A Critique of The Purpose-Driven Life, Part 1 -- By: James Sundquist

Journal: Conservative Theological Journal
Volume: CTJ 09:27 (Aug 2005)
Article: A Critique of The Purpose-Driven Life, Part 1
Author: James Sundquist

A Critique of The Purpose-Driven Life, Part 1

James Sundquist

Rock Salt Publishing

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of a lengthy article on Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life. It first appeared in 2004 on the website www.abrahamic-faith.com/False-Teachers.html. Each installment is an edited version of a portion of the full article. Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture quotes are from the KJV.


Rick Warren’s book The Purpose-Driven Life has a number of logical, biblical, and theological errors in it. In this article, Sundquist carefully and biblically refutes Warren’s assertions point-by-point.


The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren has become a number one best seller in both Christian as well as secular bookstores, and has been distributed to over 180,000 pastors worldwide according Rick Warren’s website. More than sixteen million copies have sold. Rick Warren’s theology and book have infiltrated almost every Christian denomination, including the Assembly of God, Conservative Baptist, Southern Baptist, Reformed, Lutheran, Episcopal, Nazarene, Methodist, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Presbyterian, Vineyard, Evangelical Free, Calvary’ Chapel, and a host of community and non-denominational churches throughout the United States and the rest of the world. Because of this, I believe it is more imperative than ever to test the spirits of his teachings to see if they be of God.

Let me first say that it is absolutely critical to present the facts of Rick Warren’s teachings by using his exact quotes and comparing them to Scripture, as the Lord considers it an abomination to bear false witness against a brother in Christ.

After reading The Purpose-Driven Life, I could not help but wonder how it ever made it past the editors at Zondervan, his publisher, because there were so many colossal biblical blunders in the book. Then upon

reviewing which translations he used, I discovered none other than Zondervan itself was the publisher of two of them (The Amplified Bible and The Revised Standard Version).

But no translation could be blamed for Warren’s error regarding the purposes of the 40 Days in each of the Old and New Testament characters he cites. These are purely factual errors, easily detectable! I have endeavored to document what I perceive to be the most glaring errors in his teaching and theology.

For those who might believe that Warren is above or exempt from criticism (“Don’t criticize what God has blessed”), I exhort you to c...

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