Friday, November 23, 2012

Book Review: The Purpose Driven Life

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, first published a decade ago, is something I've heard lots about but never checked out myself.

When presented with the chance to review this new 10th Anniversary edition, I wanted to see it for myself.

If you already own the original, there probably isn't a reason to purchase this.  From what I have gathered, the inside content is nearly identical.  This does include a link to get video introductions to each chapter, and also to an audio sermon by Pastor Warren for each chapter.  There are also two new chapters on barriers to living a purpose-driven life.

If you are like me, though, and have never read the original, I think it would make sense to get this one instead.

From the publisher:
Licensed in over 85 languages, The Purpose Driven Life is far more than just a book; it is a guide to a spiritual journey... Once you take this journey, you’ll never be the same again.
On your journey you’ll find the answers to 3 of life’s most important questions:
  • The Question of Existence: Why am I alive?
  • The Question of Significance: Does my life matter?
  • The Question of Purpose: What on earth am I here for?
Living out the purpose you were created for moves you beyond mere survival and success to a life of significance—the life you were meant to live.
Five benefits of knowing your purpose:
  1. It will explain the meaning of your life.
  2. It will simplify your life.
  3. It will focus your life.
  4. It will increase your motivation.
  5. It will prepare you for eternity.
This new, expanded edition has been created for a new generation of reader.
A New Edition for a New Generation! 4 NEW FEATURES
  • Video introductions by Rick Warren to chapters 1-40
  • An audio Bible study at the end of each chapter, with over 30 additional hours of teaching by Rick Warren.
  • Two new bonus chapters on the most common barriers to living a purpose driven life.
  • Access to an online community where you can discuss your journey to purpose, get feedback, and receive support.

What did I think?  Well, I've only had this book for a bit over a week, so I'm not terribly far into it.  Especially since in the intro materials, Warren cautions us to only do one reading a day.

What I've been doing is to watch the couple-minute video intro on my iPod, and then read the chapter.  All total, that is about 15 minutes.  I can see where it would be incredibly wonderful to have someone to discuss the concepts with, but I really don't at this point.

Later in the day, I've tried to listen to the "audio Bible study" but I have found that difficult.  First, I guess, I expected that the talk would relate to the chapter's concepts, but usually it really doesn't.  Second, since it is online, I'm tied to my wi-fi area to listen.  I think if I could take this with me on a walk, I'd get a lot more out of it. Third, at some point, I really felt like I was listening to the same talk over and over.

I do like the video and the readings.  Though I wish he didn't jump around from one Bible paraphrase version to another.  I find myself needing to go look up so many of the verses, just to see if the meaning is the same in a more reliable translation.  I haven't really had any issues, per se, with what I've found, but the jumping around does bother me.  In the first three days, the versions include MSG, CEV, NIV, LB, TEV, NCV, GWT, and NLT. 

In spite of feeling a bit of a "if you don't do things my way you aren't a real Christian" attitude, there is a lot in here that does make me think.  Day 10, for instance, and its talk about surrender, really did make me consider the attitudes I have towards concepts like surrender and submission, my thoughts about limitations, etc.

Overall, I'm glad I have this.

Disclaimer: As a Booksneeze Blogger, I did receive this book for free from Thomas Nelson. All opinions are my own.  No other compensation was received. For more about my take on reviews, visit my blog post here.

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