Why criticize the Purpose Driven Life?
As pragmatic Christianity grows it becomes increasingly difficult for people to see anything wrong with someone that seems to work. The believe is that if the PDL helps someone it must be good so why bother attacking it? If a specific kind of church institution or program brings people in it must be good. This perspective is short sighted. From a broader biblical, social and historical perspective it is easy to see how damaging church fads are.
Jesus cleansed the temple for a reason. As I apply the principle I take from that story I must conclude that the blatant cross-promotion and commercialism in religious consumables such as PDL or Revolve is sin. Pulling out all the stops to profit from kingdom work is wrong. Just because people are inspired to grow that doesn’t change anything. The church needs to wake up and realize that some elements of the Christian marketing industry will compromise biblical ideals for profit. Unfortunately we don’t have a viable alternative to the free market model.
Each year some new fad crops up. The Passion was supposed to be the most powerful evangelistic tool we’ve ever seen. PDL is supposed to change the lives of millions of people. We spend millions of dollars and people hours on this stuff, but in the end nothing seems to change. Lots of people say they’ve changed, but for most people the change was shallow and it didn’t take root. These kinds of fads deceive people in to thinking substantial change can be achieved with so little cost. As churches and individuals we spend a lot of time and money on stuff that doesn’t us very little good but makes us feel better. In the end we trick ourselves in to thinking we are spiritually healthy when we are not, and the church continually declines.