An FT Profile Article on Rick Warren

All good brands need a mission statement or a manifesto. Warren’s breakthrough to a mass audience came in 2002 with The Purpose Driven Life. His book describes itself as a “40-day spiritual journey for Christian living in the 21st century”. Though he rejects descriptions of it as a “self-help book” for the religious, it is reminiscent of the genre, with its folksy prose and short chapters. It reassures those with busy lives that they can converse with God “while shopping, driving or working” and that everyday tasks can be devoted to God including “taking out the trash”.

Warren says: “There’s not a new idea in [it] that hasn’t been said in 2,000 years of history. It’s been said all before. If I had a 15-word sentence, how could I say it in nine? How can I say it in five?”

Warren’s revolutionary tactic was to bypass bookshops and market the book directly to evangelical America, through its churches. It became a classic word-of-mouth success: it has sold more than 30m copies in the US, been translated into more than 50 languages and generated sequels.

Read it all.


Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Evangelism and Church Growth, Globalization, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

3 comments on “An FT Profile Article on Rick Warren

  1. Scatcatpdx says:

    In around about way the article expains my issue with Warren and the seaker sensitve movement. As simple search revealed gosple was mention as a type of service and Christ returns as “text not found”.

  2. LogicGuru says:

    If Rick Warren can sell this garbage, just imagine what the Episcopal Church could do if clergy, and laity, were as committed and made even half the effort.
    I’ve been to Warren’s Saddleback preaching hall/mall on assignment for _The Guardian_, and was happy to trash it to the best of my ability. Saddleback is bloody, stinking awful–vulgar middlebrow religious junk-food for upwardly mobile proles. What a pity the Episcopal Church has decided to leave evangelism to the evangelicals!

  3. 1928 - 1940 says:

    [blockquote] We sing 16th-century songs called hymns played on an 18th-century instrument called an organ on 19th-century chairs called pews, and wonder why they’re out of date. [/blockquote]

    Yes plus, worshiping an ancient God. Celebrating a 2,000 year old event. Reading from a book that hasn’t been “updated” in the last 2,000 years. Honoring the faith and writings of the (now very dead) “church fathers.”

    [blockquote]”Are there any other young couples here?” If all they see is grey hairs, they’re not staying. [/blockquote]

    Someday Warren will be old and gray, he can only hope that his generation’s ageism is not embraced by the next generation.