Tag Archives: Purpose Driven Life

Oprah and the Evangelical Church: Where Is the Difference?

Ranked as the world’s most influential woman, Oprah Winfrey is undoubtedly a woman who has inspired millions with not only her wisdom, her wide circle of connections, but also with her very own rags to riches story.  Although much ink has been spilled over her questionable influence in matters of spirituality, this post is not about her, instead it is about the church.

In 2005 a national survey of pastors was conducted, asking each of them to name the books that have most influenced them.  The Purpose-Driven Life was the most frequent response.  Authored by America’s pastor, Rick Warren, the book which has sold the most copies of any book in print, excepting only the Bible.  Warren, who has amassed significant wealth as a result, retains a significant level of influence including the ear of the President of the United States.

Here is where we play the game regularly found in copies of the children’s magazine Highlights: circle the differences in these two pictures.

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Rick Warren and Richard Dawkins on Purpose

42 color blind test

In modern, mainline, American Christianity, the concept of purpose seems to have become synonymous with a fulfilling life in Christ.  No doubt it feels really good to think that, in the words of Rick Warren, “[I am] not an accident and [I] matter to history and to the universe.”  But when I stand outside at night and I look up at the clear sky and see the thousands of stars that I am capable of seeing with my naked eyes, I have to wonder if we are just deluding ourselves thinking that way.

Inspired by an earlier conversation, here are two opposing views on the subject of “purpose.”

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