I don’t like the hype surrounding this book, or the self-promotion within it, or the rather rigid way we’re supposed to read it. I don’t like the huge variation in Bible translations used, and that some of the quotations from Scripture are WAY out of context. Nor do I like the structured nature of the book, the way churches are supposed to drop everything else to study it, or the insistence that God only has five purposes for people (what about stewardship of resources, for instance?)
On the other hand… Rick Warren does make some good points, even if they’re fairly basic. About worship being an attitude of life rather than just singing on Sundays. About the need for direction. About finding our ministries within the church based on our personalities. About the importance of mission.
If I could take the good points and cut out the padding and irrelevancies, it would probably be about a third the length. Then I would recommend it to anyone who’s newish as a Christian, or who’s been going to church for years but feels a lack of purpose.
On the other hand, I don’t see it as much use for non-believers, nor for those who are already deeply committed as Christians.