Purpose driven life ...

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Spirit and Truth, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. Spirit and Truth

    Spirit and Truth
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    I acquired a copy of the book "The purpose driven life" from a person who after perusing it, decided not to do the program. Here is what I found. There are fifteen translations used for quoting the Word in this book. I did a rough count of the first ten chapters and this is what I found:

    In the first ten chapters of the book [25%] we have the following translations used:

    NLT: 35 times

    NIV: 28 times

    Message: 26 times

    TEV [Good News]: 25 times

    LB: 18 times

    CEV: 9 times

    NCV: 9 times

    GWT: 8 times

    KJV: 3 times

    NASB: 1 times

    NRSV: 1 times

    AMP: 1 times


    If we look at the chart at the link below, we can see where these translations fall in their ability to convey a literal meaning:

    http://www.zondervanbibles.com/translations.htm

    Note: The above numbers for versions used may vary slightly. I had a hard time getting an exact count because of the labeling system used.


    Does anyone on the forum have any opinions on this style of teaching?
     
  2. ScottEmerson

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    I am impressed as to how many Scriptures are used. In many books, the majority of what is read is the author's perspective and three or four verses. All of the translations listed are God's Word, so no, I don't have a problem with them at all.
     
  3. Jim Ward

    Jim Ward
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    S&T

    With how Warren takes many of these Scriptures out of context and tries to make them say things they don't. I have a real problem with it, especially since most of those are perversions of God's word.


    Jim
     
  4. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Can someone point out a few verses he's listed and explained that aren't KJV, and then show how the meaning was changed/would be different if he had used the KJV?
    Gina
     
  5. Spirit and Truth

    Spirit and Truth
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    This is the problem that I have with the "Bible Fishing" crowd. If you source enough "translations", many of them paraphrases, you can eventually find one that you can use to define your "teaching". Also, why did he source Catholic and ecumenical translations? It makes me wonder.
     
  6. Baptist in Richmond

    Baptist in Richmond
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    Rather than fixate upon the various Versions of God's Holy Word that are utilized, why not sit down and read what Warren has written? IMHO, this is a great book and could potentially provide a great deal of insight to a Believer. Our church did the "40 Days of Purpose" campaign and it was amazing to see the things that happened during this time. The proverbial fire is still going strong five months after the campaign.

    1. I would be curious as to how Warren took these Scriptures "out of context to make them say things they don't." Since you have made such a serious accusation, perhaps you could enlighten us with proof for such a claim.
    2. As for "perversions of God's Word" - perhaps we should strive to be very careful about what we say about God's Holy Word. Whether or not you have a preference for a particular Version of God's Holy Word is hardly a basis for claiming that it is a "perversion."
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    BaptistinRichmond - I agree. The "only" crowd will never be pleased if ANY other translation is used, even if Rick had used the Word of God (Greek).

    I don't see him "fishing" for texts, but seeking the clearest, most meaningful expression in English of the Greek/Hebrew text. He desires people to gain a purpose-driven life and doesn't want it clouded by obscurities of language.
     
  8. Spirit and Truth

    Spirit and Truth
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    Bob,

    I am not part of the only crowd, but as I have discussed many times on this board, and I will say it again, a paraphrase is one mans version of what the actual phrase is trying to convey. If you can not revert it back to the original languages, it is even more of a problem. Now I know that I am going to hear "Any translation from one language to another is colored by the translator". This may be true on a minor level, but paraphrases are a whole different ball game. Fire away.
     
  9. Spirit and Truth

    Spirit and Truth
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    BIR:

    The proverbial fire is still going strong five months after the campaign.

    S&T:

    The fire is RAGING for the passion movie, but that would not make me run out and endorse it. BTW, Mr. Warren endorsed it and promoted it as one of the three major venues.
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    No, I agree with you about paraphrases. I would never use one personally. They can add a whole lot of interpretation to what God actually said!

    Not defending it at all.
     
