Friday, January 02, 2004

Clarification on Warren...

I've had some people take issue with my opinions on Rick Warren and / or his book The Purpose Driven Life (not to be confused with the recently released book by Flipper titled, The Porpoise Driven Life). Lousy jokes aside, I think the main issue I have with the way Warren approaches the issue is that of clarity. He doesn't present the Gospel in a clear enough manner that explains exactly why we need Christ. Sure, he talks about stuff (instead of sin) and the fact that it's not about us, but about God. But the thrust of the book is what?... your purpose driven life. How well do you think the book would have sold with a title along the lines of, How to be a Part of God's Purpose?, or God Has a Plan, Sign Up. The point is that Warren's book is marketed to appeal to our sense of individual purpose. Is this consistent with a Biblical Worldview? Do we see Israel modeling this type of approach in following God's Plan? Do we see the Apostles writing letters to the churches encouraging them to find out what God has in store for them? Don't take my word for it. Read the Bible for yourself and see what it says. Another issue I have with the likes of Warren's book, and books similar, such as The Prayer of Jabez, is that of their poor interpretive skills. They take verses out of context to suit the needs of the point the author is attempting to make. Check out Never Read a Bible Verse by Greg Koukl at Stand to Reason. We have gotten lazy in our reading of scripture and tend to focus solely on single verses, rather than entire passages. At best, it makes for lousy spiritual growth, and at worst, it severely hinders new Christians and their walk with God. Instead of throwing away Warren's book entirely, how about backing it up with something along the lines of How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth by Gordon Fee, or The Word of God in English by Leland Ryken, or Playing With Fire by Walt Russell?

No comments: