Well, maybe we’re not that mad at Joel Osteen, but Greg Gilbert’s new review of Osteen’s book, Your Best Life Now, reminds us of why we are appalled at his version of “Christianity.” Greg Gilbert describes Osteen’s work this way:
It should be noted clearly and widely that there is nothing Christian about this book. Yes, Osteen talks about God throughout, but it is not the God of the Bible he has in mind. Osteen’s God is little more than the mechanism that gives the power to positive thinking. There is no cross. There is no sin. There is no redemption or salvation or eternity. . .
If Joel Osteen wants to be the Norman Vincent Peale of the twenty-first century, he has every right to give it a shot. But he should stop marketing his message as Christianity, because it is not. You cannot simply make reference to God, quote some Scripture, call what you’re saying “spiritual principles,” and pass it off as Christianity. That’s the kind of thing that will have people “enlarging their vision” and “choosing to be happy” all the way to hell (source).
I haven’t read Osteen’s book and don’t plan to. But I have watched enough of Osteen on television to know that his preaching is as Gospel-free as Gilbert says his book is. Go check out the rest of Gilbert’s review. It’s sad, but it sounds the alarm that many need to hear.
For more on Joel Osteen:
My Previous Posts on Joel Osteen
“Osteen’s answer to ‘gay marriage’ question less than direct” – Baptist Press (Sept 22, 2006)
“Meanwhile, In No Apparent Danger of Arrest” – by R. Albert Mohler