  11. Kathy

    Kathy
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    My vote is with the "40 Days of Purpose"...my church is currently involved and moving into the 3rd week...I love the book personally...maybe I'm ignorant, but I try not to read too much into things...God is working in my life and that is all the proof I need. The "purpose" is a closer, more intimate relationship with God...

    Kathy
    <><
     
  12. vaspers

    vaspers
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    I have mixed feelings about Rick Warren.

    As my Baptist (SBC) church's Promotion Manager and Writer, I heavily promoted the 40 Days of Purpose program in our church, and saw great unity and spiritual understanding increase. I feel I greatly improved upon the bulletin inserts and posters and weekly Prayer Concerns material. I was gung ho in favor of 40 Days.

    That said, a few things bother me.

    1. Only a few sentences stated directly about the actual process of salvation "whisper the prayer that will change your eternity: Jesus I believe in you and I receive you" (page 58).

    2. No explanation of godly sorrow and repentance and thorough disgust toward sinful condition worthy of hell.

    3. No bibliography of other Christian writers' books, from which he borrowed very heavily.

    4. No index, so difficult to determine what, if anything, he says about hell, sin, repentance, etc.

    5. Heavy promotion of his own marketing materials.

    6. Footnoting Bible verses, so it's difficult to reference exact chapter and verse for claims made in text.

    7. Claims the purpose of Life begins with God, but passes over the sentence of eternal damnation God has declared on those who reject His plan of salvation. I'm no hell and brimstone preacher, but to say practically nothing--weird.

    8. Seeker Sensitive is a good idea, within limits. Danger is to become so inoffensive, you have diluted the true gospel and betrayed your Lord, just to please and coddle the "unchurched." Striving for numbers, rather than genuine repentance. Broad vs. narrow way.

    Yet the book has many good ideas in it that I cherish. It is a treasury of spiritual concepts.

    The slight value of paraphrases and multiple versions of the Bible is this: a variant rendition of a verse you are familiar with can jog your thinking to see the principle within it in a new light and gain deeper, fresher understanding.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  13. Jim Ward

    Jim Ward
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    (JMW note -- I posted this in a group I used to be a part of over at Yahoo. I am posting the whole article here so if anyone named Diane reads this, you are not the Diane I refer to here, I ahve included the ending paragraph becuase I find that it perfectly sums up the mindset of the whole "seeker friendly" movement)


    I wish more people would take the time to actually and honestly look at the writings and philosophy of Rick Warren and see how against Scripture it is. If they would read his book "Purpose Driven Life" (which I have read, and admit there is some real good stuff in there) they would see that Rick Warren bases most of the points in the book more on his ideas and experiences then he does on Scripture. He often does attach Bible verses to these ideas as if they were supported in Scripture, however the ideas he brings forth, most of the time are NOT taught in the passages he uses. The ideas come straight from Rick Warrens' human wisdom and are presented with the exact same authority as those which are found in Scripture or from some other famous person's quote. In other words, quotes from famous people, Rick Warrens' ideas and Scripture are presented as being on the same level. I honestly believe that Mr. Warren believes that the most important idea in ministry is thinking up clever ideas rather then seeking God, and his "seeker" movement is proof of that because the Bible tells us that there is none that seeketh after God (Romans 3:11) so what we have at Saddleback and other like minded social clubs is a
    philosophy of "ministry" for those people whom God tells us do not exist. Then add to that the very very weak "gospel" presented by the whole seeker movement and the problems and faults with this movement continue to grow. The seeker movement has seriously watered down the Gospel to where it is clearly a false gospel and as Paul said to the
    saints in Galatia, let him be accursed. Pages 58 and 59 of Rick Warrens' book "The Purpose Driven Life" gives us a clear presentation of this watered down false gospel. The Gospel is presented without mention of repentance, the reason Jesus died on the cross, or the eternal consequences of sin. Instead, the reader is simply asked to "whisper the prayer that will change your eternity: 'Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you'" (p. 58). Warren continues by writing, "If
    you sincerely meant that prayer, congratulations! Welcome to the family of God" (p. 59). His definition of the "Good News" later in the book goes no deeper, emphasizing the benefits of grace without explaining man's desperate condition or God?s command to repent (see pp. 294-95). A false gospel only leads to a false Jesus.

