“We are swimming in a sea of narcissistic moralism: an ‘easy-listening’ version of salvation by self-help.”

“According to America’s pop religion, we save ourselves with God’s help from feeling guilty and unhappy. Osteen has at least helped us to see just how stark the contrast is between the gospel of Christ and the motivational hype of popular American culture.”

http://www.westerfunk.net/archives/theo … y%20Story/
http://www.westerfunk.net/archives/theo … 0to%20sin/
http://www.westerfunk.net/archives/theo … n%20Yours/
http://www.westerfunk.net/archives/theo … f%20glory/
http://www.westerfunk.net/archives/theo … e%20Happy/

“It is neither that God wants us to be successful in our daily living or unsuccessful, but that he has a larger goal that is even sometimes served by temporal suffering. In all of these things, delightful and disappointing, God is working all circumstances together for a good that is beyond a mere absence of discomfort. In fact, God often has to go to extreme measures, taking away our props, in order to get us off of our own glory-trail (viz., thinking we’re “in control”) in order to give us the deeper happiness that he calls joy. When something greater than happiness as we usually define it is the goal, all sorts of things—good, bad, indifferent—can be accepted as part of God’s plan for our life. We do not know whether, in a given instance, God has planned for Bob to be healed of cancer or Sue to get that raise at work. But we do have God’s public, certified, and certain promise that all who die in Christ will be raised for a life that is far greater than even the most pleasant circumstances of our best life now.”

“Topical sermons, focusing on improving our lives by following biblical principles, easily eliminate the offence of the cross, using the Bible for whatever we want to say, rather than proclaiming it as those who have been sent. In Osteen’s TV sermons (at least the handful I’ve seen) and best-selling book, we learn more about the preacher than about God. We hear more personal anecdotes than biblical exposition. We learn how God gave him a bigger house, a good parking space, gave him the best table in a restaurant, and a seat in first class. For anyone interested in the sociology of pampered American Boomers, Osteen is a valuable source. However, for anyone interested in knowing God in Jesus Christ as he is revealed in Holy Scripture, for anyone wanting to know how God saves sinners, for anyone who senses that there are more pressing issues in life than having their best life now, Osteen will surely disappoint.”