"the secret to Osteen's success is this: he teaches self-help but wraps it in a thin guise of Christian terminology. Thus people believe they are being taught the Bible when the reality is that they are learning mere human wisdom rather than divine wisdom. Osteen cunningly blends the wisdom of this age with language that sounds biblical. He blends the most popular aspects of New Age and self-help teaching with Christianity. And his audience is eagerly drinking this in.
And this raises an important and related question. What is Osteen's authority? On what authority does he base what he teaches? Christians have long understood that the only authority we have when it comes to spiritual matters is authority given to us by God through the Bible. We are committed to teaching only things that are consistent with God's revelation of Himself in the Bible. Without the Bible we have no authority. A pastor has no right to stand in front of a congregation and teach people what he believes. Rather, the pastor is to stand in front of the congregation and teaches people what God says about Himself. He bases all he does and says on this standard. In reading Joel Osteen we do not see this manner of authority. In reading Osteen we see a man who appeals to himself and to his own understanding and experience as authority. Rarely does he appeal to the Bible (66 times in 380 pages). Never will the discerning reader feel that Osteen has sought to understand the Bible first. Rather, it seems that he looks to the Bible to prove what he has already written or what he already believes. He uses the Bible, but not as a source of authority." Tim Challies
Monday, October 15, 2007
Become a Better You?
Tim Challies has posted a review of Joel Osteen's new book Become a Better You which hit the book stores today. If you have bought into this smiling charlatan then please take the time and read Tim's review.