Purpose Driven Life Question

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by jshurley04, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. jshurley04

    jshurley04
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    I have read many posts that are highly critical of Rick Warren and many of his books, especially the "Purpose Driven Church" and the "Purpose Driven Life". I do not want to get into a discussion on the man, Rick Warren; however, I do want to know why there is such intense dislike (trying to be nice) for his books?

    I have read both of the books listed and have found them different but altogether sound. I would have done things differently as far as how it was structured and keeping with one translation of scripture. All in all, I have found them to be good and worth while books. I would simply like to discuss what the problems are from those of you who dislike these books.
     
  2. gtbuzzarp

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    Here are some articles for you to start with. These are by an AoG group, so I don't agree with everything they say, but this stuff makes you think. I'm always skeptical of any Christian book that is a best seller in the secular world because the world will hate the light. What is so appealing that the world is rushing to buy this stuff?

    http://www.discernment-ministries.org/Purpose_Driven.pdf

    Article about Gnosticism
    http://www.discernment-ministries.org/StrangeFire1.htm

    http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/2003/1-purpose.htm

    http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/04/community-1.htm

    http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/04/community-2.htm
     
  3. jshurley04

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    Ok, let's clarify things a little.

    I want to address why members of this board dislike the two big books by Warren of the Purpose Driven title. I really don't care why other websites dislike him or what other websites say about his books. This is a personal question, Why do YOU dislike these two books by Warren?

    I submit that they are good and valuable tools for the church today in a post-modern society. I have actually read the books, has anyone else that dislikes them read them? While any book by a man will have faults and Warren's books are no exception, why is it wrong in your mind to take, read and use his materials?

    I know that this has probably been discussed in the past but obviously I missed it all. So please help me understand.
     
  4. gtbuzzarp

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    I do not have time to go into it here, but I think if you read some of those things I posted you will have an understanding of why most who dislike all things "Purpose Drive" dislike them.

    In short, I think the PD "movement" is Humanism and Gnosticism cloaked in "Christianese".

    Others here can more eloquently define their dislikes.

    Not that this proves anything but remember Ashley Smith that made national headlines by surviving a hostage ordeal by reading the “Purpose Driven Life” to her captor, Brian Nichols? Was it really a work of God or of hallucinogens?

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/print?id=1164564

    http://baptistpress.com/bpnews.asp?ID=21740

    (you can search the AP, but it will cost you $$ for the entire story)

    Then not too long after the whole thing (10 or so days later) the guy converts to Islam in prison.

    (scroll down to the last line)
    http://wsbradio.com/news/051005briannichols3a.html

    I guess being Muslim he can still tell people about Ashley Smith. Because that is what he thought his purpose was. Maybe she should have read from her Bible instead of PDL.

    Also, look at this:
    http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/03/14/smith.transcript/

    (from the transcript)

    Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying God didn’t move in that situation, but maybe it didn’t happen so Brian Nichols could be saved, but rather so Ashley Smith could get her heart right with God and get cleaned up?

    continued:
    I think what many people dislike about PDL is that it has become some sort of new "gospel". The focus seems to be on all things PD and not Jesus Christ.

    And that's about all I have to say about that.
     
  5. Debby in Philly

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    A lot of folks on this board enjoy being critical of "popular" things that the Lord has seen fit to use mightily such as "Purpose Driven Life" and "Left Behind," etc. They do it, IMHO, just for the fun of being contrary.
     
  6. Ron Arndt

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    Where Rick Warren misses the boat is that there is more to being a Christian and follower of Jesus and his teachings, than just believing in Jesus. There is following after correct DOCTRINE. Does Rick Warren mention "believer's baptism"? No. Why? Because to him it doesn't matter whether you were baptized with water as an infant or baptized as an adult. Just so you believe.

    And what about the Eucharist? Is Jesus really present in the wafer and the wine as our Roman Catholic brethren say? Or is communion just symbolic of a past event? It doesn't matter to Rick, just as long as you believe.

    Rick Warren has accomplished pretty much the same evangelical method Billy Graham has used in his long preaching campaigns in the past 40 years. Just tell them to believe in Jesus, tell him your sorry you've been a sinner and you are saved and NOW GO BACK TO YOUR CATHOLIC CHURCH OR LIBERAL PROTESTANT ONE. For all Christian churches are in essence the same, just with different twists. So is the thinking of Billy Graham and Rick Warren.

