Harvest House Publishers
Richard Abanes’s insider look at the creator of the bestselling book The Purpose-Driven Life takes on critics and skeptics to prove the legitimacy of its derivation from the Bible. Abanes addresses everything from accusations of Warren teaching New Age beliefs to misrepresenting the gospel. Step by step, the reader receives behind-the-scenes clarification on Rick Warren and his book.
Richard Abanes, through an in-depth interview and story of Rick Warren’s humble pastoral beginnings, shows the path of a growing church and the man who followed God to bring it there. The information in these sections is very thorough and provides the reader with a good sense of who Warren is as a person.
A look at Abanes' past work proves he is well equipped to the task of evaluating Rick Warren. He is recognized as an authority on cults and religions throughout the United States, and his experience is transparent through his writing. His words harbor refreshing proof instead of opinion and leave the reader with no questions unanswered on the subject. This aspect of the book is very effective in proving the author’s point of how Rick Warren is a legitimate preacher of the Word of God.
The second half of this book functions as a frequently asked question and answer list where Abanes goes through every angle of criticism in order to refute it. The majority of the accusations against Rick Warren are negated with actual quotes from his books, as well as his sermons. In this part of the book, Abanes repeats himself in different ways seemingly to drive the point home, despite that it was already done in the paragraph beforehand. This becomes too repetitive for the reader who is not looking for that much detail or assurance, but very useful for someone who would nitpick every word.
I enjoyed Rick Warren and the Purpose That Drives Him and would recommend it for the numerous interesting facts about Warren and what he went through to start the church. I was dumbstruck after reading how his body is conditioned to react negatively with adrenaline, which makes preaching in front of large groups of people extremely difficult for him. The latter part of the book is tedious because of its reiteration of reasonings already established. I would easily recommend this book for anyone who has doubts of Rick Warren’s views and methods to teach the Bible and its message. -- Jeremiah I. Larkin, Christian Book Previews.com
Rick Warren’s The Purpose–Driven® Life has grabbed the attention of Christians and nonChristians alike, sitting atop the New York Times bestsellers list for two years and racking up sales of more than 20 million copies. Though many individuals claim Warren’s principles have guided them in leading lives that are righteous, productive, and meaningful, and churches attribute phenomenal growth to his programs, Warren is now the target of criticism. In an interview, Abanes, who is an apologist and former staff member of Warren’s church, will speak to charges that Warren attempts to “water–down” the gospel message, ignore doctrines of traditional Christianity, and rely too heavily on “seeker–sensitive” models for church growth.