I have heard about Rick Warren’s book called “The Purpose Driven Life”. A lot of people have told me that the book is really good and that it has helped them a lot. So I borrowed this book from my friend to read it during the weekend. But before I talk about the book, I would just like to give this disclaimer. I am not here to criticize the people who have read, or reading, or are going to read the book. I am only criticizing the writer and the writings in the book.
But who am I to criticize the writer? Afterall, Rick Warren has done a lot in his life and he is certainly well-qualified to write this book about Christian faith. So on second thought, I am only critizing the writings in this book.
When I started reading the first chapter, no matter how hard I tried to read every word and sentence patiently, I couldn’t go on. I wanted to read this book to understand how people of christian faith try to spread their faith. So I tried reading it patiently, trying to understand. But finally I had to start skipping certain pages. After that I started to skim through all of the pages and read certain paragraphs closely. Gosh! It was that boring! And I couldn’t believe that people actually say that this book is great. It is nothing more than a Christian Self-help book, no matter what the author writes to convince us that it is not.
The book is also filled with contradictions. Both self-contradictions and contradictions with what the Bible actually says. For example, one part of the book says that God was so grieved that nobody lived to please him except for Noah, that He wanted to wipe out the human race. Another part of the book says that the God knows that we are incapable of being perfect or sinless and yet he still loves us. Not to mention Rick Warren’s cherry-picking of verses from the bible. It’s self-evident that the book is so biased.
In Matthew 22, Jesus says, “thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”. In the book, Rick’s interpretation is that our love for God should be heartfelt and genuine. But how can you love God genuinely? Do you know Him? How can you love someone who you don’t even know about? During the times of the Bible, people were well aware of what they were talking about. The historical events in the bible happened near their time and so their beliefs in God and their love for Him were stronger. But now it’s already 2000 years since the events claimed to have been happened.
Rick’s cherry-picking has done much damage here. We should not misinterpret the words of the scriptures. Everything should be read, both good and bad. The verse continues, “And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”. Love you neighbour as you love yourself. Because he is none other than you, but just in another form and shape. Before you love God, you have to love yourself first, and then other fellow human beings. But Rick condemns selfish behaviour. Because loving yourself is a selfish thing. But this doesn’t matter. This is just my opinion based on my other book readings.
The book also focuses much on the Intelligent Design theory. But you know about me. You readers know that I’m an atheist when it comes to supernatural gods. So I viewed the writings of this author sceptically. I don’t believe in the ID theory. But if I have to believe in it, then I face a big problem. If everything and everybody is indeed created by God, then who created God? If God is the father of Jesus and God created Jesus, then who created God? The problem doesn’t stop there. The predicament continues infintely. If it is true that every design has a creator, then who is the creator of the creator?
Well, I’m going to finish reading the book. Anything else to say, I’ll do that in my next entry.