Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Flyswatter & Osteen

The Calvinist Flyswatter is really starting to bug me. Pretty vicious attacks on folks like James White, and pretty much the same kind of anti-Calvinistic rhetoric the Caners were spewing on Tom Ascol's blog.

Anyway, in the midst of comments on a recent post, Bob Ross pops in and commends Joel Osteen. Then "Charles," the head swatter, Bob posts this quote about Osteen from Al Mohler's blog:
Mr. Osteen's statement is encouraging on several fronts. First, it is encouraging to know that the constituency of Joel Osteen Ministries was so upset about the interview. Second, Mr. Osteen's statement includes a clear and unambiguous affirmation of the exclusivity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

But here's where it gets really interesting: Charles says, "That probably won't set too well with some of the "Internut" gnat-strainers and nitpickers who seem to be out for Joel's blood, but we like what Dr. Mohler has said. It reaffirms our own evaluation of Joel and justifies our refusal to become one of the anti-Joel crowd simply over some peripheral differences."

Of course, context is king, and this one is wrenched so far out of context that if it was someone's neck you'd think you were watching The Exorcist.

The bottom line is, they've he has ignored what Mohler actually said in favor of a little blogbite that served their purpose.

Here is the comment I posted in response to comments on that post.
Charles, I think you're quoting Al Mohler out of context. To really understand his comments, you must start with his criticism of Osteen's appearance on Larry King, and then his comment the following day about Osteen's apology letter. Please notice the last sentence: Other concerns can wait for another day.

What other concerns? Well, for one thing, Osteen is preaching the prosperity gospel, not the real gospel. Even my six-year old daughter can tell the difference.

Ran across this post from Extreme Theology which is right on point: there is exactly no difference in what Joel Osteen is selling and what Tony Robbins is selling--except for maybe the cuss words.

Although Dr. Mohler only reads blogs that are higher on the TTLB chain than mine, I'm pretty sure I'm on safe ground when I assert that the differences he would have with Joel Osteen are by no means "peripheral."

By the way--I had the unfortunate opportunity to see Tony Robbins last year at a conference I went to for work. It was the most amazing piece of mass manipulation I have ever seen (of course, I've never seen John Edwards "the psychic" in person, so he may be trumped one day). The most helpful thing he said the entire morning was "you should spend more time with your family." I took his advice, walked out halfway through, and spent the rest of the afternoon with my wife.

Update: Charles corrected me. It was Bob Ross who pointed to Mohler. I've adjusted my comments accordingly, and posted an apology to Charles on his site. I post one here, too.


Chris Rosebrough said...

Amen and Amen!

It is refreshing to see that other people are seeing the same thing that I am seeing!

Joel Osteen's preaching is a 'baptized' version of Tony Robbins' Self-Help Schtick and it is as pagan as ever.

I have more to say on the matter at my blog. (extremetheology.com). I would love your thoughts and comments on the matter.

Hemsch said...

I am not totally framilar with this dialog, but I just want to say that after watching about 1/2 of Olsten's preaching I thought he seemed more like a used car salesman than a real preacher.

This is just a visual impression not based on any investigation.

Michael Spencer said...

When I blogged contra Osteen last year, Ross started harassing me via email. I have a collection of his letters that will make you believe in alien beings. Ross argues endlessly that Osteen is a great Gospel preacher, etc. I must be listening to the wrong Osteen. The one I listen to mentions Jesus about once per message, about 1% of the amount he mentions himself. How you get from Spurgeon to Osteen eludes me. ***Twilight Zone Theme***

The Mains said...

Useless trivia:

One eBayer refers to Joel's father, John as an alum of John Brown University.



Faye Yentz said...

Can anyone help me find a transcript of Joel Osteen's appearance on Nightline? I've been unsuccessful in finding it online, and I need it to convince a friend that he's not a great Bible preacher. Thanks, Faye