More Osteen Bashing, er, I mean, Analysis

Call me a jerk, negative, cynical, whatever, but this guy is trouble for the gospel in America. He says, in response to Larry King’s questions about the exclusivity of the Christian faith, “I don’t know if I believe that they’re wrong.”

What?! I’m telling ya, this guy is mainstream and beloved by many Bible-believing Christians in a way that Benny Hinn or Creflo Dollar never would be. I’ve heard people talk about how they like to listen to him because he’s so smiley and positive.

Smiley and positive?! What about watered-down?! Or, better yet, wrong?!

It’s one thing to say, “I’m a fallible human being who might not interpret God’s Word correctly in all places and who doesn’t feel comfortable making definitive pronouncements about an individual’s eternal status with God .” It’s entirely a different thing altogether to speak as if there is not sufficient authority from Scripture to say that God makes a certain claim with regard to the exclusivity of the method of salvation. The difference, of course, is the ground of the authority. Me versus the Bible as God’s Word. Fine. That’s a justifiable distinction. But, to say “I don’t know if I believe that they’re wrong” is like saying, “I think the Bible does not conflict with the claims of these other religions and has enough room for everyone.”

Seriously, have we so capitulated to postmodern relativism that we can’t now say anything definitively about what the Bible claims?

BTW, wanted to point out, for the fourteen millionth time, as if Christians in America don’t know this, that the mainstream media doesn’t know what the heck they’re talking about… It says, “Evangelism’s Rising Star” instead of Evangelicalism’s Rising Star.

“Church Merch” – Joel Osteen Game is… in a word… Vacuous

Joel Osteen, poster boy for a new generation of positive and palatable health-wealth Christianity, has long had a book on the bestseller list, Your Best Life Now. I don’t suggest buying it, BTW. You’ll get a pretty good idea of the gist from this blog post, “ChurchMerch – Your Best Life Now: The Game” from Challies.com. You’ve gotta check out this post. Here’s a funny quote:

So here is the box. Very exciting. Joel looks happy, as always. I would be too if someone turned my book into a board game.

This game is, well, for one, obviously boring. But it has got to be one of the most egregious examples of the depth of stupidity to which Christian merchandisers will go. It’s no wonder that non-Christians often think the Christian account of life isn’t meaningful. No wonder. This game is vacuous. And I tire of hearing from people like Osteen about discovering one’s potential without hardly a nod to the fact that we’re created to “discover our potential” for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Simply put, he’s popular self-help psychology with a not-decidedly Christian bent. Osteen is mostly a modern Norman Vincent Peale who smiles a lot.

Also, BTW, Tim Challies runs a great site for TONS of Christian book reviews called www.discerningreader.com. Also, BTW, part 2, how cool is it that there are Christian bloggers out there like Tim Challies providing valuable information like this “ChurchMerch” blog post and discerningreader.com? The internet continues to fascinate me (insofar as it meaningfully provides a resource of information. The problem is, I think, increasingly few people are able to process the world around them, let alone the almost limitless number of resources available to us nowadays. Some free, random thoughts.)

A Regular Diet of Osteen Akin to Twinkies

Found this on the Smart Pastor blog. Here’s the original article. Apparently Joel Osteen, poster boy for a new generation of palatable health-wealth gospel believers, is now in the top ten on iTunes podcasts, which, in my book, is less than a good thing. It’s not surprising or anything, but it is indicative of our penchant for ear tickling (2Timothy 4:3).

Some good comment from Sound Words blog:

Of course this is not surprising his preaching, smile, and banter is contagious. Too bad he keeps forgetting to use the Bible.

I’ve blogged before on Joel and I’ll say it again, watching Osteen is liking sticking to a diet of Twinkies. Sure they taste yummy, and give you lots of sugar induced energy but try living on them and see how you turn out. You feed that to your kids everyday and it’ll stunt their growth. The same thing with our spiritual growth. There is nothing wrong with listening to preachers like Osteen but if you don’t balance that out with a good balanced spiritual diet you are going to stunt your spiritual walk.

Seriously. So go to your regular old local church and regularly listen to your regular old preacher whom you actually know.