I know what some of you are thinking. How do I know this? Alright, I don't really know what you are thinking, but since I do have friends who read this blog and are reading The Purpose Driven® Life (I had an epiphany and realized they registered the words purpose driven®. This is as bad as the It's OK to Pray™ nonsense), I thought I might inform them on how the book confuses Law and Gospel.
This quote is from page 44, top paragraph.
The good news is that God wants you to pass the tests of life, so he never allows the tests you face to be greater than the grace he gives you to handle them. [Quotes 1 Corinthians 10:13 from Today's English Version]
Every time you pass a test, God notices and makes plans to reward you in eternity. [Quotes James 1:12 from God's Word to the Nations
There is so much wrong with this passage I do not know where to start. The first problem is where does the gospel end and the law begin? It's tough to tell at first. When you pick the passage apart, you realize that there is no Gospel. This passage begins by telling us God wants us to do well. How do we know God wants us to do well? He gave us the Decalogue. There is no mention of Christ saving us, and, considering the context of the rest of the quote, I don't think the atonement was given one though. It then states the grace of God is the power to handle these situations. I always thought God's grace was giving us a Son to suffer and die in my place. Silly me. If the guy cannot properly define grace, what other terminology throughout the book does he muddle and confuse? I don't know since I haven't started Chapter six. That second part is the easiest part. Tests have two possible outcomes in the most simplistic form: pass or fail. We get told about passing our test and told how happy God is with us and how we are rewarded in heaven because we passed this test. Would someone like to tell me the difference between this statement and what the Mormons teach? Anyone? Anyone? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!!!. This is Pelagianism, an outright heresy. God rewards you for doing good, the natural religion of man at its finest. The worst part is Mr. Warren assumes you are going to succeed. What if we fail? Nothing. There is no mention of God's love for us on the cross. There is no mention of the atonement, no mention of the reward we don't earn, no mention of the forgiveness. Law and Gospel are confused when the law is presented as the new gospel. Mr. Warren might as well sell indulgences. They'll work about as well as what he's perscribing.
You're earthly body is just a temporary residence for your spirit.
Nothing says gnosticism like this says gnosticism. There is a reason Jesus was resurected from the dead bodilly. It's because his resurection is a precursor to our resurection. Yes, we will be bodilly resurected in the end as well, once again uniting our flesh with out spirit.
Two heresies in the first five chapters, and Lutheran pastors think they can use this book and "Lutheranize" it? Sure, and I'm the pope.