Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Forthcoming Book Promises Balanced Analysis of Purpose-Driven Phenomenon

Here's an excerpt from a press release I received yesterday:
Harvest House Publishers has reached an agreement with bestselling author Richard Abanes (The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code, April 2004) to publish a new book about Rick Warren, his Purpose Driven® message, and the ongoing controversies surrounding his multi-million copy bestseller, The Purpose Driven® Life.

Abanes’ new book, Rick Warren and the Purpose That Drives Him: An Insider Looks at the Phenomenal Bestseller (July 2005, ISBN 0-7369-1738-1) offers a fair and balanced look at the various criticisms that have been made against Warren’s Purpose Driven® concepts, examining closely what he really believes about God, faith, evangelism, and “doing church.”

Harvest House Publishers recognized the validity of publishing such a work after learning that Warren’s book, despite its popularity, is now drawing increasingly vocal criticism from some influential Christian leaders who are concerned with what they perceive to be Warren’s attempt to: “water-down” the message of the gospel, ignore important doctrines of traditional Christianity, and rely too heavily on “seeker-sensitive” models for church growth. Are such criticisms fair?

Noted author and researcher Richard Abanes—a former staff member at Warren’s Saddleback church and a well-respected authority on cults and new religions—is in a unique position to answer this question. “I’ve heard Rick preach for ten years and I’ve seen first-hand how his church is run,” Abanes states. “Criticism is a good thing and can be beneficial—if it is accurate. So I just want to help everyone get their facts straight.”

In Rick Warren and the Purpose That Drives Him, Abanes offers a concise history of Warren’s work and an inside view of the man behind the Purpose Driven® message. He then provides a balanced treatment of the most common criticisms and concerns leveled against Warren’s book and ministry, enabling readers to discover the facts that clarify the misconceptions. Also included is an exclusive interview with Rick Warren, who sat down with Abanes to talk about the phenomenon of The Purpose Driven® Life and to answer the questions that so many are asking.


Mike - HotFudgeSunday.com said...

It's hard to tell from this press release whether the book will be good or not. I tend to think it's Warren's teaching that should be looked at, not so much the man himself.

I wrote a bout some of my concerns about Warran's message on my blog, HotFudgeSunday.com.

The particular pertinant posts are:

- Spinning the gospel: Rick Warren's Saddleback Church
- Christianity in the bargain bin
- At what point does it qualify as a counterfeit?
- Conversion by concealment
- What's the central message?

Anonymous said...

It'll be interesting to see if anything new comes from this book. What we really need is a sit-down discussion with Warren to seriously ask him why verses were taken out of context.

And why does he quote numbers of books sold as a validator of the book's quality when church (and megachurch)attenders are REQUIRED to buy a book in order to participate in the MANDATORY 40 Days program?

Just think, our gas and electric companies have a new leverage for their popularity!

Simon said...

Just as it is a fallacy to attack a man instead of his position, it can also be fallacious to talk about how great a man is before you "critique" his position. Hopefully, the author of this book doesn't do either. From the description though.. it sounds like if he falls into either of those, it is more likely that it will be the latter.

On another note, one hardly needs a book to see clearly that Warren's book watered down the gospel. In particular, consider the prayer that he prays on the video for the book. He says something like, "before we get started we need to take care of one thing," and the one thing he has in mind is "the prayer" for all those unsaved. He then proceeds to pray a pathetic "prayer of salvation" that God knows how many people prayer along with him .. in it he hardly even mentions sin. It's something like, "God I want you to come into my life.." etc. Then when he is done he says, "Welcome to the family of God."

Way to inoculate thousands of people to the gospel Rick!

Anonymous said...

prelminary information on warren and my book has now been posted at my website at

i include info on "rick warren and the purpose that drives him" along with some material on critics of the church (this will be expanding, for example see my take on Lighthouse Trails Research Project at http://abanes.com/lighthousefails.html)

i also have a review section on george mair's "a life with purpose" unauthorized biography of warren (see http://abanes.com/mair.html).

R. Abanes