Joel Osteen has quickly become a prominent pastor – his church in Houston meets in an arena that formerly housed the NBA’s Rockets. He has been hailed as a new spokesman for Evangelical Christianity and is out touting a new book. What I’ve heard of his message tells me that the label is unfortunate. He seems cut from the same cloth as Robert Schuller, emphasizing positive thinking and superficial happiness. More importantly, he seems to demur when asked about the more “negative” or controversial aspects of the gospel itself. Here’s a link to excerpts from his appearnace on Larry King Live (prefaced by a respone from Steve Camp).
UPDATE – Osteen has issued a retraction and an apology (commentary here). Good for him.
Billy Graham has apparently completed his final evangelistic crusade (at least in this country). I admire Graham though I can’t help but wonder about the efficacy of his methods (see previous post). Graham has without question shared the gospel message with more people than anyone else in history – in fact, he has probably literally spoken to more people than anyone in history. He has made some comments recently that seem troubling, but I’m inclined to give him the befefit of the doubt after so many years of faithfulness. He has always conducted himself honorably with utmost integrity, and has striven to keep the main thing the main thing – something we could use more of in our day.
I start a new job Monday and am very thankful for that!