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Meditation 311
The Purpose-Driven® Life[1]

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The book, The Purpose-Driven® Life[2] has been high on the best seller lists for a little over two years. It was featured last month in USA Today's email newsletter, Book News, which provided a link to an excerpt (Chapter 1, I believe) from the book.

Although I had a pretty good idea of what this book was all about, I decided to read the excerpt (it was free) just to see how long it took the author to bring his god into the discussion. It did not take long - the excerpt opens with "It All Starts with God."

And that is the basic premise of this book and its recommendations for finding a purpose in life.

According to Warren, God has a plan for each of us, and we each have to determine what that plan is, and then live it. And, apparently, it is possible to fail to fulfil God's plan.

...being successful and fulfilling your life's purpose are not at all the same issue! You could reach all your personal goals, becoming a raving success by the world's standard, and still miss the purposes for which God created you.

So what's wrong with Warren's Purpose-Driven® life?

If you choose to follow Warren's prescription, then you are basing your life's meaning on two assumptions:

  1. God exists; and
  2. that God has a plan for you.

Take just one of those assumptions away, and the meaning of your life collapses like a house of cards.

There's nothing wrong with looking for and finding a purpose in life, even though many people do quite well out of drifting aimlessly through it. But if you are going to determine your life's purpose or meaning, should it not be soundly based on reality?

If there is a God, and that God indeed has a plan for everyone, it would seem that God's plan for Rick Warren was to get stinking rich; after all he has sold over 20 million copies of this book and its various follow-on journals, workbooks, audio tapes, CDs, and spinoffs.[3] And God's plan for everyone else is that they waste hours studying this stuff while desperately trying to determine His plan for them.

Do you want a purpose driven[4] life? Here's a guide to achieving it. No charge. No additional materials required.


  1. Please note: the ® mark next to each use of Purpose-Driven® is not a subtle and snide editorial comment intended to suggest that the Purpose-Driven® publishing empire is a commercial rather than a spiritual enterprise; rather, the ® mark is actually part of the book title, and you can make your own decision as to whether or not Purpose-Driven® was registered to protect intellectual property, commercial property, or spiritual property rights. However, you may be assured, I will not be following Rick Warren's example. Do not expect to see the term Apathetic-Agnostic® take over this web site.
  2. The Purpose-Driven® Life by Rick Warren, Zondervan
  3. e.g. Daily Inspiration for the Purpose Driven Life; The Purpose Driven Life Deluxe Journal; The Purpose Driven Church; Meditations on the Purpose Driven Life; Purpose-Driven Life Scripture Keeper Plus With Cards; etc.
  4. No hyphen; no caps. I can legally use the words purpose and driven without having to remember to throw in the ®.


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