(Book review) Purpose PIE


Reviewed by: Tim Pietz of Waukesha, Wisconsin, a Professional Writing Major at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana


Introduction

Title: Purpose PIEpurposepiebook

Author: Steve Douglass

Publisher: WestBow Press

Publication Date: 2015

Format: Print Book

Length: 157 Pages

OVERVIEW

Steve Douglass lived for many years with Purpose PIE sitting on the backburner of his brain. He now has come forward to reveal this concept to readers.  Douglass seeks to inspire a thirst for Passion, Inspiration, and Enthusiasm in the lives of others.

Purpose PIE is full of thought-provoking quotations from such varied individuals as St. Augustine, Pablo Picasso, and Bear Grylls. Due to the lesser amount of biblical references, Christian readers have reason to be cautious. Fortunately, it’s hard to argue with Douglass’s description of his life goal. “My purpose is to honor and love God by serving and inspiring others by making a positive and profound difference in their lives” (pg. 30). Douglass has some valuable advice for purpose-seekers. His second chapter, for example, draws a clear distinction between selfish motivation and selfless inspiration – a distinction that is very biblical (see James 4:13-15).

Douglass focuses on mindsets of purpose-filled living, but tangible specifics are sparser. Rather than provide a how-to plan, Douglass seeks to inspire mindsets in the reader and a hunger for the “pie.” This is a worthy approach, but if the reader is already convinced of the need for purpose, then the passionate promises wear thin. It’s like munching on appetizers while waiting for a main dish that never seems to come.

Similarly, Douglass can get carried away in being witty and poetic, dragging out a simple point for several sentences. Part of this is linked to his informal, conversational writing style, which results in sentences opening with “Yeah,” “I say,” and “The way I see it.” His writing is stuffed with acronyms, alliteration, quotes, and witty phrasing, with a dollop of lighthearted optimism on top. It’s endearing, but it can feel jumbled and difficult to follow. The sheer quantity of artistic add-ons tends to overwhelm the reader. With such a distinct style, readers will likely find themselves either irritated or enthralled.

Nonetheless, there are inspiring highlights that avoid most of these problems. Personal stories here and there provide the tangibles that other areas lack. Individual well-placed quotations emphasize thoughtful points. Lighthearted humor pauses long enough to impress a sense of weight to wise words.

Overall, Douglass provides some brain-stimulating Purpose PIE, but readers may have frustrations pushing through the whipped cream.

ASSESSMENT

Rating (1 to 5)

3

Suggested Audience

People who are unsure about (but open to) living their purpose.

Christian Impact

Points toward meaningful, low-stress living through trusting God.

Other Notes: The message is usually aligned but not directly connected to biblical principles. Comparing concepts with the Bible would deepen the meaning of the message.



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The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals. This account is managed by the ECLA Web Team.

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