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Saturday, January 5, 2008

Chapter 1: Purpose Driven

Warren makes the statement in this chapter that the purpose of your life can only be found through god. He makes the assumption that we are like tinker-toy inventions of god's, and therefore the only way to find out purpose is from the creator or an instruction manual he wrote. He claims that many people try to find their purpose by starting with themselves, and should instead be god.

I somewhat agree with his statement "It's not about me." I would replace it with "It's about me, the people around me, and everything else in my purview." Or perhaps, "It's not just about me." Instead, Warren's implicit statement is "It's about [my] God."

Warren then attempts to discredit philosophy's value as a method for finding purpose in life, because philosophers disagree, guess, or admit they do not know. He offers an alternative to speculation about your purpose, revelation.

"To discover your purpose in life you must turn to God's Word, not the world's wisdom." - This is a frightening statement. It is basically saying that learning about the world around you is a useless activity and will never inform your view of your purpose.

"You must build you life on eternal truths, not pop psychology, success-motivation, or inspirational stories." - Wait a minute, isn't the Bible a collection of 'inspirational stories'?

Warren makes a point that god planned your life before you were conceived, and without your input. The implication is that you have no say whatsoever about this matter.

He finishes with an anecdote regarding an atheist who was converted when he was very depressed and had a 'revelation'. I've always thought revelation is an interesting phenomenon. I suspect it often accompanies the emotional burst of relief that inevitably comes from a transition between a painful emotional state to the acceptance of an easy way out through religion. Revelation is likely the name given for the realization that nasty problems can be side-stepped and not dealt with directly through religious faith.

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