How Fascinating - Unintended Pragmatic Results 

"Most Americans who have an opinion about Warren like him and his best-selling self-help tome, 'The Purpose Driven Life.'" - Fred R. Conrad

(Original): http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/opinion/28rich.html
(Archived): http://www.westerfunk.net/archives/chri ... ecularist/

Who do you think this quote came from? A uber-critical, dry, boring, non-evangelistic Reformed guy, criticizing Warren's work as self-help? Or maybe it's a 'fundeementaleest' who views everything through the grid of his own backwoods traditions (KJVO, alcohol is sin, etc)? Nope, this is coming from a educated, city-dwelling, far-left liberal secularist. I find it absolutely fascinating he would label Warren's book self-help. And I don't disagree really. Self-help Christianity about sums it up. The message of the book is find your purpose in life, God's way. You initiate, you are the starting point for all that is in your life. If that is how the world takes it, could that be considered a gospel, when confronted with their own powerlessness, failures in sin, everyday, and the catastrophe it leaves in its wake? "Here are some helpful steps on HOW TO do ____," just doesn't help any one, especially as it relates to Christianity who has the true answer: we're helpless and need Christ to redeem us.

I am critical of Warren's strategy and book, but try to be generous and point out positives at times for the amount of good I have seen, which I do affirm some good has come out of it. The Lord works in ways that are unknown to us many times, even when we see something is flawed and potentially poisonous. The Lord used TBN in my life to hit me with the reality of God's grace through Scriptures they were presenting on the screen one summer night in '96. So many times, what we think is foolish is what God can use to bring people to faith. And yet at the same time, we also have 2000 years of church history showing things we can do better by learning from our mistakes and the tragedy left behind.

So in light of this quote, the world, the very people the book has been geared toward, assign Warren's book the category of self-help. People in our culture, many of them who are antagonistic to Christianity, view Warren's book not even as a "verion" of another good news story (a gospel) amongst the plethora that are out there convincing people of their supposed truth. But they view it as self-help. Interesting. Read More...
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