The Purpose Driven® Life - What on Earth Am I Here For?

18 Oct 2010

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Book: The Purpose Driven® Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?
Author: Rick Warren
ISBN-13: 978-0310210740

I normally get curious about all the books that sell more than a million copy. This one reached 25 million prints and still goes on. I decided to find out what ticks with the readers. This book was presented to my room-mate Shanmuga on his birthday by one of our mutual Christian friends. This is a book by a Christian for other Christians. NOT for anyone else. Since Christianity and Islam run for the biggest religion race, no wonder 25 million Christian readers bought this book. I believe 0.000001% of those books were gifted to non-Christians :)

Cool… Let’s get to the core of this book. What is this book all about?

The author Rick Warren wants you to sign a covenant that you will read one chapter a day for the next 40 days to discover the god’s purpose for your life. I liked this. Most of the time, when we read a big book full of wisdom and knowledge, we tend to skim over few pages/chapters and at the end of the book, very few messages stay on. But, if you read one chapter at a time and think about it the whole day, you GET the message. Rick is brilliant.

I do not attribute my inabilities, weaknesses and insufficient knowledge to an entity called GOD and submit myself to him. I question a lot, never received even a single satisfactory explanation for the need or existence of god and I was termed as “atheist”. This book has only commands to follow, not an explanation of why?. I know, most of the religions never allow you to question their faith. Because, if you do, there won’t be any religion :)

Surprisingly, the first chapter starts with a quote from an atheist, analytic philosopher Bertrand Russell. “Unless you assume a god, the question of life’s purpose is meaningless”. I am damn sure that Rick misunderstood the quote, otherwise, he wouldn’t have put this in his book. In the first chapter, Rick claims that God started everything and denied Darwinism altogether. He assumes that a lot of successful people are driven by guilt, resentment, anger, fear, and materialism. Pain and suffering are given by God to develop you.. he he he. The world is a temporary assignment and your permanent life will be eternal in some unknown place… blah..blah..blah.

Rick wants all the Christians to know and follow the god’s five purposes.

Purpose #1: You were planned for God’s pleasure.

Seriously, I was excited about reading the chapter’s title. But it’s not what I thought though. he he he. This chapter teaches how to worship God, how to make him smile, how to surrender yourself, how to become God’s friend etc. The entire chapter is summarized in the below sentence (page 75). God says *“You have no right to argue with your Creator. You are merely a clay pot shaped by a potter”. *Great. I actually wanted to throw away this book at this point. But thought, there should be at least few lines of good wisdom that will be applicable to the entire human population.So, went ahead…

Purpose #2: You were created for God’s family.

“Love others as you love yourselves”. This is one of the most important teachings of Christianity that I love to even spread the message. “No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love”. This chapter tells us how to form relationships, love everyone (not just Christians. I like this), why do you need the church, the importance of the communities, experiencing the life together, restoring the broken fellowship and protecting the church. I would recommend even the non-Christians to read this chapter. The world would be awesome & lovely if everyone understands this one message.

Purpose #3: You were created to become like Christ.

This chapter tells you how to grow with Christ. This chapter deals with understanding the Truth (?), handling the trouble as Jesus would (?), dealing with temptations and how to keep yourselves focused on doing good to others. Excellent work by Rick on the chapters dealing with temptations.

Purpose #4: You were created for serving God.

You are commanded to serve as a servant, accept your weakness and request god to help you in all the troubled times. How to think and act like a servant and why you should not lead.

Purpose #5: You were made for a mission.

To help (?) the god to find his lost children. To bring more people to the god, by telling the good news(?) to everyone. That’s the only mission for which God created you from Clay. he he he.

If you just look at the purposes, all of them are passive & submissive. You are like a robot designed by God to do his will. Your job is just to do that and as a lucky bumper prize, you may get a chance to live in heaven. If you don’t, you will suffer in hell forever.

If I was a God, I would have designed the world in a better way!

This book has lots of wisdom, heavily flavored with Christianity. If you have the patience and time to read the entire book and grasp only the core ideas, this book is worth the pennies.

For Christians, this is a must-read. That’s what 25 million fellow Christians tell you. So, join the flock and enjoy your route to heaven. All the best!

Please buy the book from your local bookstore.

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