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Peace, Purpose & Murderers

Just as I was finishing up work for the day, I got an email from a very friendly producer at CNN wondering if I would be interested in contributing to a story they are working on. Intruiged, I said that I might just be. She called me a few minutes later and it turns out that CNN is working on a one-hour special on life’s purpose. I could not tell if it was a special only on The Purpose Driven Life or on purpose in general. Either way, they were interested in knowing my views on the book, and in particular, if it had changed my life. I felt like I was letting the producer down when I told her that it did not. She asked how many people I knew who had read the book and how many had had their lives changed by it. I answered that I knew hundreds who had read the book but none had seen radical transformations in their lives, letting her down even further. She asked whether I agreed with the book and I told her that while the book had some valuable things to say, I had some pretty clear disagreements with many of the book’s main points.

Just a few seconds earlier I had been browsing and noticed that Purpose Driven Life is having another fifteen minutes of fame because of the Brian Nichols hostage situation. This is no doubt why CNN is interested in the book. If you have no idea what I am going on about, you can get caught up by reading this article (a wee bit biased) at It turns out that the woman who was being held hostage by Nichols was in the midst of reading through the book and she read a section of it to the fugitive.

The hostage, Ashley Smith, actually sounds like quite an interesting person. Speaking to reporters she said God had a purpose in her being taken hostage: “I believe God brought him to my door so he couldn’t hurt anyone else.”

Interesingly, Rush Limbaugh spoke about the book in his program today, suggesting his listeners purchase it (read more here). Of course that doesn’t mean much coming from Rush, as he also recommended the New Age abomination Conversations With God “if you want to have an even more detailed understanding of how some people look at this [how God shows up through people] and analyze it.”

Anyways, the producer suggested that they will be looking for people who will take the opposing viewpoint to Purpose Driven Life and asked if she could give my name to a reporter, but I don’t think I have any desire to be that person. I suppose it would depend on the specific questions I would have to answer, but I don’t know that it would be helpful for CNN viewers to hear Christians having insider disagreements. Or maybe I’m just camera-shy.

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