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 05, 12


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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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...


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