A critical analysis of the purpose-driven hermeneutic of Rick Warren
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This dissertation analyzes Rick Warren's hermeneutic based on his writings, conferences, sermons, and Bible studies. Chapter 1 introduces the topic giving special attention to Warren's popularity and the need for an examination of his hermeneutic. Chapter 2 demonstrates that Warren's purpose-driven hermeneutic is based on his understanding of the purpose of the Bible. In particular, Warren's doctrine of the Bible, his Bible study methodology, and his emphasis on the essential nature of application to the task of Bible interpretation are addressed. Chapter 3 examines Warren's preaching as a source for evaluating his hermeneutic. This chapter gives an explanation of his verse-with-verse methodology and how he uses Scripture to develop sermon series, individual messages, and the preaching points within his messages. Chapter 4 addresses Warren's hermeneutic as it is revealed in his writings and conferences. The chapter focuses on The Purpose Driven Church and its associated conference and materials, The Purpose Driven Life and the various Bible studies associated with the "40 Days of Purpose," and Warren's other books. Chapter 5 is devoted to Warren's use of translations and paraphrases as key to understanding his hermeneutic. An overall list of translations and paraphrases used by Warren is given along with a statistical analysis of the frequency of translation usage in his various works. A final chapter offers a conclusion to the study. An evaluation of overall trends, strengths, and weakness of Warren's purpose-driven hermeneutic is included. This chapter also gives a summary of the conclusions that the research has supported and an examination of some implications of Warren's hermeneutic to the greater field of church growth preaching.