I am often asked my opinion regarding "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. Rick used to be a member of my father's church at Southcliff Baptist in Fort Worth, Texas during his seminary days. He is a fine individual and a wonderful pastor.
"The Purpose Driven Life" is a good book as far as books go, but in my opinion it falls short of a Biblical understanding of true purpose.
The prophets of old cautioned the people of God against too high an opinion of themselves and too low an opinion of God. Israel often prided themselves in their spirituality and distinctive purpose and often lost sight of their God. In fact, the prophet Daniel revealed to Israel that when they worshipped God they thought of Him "just like you think of a man."
In our day we have a similar problem. We think that our "purpose" in life (desires, plans, goals, achievements, etc . . .) is everything. We give little thought regarding God's purposes. Further, when we finally begin to think in terms of the Divine Purpose, we consider His ways altogether too much like our own.
God is not like us. When He purposes or wills something He will always, absolutely succeed. But when we purpose something, we usually, and most likely will fail.
What God purposes, He accomplishes.
Has He purposed the salvation of sinners? He will accomplish it.
Has He purposed to conform you to the image of His Son? He will accomplish it.
Has He purposed to build His church? He will accomplish it.
Has He purposed to be honored and praise in every event of history? He will ultimately accomplish it.
It would serve churches of our day very well if pastors would focus more attention on revealing the God of Scripture in their preaching. The people who know their God shall be strong and do amazing things.
Let the world focus on self-help, but let the people of God focus on a Sovereign God who cannot fail.
Let the modern church focus on the purpose of man, but let the Church built by Christ focus on the Purpose Driven God.
Grace and Truth to You and Yours