    Other doctrines are given similar treatment. God's love is emphasized, while God's wrath is conspicuously absent (on page 294 Warren writes,
    "God never made a person He didn't love"). Church unity and membership are highlighted, yet key verses such as Hebrews 10:25 are missing, and
    no mention is made concerning doctrinal purity. Temptation is discussed, yet the blame seems to be always placed on Satan, and the Christian's response largely reduced to Warren's advice-including "refocusing your thoughts" (p. 210) and joining a "support group" (p. 212). In fact, patterns of sin are reduced to "a repeating cycle of good intention-failure-guilt" in which people need "to be healed" because they are "sick" (pp. 212-13). Topics such as the holiness of God, the cross, man's sinful flesh, absolute truth, God's sovereignty, His commandments, and others are exchanged for those that promote a good self-image: such as love, family, spiritual success, unity, and personal fulfillment. No wonder Warren admits that three of the four
    intended results of his book are to "reduce your stress, simplify your decisions, [and] increase your satisfaction" (p. 9).

    In contrast, the teaching of Christ and the apostles placed proper emphasis on the full counsel of God - not just its most popular parts.
    Jesus, for example, talked more about hell than heaven, demanded that his followers repent (Matt. 4:17; Luke 5:32), insisted that believers take radical steps to deal with sin (Matt. 5:29-30; 18:8-9), and argued that true discipleship may cost a person everything (Matt. 10:32-39; Mark 8:34-38). The apostles, too, emphasized repentance
    (Mark 6:12; Acts 2:38; 20:21), highlighting the importance of doctrinal purity (Gal. 1:6-10; Jas. 3:17), theological depth (Heb. 5:11-14), and total obedience (1 John 2:3; 3:24). While Warren does
    not necessarily deny these themes, he fails to give them the weight and explanation that Scripture indicates they deserve?especially in a
    discussion on the overall purpose of life.


    In light of Slick Rick's theological shortcomings, one is surprised to find that his book uses "over 1,200 scriptural quotes and references" (inside jacket cover). How can this be-that a book with seemingly shallow doctrine could have such extensive biblical support?

    The answer to this question, in large part, is due to Warren's flippant approach to the Scriptures. With no less than 15 different bible translations and paraphrases (aka perversions), Warren offers
    proof-texts for much of his discussion, usually without any exegetical or contextual support. The author explains his reasons for this on page 325, contending that his "model for this is Jesus and how he and the apostles quoted the Old Testament. They often just quoted a phrase to make a point." Unfortunately, this thinking allows Warren to pull
    passages completely out of context and apply them however he sees fit (using whatever loose paraphrase best fits his argument). But, unlike
    Jesus and the apostles, Warren is not inspired by the Holy Spirit - meaning he does not possess the authority to use God's Word however he pleases.

    Several examples will suffice (although numerous instances could easily be given):

    On page 19, Warren cites Matthew 16:25 from The Message paraphrase ("Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self") to argue that, in order to be successful in life, you need more than self-help advice. Yet, a more literal translation of Matthew 16:25 quickly evidences that Christ is
    not talking about self-help advice in this context, but rather about the essential nature of the saving gospel By not giving the context of
    the verse, and by using a very loose paraphrase, Warren changes the intended thrust of Jesus' statement.


    On page 139, in speaking about fellowship in the church, Warren states, "God has made an incredible promise about small groups of believers: 'For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst [Matt. 18:20].'" Yet, Matthew 18:20, in its context, has nothing to do with small-group fellowship in the church, but rather with the church's authority in disciplining its members.


