Another Book on Purpose and Identity that Misses the Mark
Three quotes from the Introduction of Divine Intentions provide a hint of the author’s bend: a man-centered gospel. “Yet God is obsessed with us.” “God desires to make His every plan and every purpose be your true-life story.” “God is relentlessly committed and lovingly devoted to you.” I wish, instead, that it read, “You are relentlessly committed and lovingly devoted to God.”
Reed writes, “One of my goals for this book is to increase your curiosity and decrease your caution.” By caution, he means “playing it safe” in life. But the reader needs to take caution about the conclusions that Reed applies here. Especially when he uses a loosely translated Bible (the Living Bible Translation) to support his assumptions. Each supporting verse should be reviewed in a more literal translation to ensure that it supports the claims being made.
Reed writes, “we have been lovingly designed by God for a specific purpose. We can fill our life with lesser things, but He lovingly designed us to hold the treasure of destiny. He created us with the capacity to fulfill all He has planned for us.” Unfortunately, I can’t find where Reed tells us what that purpose is. The word purpose occurs 63 times in this book, a majority of those pointing to God’s purpose, yet without describing what the purpose is.
The old catechisms tell us that the chief purpose of man is to glorify God. Divine Intentions seems to reverse this to make God’s purpose is to make people feel good about themselves. Does God desire to make use whole and restored as Reed claims – yes! But we must ask the question “to want end?” The end result of my being whole and restored is that I will glorify God. That major end is missing from this book.
It’s interesting that the author chose the Living Bible Translation. Which version do you usually prefer?
This year I am reading in the English Standard Version. Last year I read the New International Version. For Bible study my preference is to use the New American Standard Bible, although I also refer to several other translations during my studies.
It is definitely important to compare all books like this to the Bible!