From the things said about the book at the beginning of the conversation I agree with the author. There are no contradictions that I see. God created man for companionship, but when Adam and Even sinned it distanced that fellowship between them and God. It was because of their sin that we must pay for our sins in hell if we do not accept Jesus as our Savior. Romans 5:12 "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, for whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Because God can not have fellowship with us now like he did with Adam and Eve in the garden; he plans to have fellowship with us in heaven. Though while we are here on earth he does expect us to live by his commandments, Exodus 20. Yes that is old testament law, but every one of those laws, except for the sabbath, is repeated in the new testament. It does not matter how the times have changed God is still the same and His laws still stand. God doesn't control us in the sense he takes away our creativity, but just like a father he gives us standards. He knows our nature, and he knows we will make mistakes, that is why Christ died for our sins, because we can never be good enough to get to heaven on our own. God loves his children and he is not willing for any to perish, but for all to be with him in heaven. But our sin seperates us from him. I believe that God preserved His Word for us and His Word is the KJV. I have studied the history of the version and fully believe it is the inspired and preserved Word of God. 1 Corinthians 4:6 is fully quoted, "And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that none of you be puffed up for one against another." That verse is Paul talking about not thinking of ourselves highly. Not to put man above God's Word and ultimately above God. Romans 12:3 "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think more highly of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith." As a Christian, God is to be the center of our lives, He is to guide our footsteps, He is to guide our hearts, and He is to be obeyed. We should follow Him because we love Him, but we are to follow Him because He is our Creator. Maybe the author did not convay the thoughts he had wanted, but if he believes the Word of God and is saved by the grace of God than I am sure he did a good job. But putting the book to the side. God is our Authority and He is to be feared and loved. I can't express with words the personality of God, but the Bible does give His attributes; He is righteous, He is longsuffering, He is perfect, He is loving. Nobody can talk you into believing. If someone talks you into it someone can talk you out. You have to have a personal relationship with God. We all have a decision to make. Will you believe in yourself and when you die you will just go into the ground, you will live your life good enough to make it to heaven and find yourself in hell to be in torment for eternity? Romans 3:10-12 "As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are all together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Or will you believe in a God that became flesh to die for your sins, because he loves you and will accept you with open arms if you will just let Him into your heart and be taken to heaven to live eternity in perfection with no sickness and no pain. That is who God is. Do you believe?

If you want to learn more about what I have said most of it is thoroughly explained on my website. pray4discernment.my-free.website


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