The Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren

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The Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren

Post #1

Post by otseng »

This thread is to debate/discuss the book The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

If you would like to participate in this thread, sign up on the signup sheet.

For now, we'll debate the book in only this thread. If we start to have a lot of people participating, then we can split it off to several threads.

We'll go through the book a chapter at a time, but anyone can make comments at anytime about chapters that we've already covered. Please hold off on discussing future chapters until we get to it.

Book debate format:
- Start off with background info of the author and book.
- Try to cover one chapter at a time and discuss the points made in that chapter. No chapter opened up will be closed until the entire thread is closed.
- Give final thoughts on the book.
- Close the thread.

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Post #2

Post by otseng »

Richard Duane "Rick" Warren (born January 28, 1954 in San Jose, California) is an American evangelical Christian minister and author.[1][2][3] He is the founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church, an evangelical megachurch located in Lake Forest, California, currently the eighth-largest church in the United States (this ranking includes multi-site churches).[4] He is also a bestselling author of many Christian books, including his guide to church ministry and evangelism, The Purpose Driven Church, which has spawned a series of conferences on Christian ministry and evangelism. He is perhaps best known for the subsequent devotional, The Purpose Driven Life, which has sold over 30 million copies, making Warren a New York Times bestselling author.[5][6]

Warren holds conservative theological views.[7] While holding traditional evangelical views on social issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and stem-cell research, Warren has called on churches worldwide to also focus their efforts on fighting poverty and disease, expanding educational opportunities for the marginalized, and caring for the environment. During the 2008 United States presidential election, Warren hosted the Civil Forum on The Presidency at his church with both presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama. Obama later sparked controversy when he asked Warren to give the invocation at the presidential inauguration in January 2009.[8]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Warren
The Purpose Driven Life (2002) is a devotional book written by Christian author Rick Warren and published by Zondervan. The book has been on the New York Times Best Seller list for advice books for one of the longest periods in history[citation needed], while also topping the Wall Street Journal best seller charts as well as Publishers Weekly charts with over 30 million copies sold by 2007.[1]

The book offers readers a 40-day personal spiritual journey, and presents what Warren says are God's five purposes for human life on Earth and describes itself as "a blueprint for Christian living in the 21st Century ... using about 350 references to the bible, may be this ammounts to over 1200 Biblical verses and quotes to challenge the conventional definitions of Christian Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Christian Ministry and Evangelism."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Purpose_Driven_Life

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Post #3

Post by Compassionist »

Many thanks for creating this book discussion/debate. I first read Rick Warren's book during Lent 2003 and I have re-read it recently in March 2010. I would like to point out that Robert M. Price has already written a rebuttal to Rick Warren's book which is called The Reason Driven Life: What Am I Here on Earth For? I am currently reading through this and will use this book, as well as my own thoughts, in my posts regarding Rick Warren's book which we can go through, chapter by chapter. It occurs to me that no one has written a rebuttal to Robert M. Price's rebuttal of Rick Warren's book. Rick Warren has had four years since Robert M. Price's book came out in 2006 but I have not heard of any defense from Rick Warren. Perhaps we should also create a book debate for The Reason Driven Life: What Am I Here on Earth For? Here is the Wikipedia page on Robert M. Price.

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Post #4

Post by otseng »

Compassionist wrote:Many thanks for creating this book discussion/debate. I first read Rick Warren's book during Lent 2003 and I have re-read it recently in March 2010. I would like to point out that Robert M. Price has already written a rebuttal to Rick Warren's book which is called The Reason Driven Life: What Am I Here on Earth For? I am currently reading through this and will use this book, as well as my own thoughts, in my posts regarding Rick Warren's book which we can go through, chapter by chapter. It occurs to me that no one has written a rebuttal to Robert M. Price's rebuttal of Rick Warren's book. Rick Warren has had four years since Robert M. Price's book came out in 2006 but I have not heard of any defense from Rick Warren. Perhaps we should also create a book debate for The Reason Driven Life: What Am I Here on Earth For? Here is the Wikipedia page on Robert M. Price.
I would prefer to just concentrate on debating The Purpose Driven Life. However, you are free to bring up Price's arguments here.

Some comments before getting into discussing the chapters.

The book is primarily addressed towards Christians. It is written in a devotional style with each chapter to be read in one day. There are 40 chapters and each is quite short.

OK, let's open with Day 1 - It All Starts with God.

The basic point is that to discover your purpose in life, one must find out from God, more specifically, the Bible.

