A reader of Apprising Ministries writes to ask for information and materials on refuting Rick Warren and The Purpose Driven Life:

Dear Ken,

I recently found out that a pastor I know is reading Rick Warren’s nonsense. I know him well enough to know that: A) He is truly saved, and B) He would not listen to my opinion unless I could back it up biblically. I have informed someone close to him a little bit about Rick Warren (Having secular leaders in his pulpit, endorsing Roman Catholicism, ect.) and they seem to be listening.

I know enough about the PDL to know why it’s wrong (just another man-centered method). What I do not have is enough information to present a clear, biblical refutation about the PDL. Do you know where I could find a clear refutation of Warren’s methods in The Purpose Driven Life?

God Bless,

AM Reader

Hello AM Reader,

It’s good to hear from you. You said: “A) He is truly saved,” I would have no reason to doubt that; “and B) He would not listen to my opinion unless I could back it up biblically.” My brother, just don’t be too disappointed that even when you do he may not listen.

You also asked: “Do you know where I could find a clear refutation of Warren’s methods in The Purpose Driven Life?” I’m more of a Special Ops type in my own writing as I attempt to flank enemy forces or attack them behind their lines in an attempt to get the Devil’s troops to fire on me, and by doing so, to reveal their positions.

Then God rolls in His heavier artillery, and some of the best heavy artillery fired against Rick Warren comes from my friend Bob DeWaay, pastor of Twin City Fellowship:

The Gospel: A Method or a Message? How the Purpose Driven Life Obscures the Gospel

Redefining the Church

“Church Health Award” From Rick Warren or Jesus Christ?

Faulty Premises of the Church Growth Movement

DeWaay also has taken all of the partial verses from the various Bible translations that Warren twists in PDL and then provides the actual verses in their entirety from the NASB in downloadable PDF format here:

A Berean’s Discernment Tool for The Purpose Driven Life

In addition, pastor DeWaay has done a 15 part series of radio programs which also refutes The Purpose Driven Life in great depth as well:

Redefining Christianity Radio Broadcasts

In fact, on these programs DeWaay is actually going through his own excellent book Redefining Christianity: Understanding the Purpose Driven Life Movement, which is even available right through DeWaay’s own Critical Issues Commentary website:

And then another friend of mine, Dr. Gary Gilley, pastor of Southern View Chapel, has also done some great work as well in refuting the faulty man-centered (semi-pelagian) view of the Gospel and our Lord’s Church as set forth by Rick Warren:

The Purpose-Driven Life: An Evaluation—Part One

The Purpose-Driven Life: An Evaluation—Part Two

The Market-Driven Church—Part One

The Market-Driven Church—Part Two

The Market-Driven Church—Part Three

The Market-Driven Church—Part Four

This ought to keep you busy for a while. Please feel free to let me know how the battle goes my fellow soldier.

Blessings in Christ,

Ken Silva, pastor-teacher

See also:


Warren’s Mulligan Theory of the Atonement: A False Gospel?