Who’s Driving the Purpose Driven Church? by James Sundquist

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I believe that many well-intentioned Christians get involved in movements that ultimately do not honor Christ, not only because they lack discernment, but also because they have no real knowledge of the source and direction of that movement. James Sundquist goes a long way in solving both of these problems (lack of discernment and lack of knowledge) as it pertains to “The Purpose Driven Life.”

What the average Christian does when reading a Christian book, attending a seminar or analyzing a movement, is to filter through the information and experience, swallowing the tasty morsels, and spitting out the rest. As long as he is left with a pretty good taste in his mouth he is content to discard the unappetizing parts. To some degree this is true of all human efforts (e.g. books), including Mr. Sundquist’s as well as my own. But Who’s Driving the Purpose Driven Church? documents the fact that the evangelical community is swallowing way too much of Rick Warren’s recipe without realizing that there is poison in almost every bite. My own efforts at exposing Warren’s errors have centered almost exclusively on his abuse and misuse of Scripture. Sundquist has the same concern but branches into a number of other issues such as Warren’s promotion of false teachers (what does Warren really believe when he endorses heretics?), his distain for doctrine and prophecy, his misshapen SHAPE program and his saturation with psychology in its various forms.

Many of these issues should be identified by even the semi-well taught believer. This is a simple matter of being a Berean—of opening the Bible and comparing what Warren is saying with what God says. Anyone who does this will soon be convinced that Warren, at best, is an extremely poor and untrustworthy Bible teacher.

But what many would never catch, and where Sundquist has done us a great favor, is documenting the sources for many of Warren’s initiatives, especially his SHAPE program, which is at the heart of the “Purpose Driven Life.” Very few, perhaps not even Warren, realize that psychological profiling, the Myer-Briggs Temperament Indicator (MBTI) and various theories on personality around which Warren develops so much of his ministry, do not originate with Scripture (surely most know this), nor with godly men or women, but from Carl Jung. Jung, a contemporary of Freud, was a godless hater of Christianity who received many of his psychological “insights” from astrology, mystical experiences and spirit-guides. It is these “insights” that are foundational to psychological testing and profiling, which is at the heart of Warren’s SHAPE program. Warren may deny this connection either because he does not want it exposed, or more likely, he doesn’t understand the connection himself. Either way, Warren is leading God’s people down a very unhealthy path. Sundquist’s work can spare discerning Christians from following Warren in a direction they would not want to go.

Some readers will take offense at Mr. Sundquist’s information or approach. And, as with all such polemical writings, some of his arguments are stronger than others and with some you will not disagree. But if you want a clear understanding of the dangers of the PDL, I would recommend a careful reading of Who’s Driving the Purpose Driven Church?

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