Friday, January 04, 2008

More on Osteen

Slate magazine recently published an article about Joel Osteen. It reveals a lot more about Osteen's past and how he came to embrace the Prosperity gospel. Though I don't endorse this message at all, I now have a better understanding of why he does. Thanks to Evan and Justin for the link.

Here's the full article. And below is the writer's summation:
"There's, of course, nothing inherently suspect or dishonorable about seeking uplift and consolation in the Bible. But the point of those "deep theological doctrines" that Osteen seems to deride is to leaven that quest with the less agreeable features of life—pain and suffering, the persistence of evil, the fleeting quality of all endeavor, the cosmic insignificance of the human self, let alone that self's subordinate chosen modes of expression in body posture or a near-pathological penchant for smiling. After all, the same Bible that Lakewood's arena full of believers champion as a handbook for what they can do and be also contains these words, in Revelation 3:17: "Thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing: and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked."

1 comment:

  1. Thanks. Although the article is a bit snide, it's well-written. I particularly liked this sentence: "This is a long, long way down the road from the inscrutable, infant-damning theology of this country's Calvinist forebears—it is, rather, a just-in-time economy's vision of salvation, an eerily collapsible spiritual narcissism that downgrades the divine image into the job description for a lifestyle concierge."