Anna Ligtenberg's Reviews > The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here For?

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
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May 16, 2012

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Read in March, 2007

ISBN 0310205719 - I'll read almost any book, and really have an interest in anything related to any religion. That said, I truly disliked this book. Still, I'm basing my review on the writing itself. The writing is average and has the tone of being directed at a not-too-intelligent child, which is perhaps fitting - obviously Warren believes that few, if any, people really understand the lessons of the bible.

Meant to be read over a 40 day period, allowing the reader to ponder the questions posed by the author, The Purpose Driven Life serves literally no purpose whatsoever to the non-Christian - there's little for you to learn here that isn't better learned from scholarly texts on Christianity and, really, if you believe in God but not in Jesus-the-son-of-God (even if you believe in Jesus as a prophet), this book comes nowhere near talking to you. For the average Christian, it might spark an interest in re-visiting those things you thought you already knew about being a good Christian. And for the devout Christian, you don't need to read this book.

I was somewhat happily surprised to discover the author's hand in my pocket only a few times, encouraging the reader to buy his journal and other items. Truthfully, I expect more money-mooching from any religion, especially one in which you are commanded to tithe (page 72), so it was a pleasant surprise.

Mostly, I was offended by Warren's apparent assumption that the reader really is a nitwit. One of many examples: on page 65, he rails on about the "misuse" of the word "worship" - he is incorrect and could have simplified things by pointing out that one use of the word is a verb and another is an noun, but he preferred to come across as a chastising and belittling second grade teacher.

Warren did show a sense of humor periodically, referring to Groucho Marx and "watching too much television". In the end, it's possible that he himself quoted the greatest reason to NOT read this book: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men." Last I checked, Warren was a man and his "roadmap" is just another re-tooling of "rules" taught by the men who lead any form of Christianity. I say keep your money and, if you really think God needs it, give it to your church, not Rick Warren.

- AnnaLovesBooks
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