Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Joel Osteen?

I haven't paid much attention to Mr. Osteen, but enough to be amazed by his success and concerned about what appears to be his health and wealth gospel. A few months ago, I asked a Bible scholar I deeply respect about him, and the response was strongly negative. I was surprised at the intensity of the response and thought I needed to look at Osteen further.

I finally did so, and found my way to this excerpt from an interview he gave to Larry King.

Osteen strikes me as terribly immature in his faith, inept as a Christian apologist, and unable to deal with questions King puts to him. That's probably the best one could say about him. On the other hand, he may be a universalist. There are quite a few of those around, many in pulpits all over the country. Universalism eviscerates evangelism and is death to the Church, not to mention being contrary to the clear teachings of scripture. My friend spoke of Osteen as being a sort of tool of Satan. Whether Osteen is simply immature or a universalist, can't we say that he is, in some significant way, pointing people to Christ? Even Satan's tools are, finally, God's tools, are they not? See Job 1:6-12 and following.

For some balance, look at this 1988 interview Larry King had of Billy Graham. I love how Graham handles King's pointed questions. (Graham and Osteen - men and boys. King and Osteen too, for that matter.)

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