    But if this were true, then why the reformation against the Catholic church? Why do Baptists OPPOSE infant baptism. Why don't Baptist believe like the Catholics and the church of Christ in baptismal regeneration? They believe in Jesus to? You see, there is more than just believing in Jesus, there is also following after the Apostle's DOCTRINE as well.Acts 2:42
     
  7. Ransom

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    I dislike The Purpose Driven Church because it says the best way to do the work of God is through man-centred, secular marketing techniques.

    I dislike The Purpose Driven Life because it is vacuous, and there are better books on the same subject that are orders of magnitude better (John Piper's Desiring God, for example).
     
  8. Deacon

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    I dislike The Purpose Driven Church because it has yellow-colored paper. :rolleyes:

    Rob
     
  9. Johnv

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    I suspect the reason is the same reason that some are divided over topics like contamporary music in church, or version use. For some, Warren's writings are unappealing. No problem there. But what happens is that people fail to discern the different between their personal like/dislike and scriptural absolute. Some folks don't like Warren's writings; hence, Warren's writings must be unscriptural. Some people don't like contemporary music; hence, contemporary music must be unscriptural. Some people don't like certain bible translations; hence, those certain bible translations must be unscrptural. Some people don't like broccoli; hence, broccoli must be unscriptural.

    Failure to objectively discern is one of the most destructive things in the church today. Except when it comes to broccoli. Thre can be no disagreement that broccoli is unscriptural.

    Now, all that being said, we must permit members of the brethren to simply dislike certain things such as these. As surely as one must be permitted to like these things, these same things must also not be imposed upon the brethren who have dislike for them.
     
  10. MRCoon

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    Just to be contrary!! ;)

    The NT church was not very "popular"...sadly, Jesus has never been about popularity (the narrow road and such)...so I tend to be wary of things that are popular to the worldly crowd. :confused:
     
  11. MRCoon

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    HERE HERE...I Agree!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    And it is true in every perversion...I mean version!!
     
  12. Debby in Philly

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    I suspect the reason is the same reason that some are divided over topics like contamporary music in church, or version use. For some, Warren's writings are unappealing. No problem there. But what happens is that people fail to discern the different between their personal like/dislike and scriptural absolute. Some folks don't like Warren's writings; hence, Warren's writings must be unscriptural. Some people don't like contemporary music; hence, contemporary music must be unscriptural. Some people don't like certain bible translations; hence, those certain bible translations must be unscrptural. Some people don't like broccoli; hence, broccoli must be unscriptural.
    Failure to objectively discern is one of the most destructive things in the church today. Except when it comes to broccoli. Thre can be no disagreement that broccoli is unscriptural.
    Now, all that being said, we must permit members of the brethren to simply dislike certain things such as these. As surely as one must be permitted to like these things, these same things must also not be imposed upon the brethren who have dislike for them.
    </font>[/QUOTE]That's what I meant by "just to be contrary." Some people have a very hard time seeing the difference between Biblical right and wrong and their own particular preferences in things.
     
  13. tinytim

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    Our church has just finished the 4o days of purpose, and we are being blessed like crazy with new ministries, and people stepping up to do things they would never do before...

    I think the PDL program is very Christ centered.

    But to be fair, it could be dangerous for a church that does not have a good foundation.

    It really gets tough when discussing discipleship and service... and things can fall apart throught those areas if the leadership is not careful.

    But overall, it was good for our church.

    We had our ministry fair last night and had around 30 different ministries that are being carried out. BTW, our average worship attendance is between 130-140.

    Some Baptists do shun things just because they are popular..
     
  14. jshurley04

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    I don't have a problem with those who dislike Warren just because he is Warren or the books just because they are his books. I would just like to understand a little of the mindset. I would like to know the reasoning for my own edification.

    I also understand those who dislike just because it is popular and thus must be a tool of Satan. However, I have been through the book and found very much good material in both. Do I agree with every little thing that he says? No, but that does not mean that it is useless! It means that we take what is good and useful and put it to use. Take the bad, explain why be believe it to be incorrect and warn the people of it.

    I understand the mindset of those who are against the modern translations of scripture and new music styles. I just have not been able to understand the viewpoint of those who dislike Warren and his books so much.
     
  15. tinytim

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    I can't understand why some are so much against him.. I have read all the articles against him and most either twist his statements out of context, or would argue against him even if he said the sky was blue...

    It seems that people already have their minds made up before giving the book a try.. maybe something their pastor or friends have told them that have led them to prejudge the book.

