Friday, November 23, 2012

Purpose Driven Life - book review

I first read Rick Warren's book The Purpose Driven Life when it was published 10 years ago. Our pastor at the time was preaching a series based on this book, and I enjoyed the message that God created us all for His pleasure, His family, to become like Christ, to serve God, and to fulfill our mission.
An updated version of the book was released this month in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of its publication. This book contains the same information as the original, with three additions:
(1) a QR code at the beginning of each chapter that leads to a short video of Rick Warren introducing the chapter,
(2) a website address at the end of each chapter that leads to a 30-40 minute audio of Rick Warren expounding on the chapter's materials and sharing testimonies from individuals whose lives have been impacted by this book (this audio also comes through when you scan the QR code), and
(3) two additional chapters that address two barriers to fulfilling our purpose: the envy trap and the people-pleaser trap.
I have to admit that I had to first download a QR Code Reader to my iPhone so I could try out that feature of the book. The short video was a nice extra and I believe it will appeal to a new generation of readers particularly. I only listened to a one of the audios mentioned at the end of the chapter because I did not have the time to devote to all of them right now. I personally believe this book has a great message and highly recommend it if you have never read it.

However, there are a couple things I don't like about the promotion of the book:
(1) there's a huge focus on how this book has changed lives, when in reality it is the Biblical scriptures that are referenced and a relationship with the Lord that truly change lives;
(2) most of the promotional materials remind us that Rick Warren "reverse tithes", meaning he gives 90% of his income & lives on the other 10%. While I think this is admirable and has blessed many people and organizations, I don't believe it needs to advertised!

[The new edition of The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? was sent to me free from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review on my blog today. As always these are my true opinions about the book.]


  1. Thoughtful review, Melissa - sounds as if there may be some writer-promotional element which doesn't sit well. It's got a nicely designed cover :).

  2. Amen to that. Good for him if it's true, but we don't need to know

  3. I remember it coming out (was it really ten years ago???) and being interested in the ideas - but they aren't that new and ground breaking. I agree it isn't this book that changes lives - it's the reading, changing and living that does.

    Reverse tithing and marketing - interesting mixture.

  4. I remember that book coming out too. Rick Warren should make less of a deal of his reverse tithing and remember that he is fortunate enough to be able to do that - many millions live on less than a dollar a day - tell them about reverse tithing - doesn't cut the mustard really.

    Great review though - tfs.

  5. I've popped over from Sian's so this is my first visit. It won't be my last :) I enjoyed your thoughtful review. We looked at Rick Warren's book in my Home Group some years ago and I couldn't get on with it at all. I felt back then that there was too much focus on the man and not enough on The Lord. God Bless. Julie x


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