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More Than A Purpose, An Evangelical Response to Rick Warren and the Megachurch Movement [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   228
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.75"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2006
Publisher   PLEASANT WORD #888
ISBN  1414106637  
EAN  9781414106632  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Are you dissatisfied with The Purpose Driven(R) Life? Have you read Rick Warren's bestseller and wondered, "Is that all there is?" If you feel like something is missing from Rick Warren's best-selling books, The Purpose Driven(R) Life and The Purpose Driven(R) Church, you are not alone. Evangelical leaders are beginning to voice their concerns about the seeker-sensitive model of ministry. In More Than a Purpose, Dr. Marshall Davis: Documents what evangelical leaders are saying about the megachurch movement, Explores the origins of Rick Warren's approach in the Church Growth Movement and Robert Schuller's gospel of self-esteem, Examines the theology of Warren's Saddleback Church and finds that it falls short of historic Christianity. Exposes the market-driven methodology and philosophical pragmatism of The Purpose Driven(R) Church, Shows how the entertainment model of worship has taken over evangelical churches, Reveals how New Age spirituality has influenced the beliefs and the practices of The Purpose Driven(R) Life, Challenges Christians to recover the essentials of evangelical Christianity that will restore integrity to the twenty-first century church.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Purpose Driven  Nov 9, 2006
This book is all it claims to be. However, the author does not present any clear alternatives.
Respectful, Balanced & Carefully Researched   Aug 24, 2006
More Than a Purpose is a respectful, balanced, and well-documented examination of Warren's book, The Purpose Driven Life. In the Introduction Davis describes his book not as an attack on Warren, but as "an exhortation to a brother. My goal is not to tear down Warren or his ministry, but to build up the body of Christ." (p. xv) Several times Davis even defends Warren against his more severe critics, whom he believes, go too far when they say that Warren is not a Christian.

Neither is this book an attempt to make money off the Purpose Driven name. In the Acknowledgements, Davis devotes all profits from his book to Christ's church. This is clearly not a man out to make a quick buck.

He thoroughly documents each point he makes. In the Endnotes there are over 300 references from over 75 different sources! This is undoubtedly because he knew that PDL defenders would seek to discredit his research. People may disagree with Davis, but no one who has read the book can honestly say that he did not do his homework!

His writing demonstrates a balanced approach. He critiques the shortcomings of Warren's writings, but he also goes out of his way to praise those things that Warren gets right. He never questions the sincerity of Warren's faith. He repeatedly praises Warren's passion for evangelism. For example on page 21 he says, "Such a passion is deserving of great praise. Personally I take off my shoes in the presence of any man who makes that the dominant theme of his life."

Yet the theme of the book is clearly what he sees wrong with Warren's approach to evangelism, worship and ministry. He believes that Warren is taking Christianity down a dangerous road. He pictures Warren as the most visible example of what is wrong with mainstream evangelical Christianity, namely its neglect of doctrinal teaching, its focus on self-experience, its confusion of entertainment for worship, and its deliberate remodeling of the gospel to make it palatable to seekers.

Most insightful is his analysis of Warren's understanding of conversion. He shows how, at least in The Purpose Driven Life, Warren omits key elements in his presentation of gospel, such as the nature and work of Jesus, and the need for genuine repentance and saving faith beyond praying "the sinner's prayer." He demonstrates clearly that this shortcoming is not only in Warren's books, but is also evident in Saddleback Church's official doctrinal statement, which he quotes at length.

An interesting subtext in this book (which might go unnoticed by non-Baptists) is the Calvinist-Arminian debate. Both Davis and Warren are part of the ongoing theological debate in Southern Baptist circles over the "doctrines of grace." Davis clearly sides with the Reformed position; he got his degrees from Louisville's Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Al Mohler's bailiwick. Warren, on the other hand is an Arminian who went to Southwestern Baptist Seminary. The disagreement between these two Baptists is as much about the present state of theological tension in the SBC as it is about the shortcomings of the Purpose Driven Life.

In short this book is a much-needed corrective to Americans' uncritical infatuation with the seeker-sensitive movement. The Purpose Driven Life has been given a free ride by too many Christians. It is about time someone stood up and said, "The emperor has no clothes!" Davis has done that. He will undoubtedly receive much criticism for writing this book. He deserves an equal amount of praise.
More Than Superficial  Jul 29, 2006
Mr. Davis' attack on the "Purpose Driven Life" is superficial and misguided.

He contends that "In Warrenism there is no genuine commitment to Christ because the genuine Christ has not been preached." The commitment to Christ and His church required for membership at Rick Warren's church is the same commitment that has been preached for almost 2000 years of church history. In fact, the expectations for a Saddleback member are far higher and more biblical than those of many, if not most, evangelical churches in the history of our nation. People may initially come as "consumers" as Mr. Davis contends, (don't most of us start our journey with Christ needing something from Him? forgiveness, love, hope?) but Christ turns most into devoted followers with servant hearts who are involved in ministry and missions in obedience to Jesus.

A comprehensive review of Warren's preaching and teaching would reveal that Rick's message is not watered down or anything less than the full council of Scripture. Mr. Davis simply has not done his homework on these issues. As for "The Purpose Driven Life," it is a simple, but not simplistic, introduction to the Christian life. Warren is not seeking to write a systematic theology for long time believers. (Although the "Foundations" series that Purpose Driven has produced is a solid and thorough treatment for laity). The fact that Mr. Davis would write a book like this explains why many churches in America are failing.

My advice? Follow Christ. Get busy accomplishing your God given purpose within your local church and community and don't waste your time on this book.
A must read response to the PDL.  Jun 20, 2006
I have grown up in a solid Christian environment and I knew after reading "The Purpose Driven Life" was that something was not right. "More Than a Purpose" answered a lot of my questions. It shows how Rick Warren has been influenced by the Norman Vincent Peale/Schuller brand of Christianity. It shows how/why biblical teaching isn't a big part of the mega-churches. I also understand a little bit of why many of my friends liked PDL - it is a Christian flavored self help book. It also described how spiritual consumerism and personalization has affected the megachurch and evangelicalism.
In showing the deficiencies of the PDL and the megachurch movement, "More Than a Purpose" also clearly presents the gospel and a true picture of Christianity. This book is an excellent critique of The Purpose Driven model, the megachurch movement as a whole, and the state of modern "evangelical" Christianity in these United States. It also provides direction as to how the church can get back on track.
It is straight forward, easy to read and not beyond the average lay person.
Davis vs. Goliath  Jun 3, 2006
Rick Warren is pastor of the largest Baptist church in the United States and author of the international best sellers The Purpose-Driven Life and The Purpose-Driven Church. Marshall Davis is pastor of a small Baptist church near Pittsburgh and this is his first book, setting up a "Davis vs. Goliath" confrontation.
Mr. Davis contends that the Gospel presented by Mr. Warren is deficient. "In Warrenism there is no genuine commitment to Christ because the genuine Christ has not been preached and the way of salvation has not been explained." The teaching of Rick Warren, Mr. Davis asserts, is "Gospel lite: tastes great, less filling."
Such assertions might draw a debate, especially from the millions worldwide who testify to the positive effect of reading the Warren books, but this next observation will be met with a chorus of amens: "The American Christian has gone from being a disciple to being a customer, from being a follower of the Lord Jesus to being a consumer of a spiritual commodity." In this new marketplace, Mr. Davis says, entertainment has replaced worship in the public gatherings of Christians.
The antidote, he contends, is a fresh attention to evangelism, worship, theology and ethics. It's a good read on a timely subject.

- Book Review, Dallas Morning News

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