My “to-read” shelf contains close to 50 books at this very moment. Now you know why I always have my nose stuck in a book – I’m just trying to keep up! A few minutes ago the FedEx guy showed up at my door with a little package (remember that I live in Canada so FedEx is working full-force today since we’re not exactly celebrating Independence Day). The package contained my review copy of Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him, which was written by Richard Abanes, who you may recognize as a prolific poster in the forums at this site.
I don’t have time to read the book this morning, much as I would like to, as I have several web sites that need my attention. But I did give the book the once-over I give all my books. I begin by reading the back cover to get an overview of what the publisher thinks this book is all about. Then I read the endorsements, which in this case didn’t take long as the book has only one (James K. Walker, President of Watchman Fellowship). Then I check what Bible translation the author defaults to (not sure why I do this – just habit I guess). This book uses the KJV by default and there is also a copyright notice for The Message which makes me assume Abanes will be addressing what appears to be one of Warren’s favored “translations.”
The next thing I do is to skim the chapter headings. It looks like the book kicks-off with some background about The Purpose Driven Life, turns to an interview with Warren, and then begins the apologetic work. I very quickly skimmed the interview with Warren and had to laugh at one question (sorry Richard, but it’s funny!). Abanes asked, “Do you advocate watering down the Gospel to cater to seekers?” I don’t think even Robert Schuller would answer that affirmatively! It’s a loaded question (“water down,” “cater”). I understand what Abanes was getting at, but it’s not the kind of question which is going to address the concerns of people like, well, myself.
The final part of skimming a book is to read through the endnotes and bibliography. Abanes references a wide variety of sources. Many of the people who have written a critique of Warren have received some attention: James Sundquist, Nathan Busenitz, John MacArthur, T.A. McMahon, Greg Koukl and even yours truly. So it seems Abanes was thorough.
Anyways, I have 50 pages of another book to get through and will then turn to Rick Warren and the Purpose that Drives Him. I’m looking forward to it. After I have read and digested the book I will be conducting an interview with the author, so if you’ve got questions you’d like to address to Abanes, feel free to email me with them. As always, a review of the book will be forthcoming. The book weighs in at only 127 pages, so it should not take too long to read.