CBS wants more gospel?

In the Reformed blogosphere, everybody and their brother has already posted about the Joel Osteen on 60 Minutes story (including Michael Horton’s blow for orthodoxy), but for the sake of trying to get this blog off the ground, I felt we should have at least a token post as a placeholder for discussion. If you missed it, you can catch it at the CBS website.

Echoing JJS, my take is, if CBS is taking you to task for delivering a Christless version of Christianity, you know you’ve got it wrong. In the segment, there was an old mixed-religion couple (Catholic wife, Jewish husband) at a book signing whose swooning demonstrated that not only is Osteen’s message not protestant enough to offend a Catholic, it is not even Christian enough to be a stumbling block to a Jew! I didn’t hear anything in his therapeutic message that would be folly to a Hindu, or a Muslim, or even an atheist!

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Prosperity Gospel. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to CBS wants more gospel?

  1. Zrim says:

    Osteen is a disaster, no doubt. But I tend to get little ranckled by it as it is really American religion doing what it’s all about only at high decibels; I tend to be much more interested in when the decibels are turned down to socially acceptable levels and see just how much people screed about it. Like all the cheesy comb-overs on TV, Osteen is like shooting fish in barrels. I just got a kick to see my Reformed patron saint get some props on one of my favorite shows.

    Zrim

  2. RubeRad says:

    It would seem that Osteen’s “no soliciting donations on TV” stance (and head of lustrous hair?) do represent somewhat of a decibel-lowering, no?

  3. Zrim says:

    Nah, those are just the high decibels you use when appealing to middle class and polished suburbanites instead of trailor parks.

    What’s on the turntable of American religion is still that the Gospel is relevant. Even Sinclair Ferguson seems to think so when he writes a book about how to discern the will of God in six steps. Turn the volume up and you get Osteen. Weird.

    Zrim

  4. RubeRad says:

    How would you say Osteen compares to Rick Warren? Is “Purpose-Driven Life” any “more” Christian than “Your Best Life Now?” Or how about Oprah?

  5. Bruce S. says:

    Having read a whole shload of Horton over the last few years and having therein seen him engage many of the premier philosophers/theologians/linguists that are alive today (and yesterday) I found it very odd and discomfiting that Horton would waste his time on Osteen. This is truly targeting a fruit fly with an elephant gun.

    Bearing in mind that I didn’t see the interview, I would venture to state that nothing Horton could have said will actually have much of an affect. Here’s why: I sat in Horton’s classes getting it straight from the horse’s mouth, eager to absorb anything and everything he said. Yet it took and is taking a long time to sink in. Yet Osteen’s fans are drinking in Joel’s promises as from a fire hose and are therefore highly resistant to any message contra JO.

    There’s a reason you don’t see guys standing with placards in the end zone of NFL games holding signs that quote Romans 8:17.

    Re Rick Warren’s PDL, if you want to puke just read his chapter on Job. The short of it was “He was suffering from a lack of purpose.” Horton’s well known response to PDL was in his sermon entitled “Promise Driven Life” – available on the net.

  6. Rick says:

    The Roman Catholic wife/Jewish husband combo stuck out for me too. If anything, that’s all we need to take from that story. If JO actually confronted his hearers with the pure Gospel, there would be no way that couple would be his fans. – JO is Dr. Phil with a different time-slot and a larger studio audience.

  7. RubeRad says:

    Horton’s well known response to PDL was in his sermon entitled “Promise Driven Life” – available on the net.

    For instance here

  8. Zrim says:

    Rube asked, “How would you say Osteen compares to Rick Warren? Is “Purpose-Driven Life” any “more” Christian than “Your Best Life Now?” Or how about Oprah?”

    At the risk of sounding like a bigot, I don’t really know, they all look the same to me.

    Zrim

  9. efwake says:

    Warren seemed to me, just to be gracious, to be introducing into the broader Evangelical world some reformed themes ala WSC #1 “What is the chief end of man?”

    Ok that was gracious.

    He did a really crappy, man-centered job of it. If BB Warfield’s criticism of the Heidelberg was that it began man-centered (one of the only times I vehemently disagree with Big-Daddy Warfield, BTW) he’d have treated Warren with his best rhetorical invective.

    The problem with trying to communicate this stuff to people who love Osteen is that they just don’t get it. They’ll look at Horton and say, with Bob Schuler, “You’re destroying what is most beautiful in my life, you meanie-head. Go back to the little cultic ghetto you came from, and let us enjoy God’s best in peace!”

    My mother-in-law was watching the kids this weekend while Rachelle and I were in the hospital. This morning she told my kids that they could watch so-called “Christian videos” produced by the likes of Max Lucado “instead of” going to church. Now I could blast her with both barrels of my high church sensibilities and tell her what I think of such an unbelievably ignorant statement made to my children and get all pissed about it, or I can just tell her in no uncertain terms to never, ever, say such a thing to my kids again.

    I’d waste my breath on her and show her what a jerk her son-in-law is if I say more than that, and, lets face it, she’ll think I’m a jerk even if I’m respectful and nice about it. The point is that she doesn’t have a system in place to even comprehend what I’d be saying if I talked with her seriously about how ignorant and erroneous her comments were, so I’ll just do my best never to leave my kids with her on the Lord’s Day again.

    I shoulda been in worship.

  10. Echo_ohcE says:

    Note to self: if you leave kids with someone for a Sunday, make sure to clearly instruct them to take them to church beforehand. If that’s a problem, they don’t stay for a Sunday.

  11. RubeRad says:

    The problem with trying to communicate this stuff to people who love Osteen is that they just don’t get it. They’ll look at Horton and say, with Bob Schuler, “You’re destroying what is most beautiful in my life, you meanie-head.

    Probably because, for most Americans, it usually is possible to attain Your Best Life Now. Perhaps the only way to snap out of it is to lose Your Best Life Now, and be shown by God-ordained suffering, that nothing is actually under your control.

  12. Zrim says:

    Eric,

    Sometimes it is hard to keep the lines brightly drawn between the Woodshed and the Outhouse (!). Maybe Rube’s note to self would help here.

    Although, I find his note as gappy about “church” as my wife’s to me about “get whatever-at-the-store.” I have at least three questions I usually end up remembering I forgot to ask and it becomes clear she and I were being much too gappy with each other. What kind? How many? At what price point? If your family is like mine, similar gaps need to be filled in about what to do with the kiddies!

    Zrim

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s