    I started a thread in Jan. when our church started the 40 days of purpose and just asked what others thought that had went through it.. some were honest, and I appreciated it, but some critisized without even giving it a try..

    All 5 points are found in Acts 2:42-47.

    They Worshipped, were being discipled, they fellowshipped, served others, and evangelized the world...

    Now those that are against these 5 things, (which is what the book is built around) would logically be against the early church... The concept has always been there, Rick just put it down in a condensed version..
     
  16. whatever

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    Hey Tim,

    What did you like most about the 40 days? What (if anything) did you dislike the most? Just curious to know how it went.
     
  17. tinytim

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    I liked the fact that the whole church was on the same page, studying the same thing...

    on the flip side of that coin is the redundancy.
    knowing what the pastor was going to speak on, what was going to be taught in Sunday School, WEd. night bible study, youth group... it was basically the same lesson in a different skin for the whole week...

    It did seem sorta shallow, but not every Christian is ready for the deep things, some are still on milk... This was a way to wean them off of the milk IOWs.

    We have new ministries that people are stepping forward to partake in.. We have new people joining our church, we have small groups now that meet weekly that we never had before,

    Some members that just set in the pew week after week are getting involved in service, and missions..

    We had a ministry fair this past Sunday, and around 30 displays were set up with ministries that are going on, or are being started..

    It seems to have worked for our church.. it has jump started some.

    But I realize that it is not for every church...
    It starts off harmless enough.. worship, but by the time you get to the challenges of being a true disciple, it can get tough..
    I could see where a church that is not fundamentally grounded, could lose some members here... but by the end of the process, you come out a better Christian..

    Of course this is just my experience, others have differing stories, but if I had it to do over again, I would...
     
  18. whatever

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    I would too, probably.

    It's been a while, but one of the thing that I remember (for the worse) was the wide, wide variety of translations used. Some of them barely resembled the texts in the versions I am used to. I unerstand the reasons given for using so many different versions, I suppose, but if it were up to me some of the ones used would have not been used.

    I also thought some of it was shallow (it's hard to say that without coming across as a [​IMG] ) but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. It is hard to fit any program to every church, or even every member in a given church.

    But, it make us stop and ask questions and think about things that we are not used to thinking about and for that I am grateful, and would recommend the program to others.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
     
  19. tinytim

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    When I got to the shallow parts, I took the initiative to dive in a little deeper myself...

    I also dove in deeper with the youth group I taught on Sunday evenings, since they could handle deep thoughts..

    It is all how you handle it for your church..
    Pastors and church leaders know their churches better than anyone else.. most of the success stories have been from pastors that have tweaked the program a little to fit the church..
    For instance, one complaint is that PDL does not speak about repentance... In our church the pastor included it, for how can you have a purpose in Christ if you have not been saved?
    We emphasized that part over and over.

    Also the timing must be there... One shouldn't do it just because one wants to... but must be led by the Lord to do it..

    But that goes with everything we do in church..
    Whether it's a soul winning class, a new ministry, or whatever, the Lord must lead the pastor and church to do it in order for it to be successfull, and what works for my church may not work for yours...

    Isn't it wonderful, that God created us, both indiviuals, and churches, with unique abilities, likes, and dislikes...

    If you don't like PDL, don't use it, but don't critisize those of us that has found it to be successful to winning souls for the Kingdom.

    And if you don't use it, please do something...just make sure the Lord leads you to.
    Tim
     
  20. jshurley04

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    Thanks for your input Tim. I have also used it in past churches and when I went through it for the first time it was the teens second or third time within about 2 years. Since the pastor said this is what we are doing, I tried to make things as interesting as possible to over come all the bored looks I was getting from the youth that had done it already.

    If I could rewrite the book (PDL), I would change the 5 purposes to the single purpose illustrated in 5 different areas. Ultimately there is only one purpose for the church and for the Christian, that is bringing pleasure to God or Worship. Worship is illustrated by our acts of worship, fellowship, discipleship, evangelismship, and ministryship (sorry, it was a teen thing). When we accomplish all 5 of these things we are in continual worship with God.

    The downside for me was not the shallowness but rather the different translations simply because he could and in an attempt to say what he wanted to say and not what the Word said. I believe that every church body could benifit from a walk through the PDL and every pastor could be challenged to think of things differently with PDC. Both books are extreemly useful and I would highly recommend them to any church.
     

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