Summary of Purpose of Driven Life

Topics: Lutheranism, Christian terms, Personal life Pages: 3 (902 words) Published: September 6, 2013
Reflections on The Purpose Driven Life in Light of the Doctrine of Vocation In a time of moral decadence and cultural chaos, two temptations confront Christian churches. There is tendency to move either in the direction of compromise and conformity as is witnessed by the antinomian impulses that would set aside biblical teaching regarding homosexuality, for example. Evil is called good. Churchly affirmation of homosexual unions is said to be part of the "new thing" that the Spirit is doing in the world. On the other hand, there are those who would seek security in discipline and obedience. It is this second tendency that has given rise to the popularity of the best-selling book by Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life. No doubt that current enthusiasm for The Purpose Driven Life and the line of supporting products developed by Rick Warren and his associates will soon go the way of Promise Keepers, WWJD bracelets, and the Prayer of Jabez. Nevertheless, for the moment at least, The Purpose Driven Life has caught the imagination and pocketbooks of Lutheran pastors and laity. Last week I addressed an LCMS pastoral conference on the theology of the cross. In preparation for the conference, the participants had been asked to read Gerhard Forde's little classic, On Being a Theologian of the Cross. It didn't take long until the discussion turned to The Purpose Driven Life. Such a turn was inevitable in light of Luther's initial assertion that the law does not advance human beings in the way of righteousness, but in fact, impedes such a movement. The conversation that followed convinced me that Lutherans need to ask themselves why it is that a book such as The Purpose Driven Life would become so popular with our people, why it is that "the forty days of purpose" would come to overshadow or maybe even displace Lent? Could it be that many Lutherans, both clergy and laity, have forgotten or never known the richness of Luther's understanding of vocation? As for a couple of...
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