The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The idle life

In living it, we hear God more clearly

Rick Warren promises that by following the 40-day program in The Purpose-Driven Life, you will understand "how all the pieces of your life fit together." If only it were that easy!

Warren identifies five purposes for the Christian life — worship, fellowship, discipleship, service and evangelism. While we agree with many of his assertions, such as "it all starts with God," we are troubled by several of the book's assumptions and implications.

The most troubling part of the Purpose-Driven program, for us, is precisely its drivenness. Despite Warren's claims that his program is countercultural, it fits in snugly with our quick-fix, success-oriented culture. His program puts the individual in charge of giving his or her spiritual life an extreme makeover — in the short span of 40 days that "will transform your life." This promise sounds more like a weight-loss infomercial than an encounter with the Almighty.

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