What on Earth Am I Here For : The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren was first first published 10 years ago. A new expanded edition was just released featuring modern updates such as Internet QR codes and links to supplemental material available on the Internet for a true multimedia experience for today's generation of young and technologically advanced readers. Additionally there are two extra chapters- or days included to make the total of 42 readings for 42 days.
This book is basically geared for the secular audience who is not familiar with the bible, Christianity or religion. This simple to understand book parents to the reader an introduction to God and where God fits into one's personal life. There are a number of biblical quotes- but the specific biblical references are in the back of the book rather than within the text. For a reader not familiar with the bible- this makes the book easy to follow without disruption. Therefor I can see the point in keeping the references in the back. But for those readers who are familiar with the bible or who study the bible- it is frustrating to flip to the back of the book to look up the biblical references. The specific reference is just as important as the scripture itself. Scripture is an integral part of the book and Rick Warren does a very good job in presenting relevant biblical references in this effective outreach.
It is good to see that the life saving message of the good news is included in the book. The importance of Jesus' death and eternal life are crucial- it is after all the Good News preached by the apostles. Nevertheless I felt that the gospel message was second in priority to the author's main intent of presenting the "purpose" of life. The presentation of the gospel was not discussed in the first day- which I personally would have felt more appropriate. Rather, the book opened with the issue of finding one's purpose in life. Once again- this may have been intentional in order to draw in the secular reader- whereas if this book started immediately with the gospel message on day one- done readers may have been put off. I suppose the quest for purpose is universal and perhaps more sought after than a quest for salvation. Maybe this book is a clever "bait and switch" strategy in that a book is presented as a self help type of book but then it eases subtly into the gospel message. Basically, the issues I pointed out- which seem to be counterintuitive for a Christian book, make sense when you consider this is a book targeted to the unsaved secular reader who does not have a familiarity with the bible or with the life saving message of the gospel. As the author suggested- if this book is read over the course of 40 days- and if the reader truly meditates on the material- this can be a life changing book. The multimedia links add a new dimension to the experience for those who have smart phones and Internet access. As a blogger for booksneeze I received this boom published by Zondervan publishers for the purpose of writing this review.