WinePusher

Post #5

Post by WinePusher »

I opened up the first chapter of the book and there was a quote by Bertrand Russell

"Unless you assume a God, the question of life's purpose is meaningless."

I know Russell was an atheist so the quote is puzzling. Was he being sarcastic? Was he being somewhat serious? Whatever his intentions were his quote is right on the mark. If there is not God, then life is ultimatly meaningless. People can create their own subjective purposes, but there is no overall objective purpose to our existence. We're just bi products of nature who have no value or signifigance in this universe.

Oddly enough, there are a lot of books authored by Christians that focus on the purpose of life. But atheists really can't address this topic, Hitchens, Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, Barker, Shermer, Ehrman all are brilliant people and they're good writers, but on the subject of life's purpose, they are ultimatly clueless. Rick Warren's main point is that a life centered around God is meaningful and fullfulling. Look at it this way, if your on your deathbed and you have no family or friends, would you rather spend your remaining hours with an atheist, or a christian chaplain?????

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Post #6

Post by otseng »

I don't really have any problems with Day 1, so let's move on to Day 2. (BTW, people are still free to comment on Day 1)

Day 2- You Are Not an Accident.

I think Warren presents a false dichotomy here. He seems to say that life is either an accident (random chance) or God planned everything in our lives (including where we live, when we die).

He references Acts 17:26.

Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

I think it would be a stretch to say that this means God has planned exactly where we would live by this verse.

But, I would agree that we are not an accident. And that God has a specific purpose for everyone.

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Post #7

Post by Compassionist »

winepusher wrote:I opened up the first chapter of the book and there was a quote by Bertrand Russell

"Unless you assume a God, the question of life's purpose is meaningless."

I know Russell was an atheist so the quote is puzzling. Was he being sarcastic? Was he being somewhat serious? Whatever his intentions were his quote is right on the mark. If there is not God, then life is ultimatly meaningless. People can create their own subjective purposes, but there is no overall objective purpose to our existence. We're just bi products of nature who have no value or signifigance in this universe.

Oddly enough, there are a lot of books authored by Christians that focus on the purpose of life. But atheists really can't address this topic, Hitchens, Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, Barker, Shermer, Ehrman all are brilliant people and they're good writers, but on the subject of life's purpose, they are ultimatly clueless. Rick Warren's main point is that a life centered around God is meaningful and fullfulling. Look at it this way, if your on your deathbed and you have no family or friends, would you rather spend your remaining hours with an atheist, or a christian chaplain?????
Actually, the purpose of life is to survive and reproduce. It is obvious - perhaps, that's why you have missed it!

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Post #8

Post by Cathar1950 »

Why would we think there is just one purpose?
Experience indicates there are many purposes.

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Post #9

Post by Compassionist »

otseng wrote:I don't really have any problems with Day 1, so let's move on to Day 2. (BTW, people are still free to comment on Day 1)

Day 2- You Are Not an Accident.

I think Warren presents a false dichotomy here. He seems to say that life is either an accident (random chance) or God planned everything in our lives (including where we live, when we die).

He references Acts 17:26.

Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

I think it would be a stretch to say that this means God has planned exactly where we would live by this verse.

But, I would agree that we are not an accident. And that God has a specific purpose for everyone.
God is simply an attempt to explain the mystery of existence with yet another mystery. As Ingersoll said, "Our ignorance is God and our knowledge is our science." I don't think the God of the Gaps even exists although it is impossible to prove the non-existence of ANYTHING e.g. fairies and God(s).

Capter 2 is based on predestination by God. Here are some relevant verses:

Ephesians 1:5 "Having predestined us to the adoption of children to himself by Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will,"

Isaiah 41:9 "I have chosen you, and not cast you away."

John 6:37 "All who the Father gives me, shall come to me. And him who comes to me, I will in no way reject."

John 6:44 "No man can come to me, unless the Father who has sent me draws him…"

John 6:65 "…no man can come to me, unless it were given to him by my Father."

John 15:16 "You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain…"

Ephesians 2:8-10 "For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

Since the Bible claims that allegedly God predestined everything, these words must have been predestined, too! Oh well, non-Christians such as myself were predestined be so. I can't help it, brother. Halleluiah!

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Post #10

Post by otseng »

Cathar1950 wrote:Why would we think there is just one purpose?
Experience indicates there are many purposes.
Hmm, how'd you sneak in here? Sign up here and I'll officially add you to the group.

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