    On page 165, the author encourages his readers not to spread or listen to gossip. He then says, "If you listen to gossip, God says you are a
    troublemaker. 'Troublemakers listen to troublemakers' [Prov. 17:4].
    'These are the ones who split churches, thinking only of themselves' [Jude 1:16]." Yet Proverbs 17:4 does not directly mention gossip (but rather evil speech and lying) and Jude 1:16 is not speaking of gossipers at all, but rather false teachers (regarding their grumbling, pride, and flattery). Again, Warren strings two
    out-of-context verses together (citing only half of each verse) in order to make his point. While the point may be valid (that gossip is wrong), it cannot be exegetically validated from Proverbs 17:4 or Jude 1:16. This type of hermeneutic is destined for disaster.

    It is also interesting to note that Warren avoids putting Scripture references into his chapters, choosing instead to make them all endnotes in the back. While some readers may actually double-check
    Warren's biblical proof-texts, the book's format (whether intentionally or unintentionally) makes doing so inconvenient.


    I know I got off an a tangent there of exposing error, but Diane, the one thing that drives these mega-churches is the "what pleases me?" thought process, and that is fully evidenced in the "ministry" of Rick Warren and those who have suscribed to his fallacies.


    Jim
     
  14. All about Grace

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    Rick Warren is not writing to the BB crowd.
    He does not give a rip what the BB crowd thinks about his selection of translations, etc.
    Rick Warren knows his audience.

    The 40 Days of Purpose is an incredible opportunity that allows a church to focus upon the only true question: why are we here?

    Our church continues to reap the benefits of the 40 Days of Purpose six months later. To be involved in the program is one of the best decisions I have ever made as a leader.

    I was thinking last night after our small group -- every person within the small group has had their life transformed through the PDL.

    As Rick has said many times, it does not matter what you do in life there will always be critics. They can only succeed when you let them get to you. It was a great day in my own ministry when I reached a place where I realized I do not have to answer to my critics.

    Focus on reaching not on keeping.

    Go Rick.
     
  15. Jeffrey H

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    I'm leading a group through the PDL book right now. The book is excellent and saturated with Scripture. I personally do not care for paraphrases for serious study, but Warren explains why he uses so many different translations in the appendix of the book.
     
  16. Daniel

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    As always there are those who speak evil of the work of the Spirit of God. This obviously happened to the Lord at the hands and mouths of the Pharisees. Much of what is posted on the BB is no different (as expected!)

    The PDL book and movement is one of the best things to hit the 21st century. Those who trash it for the picky non-sensical reasons cited above may be in need of a regenerational work of the Spirit of God. There's little hope for them outside of a fresh work of God's spirit in their lives.

    From personal experience that's what I needed. God was gracious to provide it through His word and tools like the PDL book. To God be the glory!
     
  17. GrannyGumbo

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    The Purpose-driven program, Promise Keepers, Awana, New Age christianity, etc, all come from the same mold...all are ecumenical & that ain't good, IMO.
     
  18. Daniel

    Daniel
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    Granny...I've read your posts in many other places. You are always so matter-of-fact (in a cute Southern way)...I just wish you would come out of your time warp and get into the 21st century. You would be awesome in this century!!! [​IMG]
     
  19. dianetavegia

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    It's AWANA and until a year or so ago was KJVO. Parents can now request NKJV or NIV but it's by request. Also, we've seen MANY parents come to Christ from working on verses with their unchurched children! How you can say AWANA is to be lumped with New Age is beyond me!

    Please learn more about Truth and Training (AWANA) before you trash a club that teaches children from 3- college Bible verses and truths!

    I agree, get out of the time warp! You're only in your 50's and this isn't 1950 anymore!

    Daniel said: (in a cute Southern way)...
    :(

    Diane ;)
     
  20. GrannyGumbo

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    Dear Daniel~ I AM awesome in this century! :D
     

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