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Monday, February 14, 2005

TV Evangelist Joel Osteen This is a link to a Today show interview with TV's hottest evangelist. I've actually seen him several times as we're flipping channels in the dorm, and he is extremely charismatic and charming. His church has something like 25,000 members, and he has packed out places like Madison Square Garden. I found the link from Modern Reformation, because Michael Horton has a quote buried in this interview.

My question is: If you had somebody tap you on the shoulder in Starbucks to ask you about Joel, and this was the only exposure to Christianity that they had ever had, what would you affirm about his message, and what would you want to nuance (or would you -- rhetorical question, of course).

Feel free to post your answers/ideas in the comments section!


At 2:29 AM, February 15, 2005, Blogger Charles said...

See, I usually go by the rule of thumb that if you are on TV, then you are not doing God's work. I, not being a Christian, don't really know what "God's work" is, but I do know that if you are doing it, you aren't on TV.

This guy looks like he uses branding very well. It sounds like Dr. Phil with a little Jesus in it. I always had a theory that if you call anything Christian, even without changing it, that you could make a lot of money. Maybe this guy proves this.

You guys will have to tell we whether this guy is a good guy or not, but with the lack of certain key phrases like "faith", “Christ”, “Saved”, and "gospel" in his interview, I can only surmise what you think of this guy.

At 2:26 PM, February 15, 2005, Blogger Molly said...

Charles, your observations are probably clearer than what I would have said about Joel. Only he smiles a lot more than Dr. Phil and is a bit more "hip"!

I think you're absolutely right that he's lacking key words like "faith," "Christ," and "Gospel." You've definitely been hanging around with Christian a lot!

My friends and I have noticed that at the end of his hour-long messages on TV, he tacks on 15 seconds of, "And trust Jesus, he'll get you to heaven." I think the problem with this is that Jesus Christ should be the beginning, middle, and end of his message -- it is only through the cross of Christ and the truth of the Gospel that Joel will truly have a message that has power to change people's lives.


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