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A Review of Rick Warren’s New Magazine: The Purpose Driven Connection

February 26, 2009

If you are one of the twenty five million people who purchased Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Life,” and you are craving more, then get in line folks, because your dreams have come true! The Purpose Driven Connection magazine hits newstands this month.

Rick Warren has created a glossy, oversized quarterly magazine that is chock full of all things Purpose-Driven. I mean, this thing is loaded! And it delivers Rick Warren o’ plenty: Rick on Life’s Mission. Rick on Obama. Rick on getting spiritually connected. Rick on answering your questions. Rick on Bible study. Rick, Rick, Rick. Open the cover, and it’s like you are entering a Rick-Warren-Wonderland.

Aside from the Rick-centric articles, there are many other inspirational stories of hope by every-day normal folk, right alongside professional journalistic coverage of some pretty dramatic life-changing tales. Beautiful, stylish photography and graphics are tastefully interspersed throughout. Then, all of this is topped off with several editorial columns written by a Who’s Who of the most notable and recognizable names in Christian publishing: Max Lucado, Bill Hybels, and Anne Graham-Lotz. The heft of this publication will keep you busy for hours.

But wait! There’s more! The magazine also comes with a DVD bible study guide, and tools to get you plugged into an online community. Practically everywhere in this magazine are invitations for the reader to visit the Purpose Driven Connection web site and “Tell us your story!”  These folks are making a huge effort to create something that is much more than just a magazine, but to build an interactive community of believers, who can encourage and support one another to live out their faith in new and exciting ways.

The content of the magazine is pretty consistent with the mainstream Evangelical flavor served up in Rick’s church and in his books, but it happily skates around some edgier subjects, too – like, stories about an urban hip-hop church, and a motorcycle-gang small group. Well, to certain Christian readers that may seem edgy. The Purpose Driven Connection is clearly trying to be culturally relevant and inclusive to all shapes and varieties of church-building that are going on out there today, without offending or alienating any one specific sub-strata or demographic (can anyone say “Mainstream?”).

I found the magazine to be somewhat uneven as a reading experience because of the mix and variety of writers: some of the articles are written by professional journalists; others are by amateurs; some are authors; many are by Rick Warren himself. The effect is more like a hodgepodge of inspirational material thrown together for mass appeal, rather than a unified magazine with a unique editorial voice. Other than Rick’s voice, of course. Who also happens to be the Editorial Director.

I’d like to see them bring it up a notch or two.

But overall, I admire the direction this thing is taking. The message is one of inspiration, hope and a call to action. It says, “Get right with God, get out into the world and make a difference!” How can that possibly lead to anything but good? Because right now our nation can use all the hope and inspiration it can get.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Wisecarver permalink
    February 28, 2009 5:06 pm

    How does Rick Warren believe (or you) that one “gets right” with God? And how does that make a difference in a world that cares nothing for or seeks after Him (Romans 1, 2, and 3)? And what is good? How do we determine what that is?

    The purpose driven life is not gospel centered or Christ exalting. More of the same is what is being placed on the tables of tares. And it doesn’t answer my questions above.

    We make a difference in the world by standing up and living out the gospel as according to scripture. In and out season. Especially when its not popular (1 Tim).

  2. Wisecarver permalink
    February 28, 2009 5:08 pm

    Please review any of my writings at

    In Christ alone


  3. March 1, 2009 11:23 pm

    you say you have written poems.

    may i see?


    when i was sick in bed once, i read my husband’s new yorkers. it was ok, but, i found that i do not think that i am their projected audience.

    i use to like to look at magazines, however,
    i just got to a place where i found them all very predictable in the way they play to people with the ideas of how a home should look, and how people should think, and in my view advertising has taken over.

  4. March 2, 2009 5:26 pm

    You made me laugh as usual. I especially cringed a bit when I read the title of the magazine. Connections or “Your Organization Name” + Connection is the most common newsletter title in the country.

    I was glad to see you ended on a positive note, too.

    But then I visited the site, saw the flash animation and price (all this for only $19.95) and wished they were giving me an extra food chopper for free.

    But then, he knows how to be appealing to the masses. I’m not sure my own family finds me appealing.

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