Should We Use The "Purpose Driven Life?"
GEORGE L. FAULL
Dear Brother Faull,
Should we use the “Purpose Driven Life” and the 40-day program it advocates in our Church?
I would not recommend if for the following reasons:
1. The author does not hold to the New Testament pattern in many areas of theology.
It is the same o, same o use of fads that’s ruining our Churches because it introduces false doctine.
2. It is Calvinistic through and through and most readers will not be able to even discern the doctrine hidden in its pages.
He even says God planned that children would be born out of wedlock! Did he plan fornication? It claims that he planned our life in every detail even to the reading of His book!
3. It is presumptuous from the very beginning.
It informs us that God planned for you to read the Book before you were born. Has a more egotistical remark ever begun a book. It assures the reader will be transformed. That is audacious.
4. It manipulates the reader by using 15 alleged translations, many of which are only paraphrases and not translations, so you will get the nuance he wants you to get.
It borders on manipulation.
5. He uses paraphrases to prove his Calvinism and predestination doctrines.
6. It has dozens of verses taken out of context.
A text out of context indicates a pre-text.
7. Its emphasis is trite.
He says, “whenever God wanted to prepare someone for His purpose, He took 40 days.” He then names a few Bible characters of which this is alleged to be true, but this is not true even of these people. Forty is the number of probation not preparation. That is, someone is on trial or being tested, not transformed. He says, “Whenever God wanted to prepare someone for his purposes, he took 40 days… The next forty days will (not may) transform your life.”
He says, “God considers 40 days a spiritually significant time period. When God wanted to prepare someone for His purpose, He took forty days.”
This is not so. One could name dozens of Bible saints that a 40-day period had no significance in their life.
8. It gets very repetitive especially in latter chapters in order to continue their 40-day idea.
9. It is your typical faddish “easily believism.”
“Jesus, I believe in you, I receive you.” Welcome to the family of God. That doesn’t sound like Luke 14:26-27, “26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”
10. It stresses a false plan of salvation of “faith only” rather than obedience to the faith.
Romans 1:5, “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:”
Romans 16:26, “But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:” He advocates that the sinner’s prayer will save. This is unscriptural.
11. He quotes many renowned popular religious figures like Mother Teresa with no warning of her universalistic, New Age philosophy and her Mariolatry and subjection to the Pope of Rome.
Other well-known apostates are quoted as if they were Christians.
12. Warren is known for his “seeker sensitive” fad as if there were people everywhere who are diligently seeking God though they are in a lifestyle of hedonism, debauchery and rebellion.
“Seeker sensitive” is absurd language for a Calvinist to even speak about. Supposedly the lost have no ability to seek God. They are totally depraved and God must give them faith so they can be part of the elect.
13. It preaches a diluted gospel at best.
Sin, repentance, the cross, or the empty tomb is noticeably rarely mentioned. The Gospel definitely is not explained, yet the book is supposed to be for both sinner and saint.
My beef with the book is, “where’s the cross?”
14. If you use this book as a textbook, you are not marking and avoiding false teachers, but rather promoting a denominational preacher. You are making him an authority and expert on a subject that he knows little about.
15. Any book outside the Bible that is well received for Bible study by Churches of all persuasions must be suspect.
16. To use this book is to follow the philosophy that the end justifies the means.
A book filled with abused Scriptures, false concepts, easy believism, Calvinism and faith-only doctrine as a means to an end cannot produce more good fruit than harm.
17. Our Churches are turning Baptists in their doctrine, they are joining Baptists Church Associations, they are inviting in Baptist ministers to our conventions and colleges and they are using books by Baptist authors for study guides.
Think of the foolishness of doing that. “Repent and be Baptists” is the cry of our Churches. I for one protest solemnly. Our Churches do not do anything to alarm the flock but invite their Pastors in to feed them. Some Elders and Preachers are going to have a lot of explaining to do to the Chief Shepherd.
I could name Churches in my area that is Christian Church or Church of Christ in name only. They are totally Baptist in doctrine, polity, and vocabulary due to their fads.
18. Stop and think how absurd it is for a predestinationist who believes that everything ever done is planned of God, to be a pusher of someone to be driven by a purpose.
If God ordained or planned for man to accomplish or be something, mans own drive is worthless and fruitless. Imagine a predestinated man having to read a mere man’s book to fulfill his destiny. How could a man choose to have a “purpose driven life” if predestination is true? It would be like preaching to the elect. It would be unnecessary.
19. He denies that baptism is essential to salvation or a part of being added to the Church, but it’s merely an initiation.
What? That’s what an initiation is, “a bringing into.”
Galatians 3:27, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
Romans 6:3, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”
I Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”
These show that baptism is into Christ, His death and His body! Is there salvation anywhere else than in Christ? How do you get into Christ? Is baptism not essential? There are no un-baptized Christians in the Bible.
His chapter on baptism is atrocious. No wonder our Churches are so mixed up!
20. It is dangerous for a leadership to recommend a book to its congregation.
The people buy into the book, the author and his concepts and then they are sold on him, and they buy his next book. So it continues on and on. Warren had the Purpose Driven Church, now the Purpose Driven Life. What’s next? Who knows, but you can depend on our faddish Brethren to seek it out and Standard and College Press to promote it big time, false doctrine and all!