“Taking the Measure of Joel Osteen:” The Albert Mohler Program 1/17/08

This past Thursday, Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, devoted an edition of his daily radio program to examining the teaching of Joel Osteen. [You can listen to the program HERE.] This is noteworthy in terms of Strange BaptistFire because the show brought together themes from two fairly recent posts: Merry Who-mas? which examined Joel Osteens affirmative answer to the question, “Is a Mormon a true Christian?” and FBC Dallas pastor to nominate Mohler for SBC president. In the first of these posts, one commenter asserted, “As it touches on Osteen, the SBC should likewise make clear and unequivocable statements that his teachings are false, if not down right heretical.” In the radio program linked above Dr. Mohler makes such statements, quoting Osteen and playing audio files from Osteen to prove the point. This is an example of the clear, reasoned, prophetic voice the SBC needs in leadership to help equip congregations to respond to our confused, postmodern culture.

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7 Comments on ““Taking the Measure of Joel Osteen:” The Albert Mohler Program 1/17/08”

  1. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Mohler said that he had received numerous calls and e-mails from both secular and religious sources wanting his clarification. Such a reputation and such a reach, and Mohler did not hesitate to give it to them straight.

    Bravo!

  2. Barry Says:

    I would think that there exists a couple of threads that could come from this post.

    One, the not so subliminal tag that a Mormon might some day become the CIC.

    Two, the ongoing prediliction that Mr. Mohler and friends have for the continued use of, what I would describe, an abstruse philosophy as relating to an active design that one might have on life today–namely the operative known by very few as “post-modern philosophy”.

    I will of course defer to the esteemed Andrew for clarity on this, but it seems to me that as far as this philosophy goes it would engender a pro-active stance by Americans, Christian or otherwise, on issues of the day.
    I would posit that most people have trouble deciding between a cheesburger or a burrito supreme. To ascribe a conscious wish for how people view the church or a movement is more than most people have thought for.

    I await your judgement kind sir.


  3. Barry,

    1. While Romney’s potential nomination certainly is an opportunity for theological reflection on church-state relations, due to the limited focus of this site, we’re still going to refrain from discussion focused on presidential politics.

    2. I think you’re correct that most people do not consciously adopt post-modernism as a philosophy of life. If I ask my co-workers, “What is your philosophy of life?” the most likely response will be a blank stare. Yet I would argue that post-modernism is the current zeitgeist as demonstrated by the way in which people answer questions of ultimate importance. Whereas people in the recent past may have valued progress and defined values culturally identifying themselves primarily in terms of national citizenship (a few aspects of modernism), people today value comfort, define values according to personal preference and identify themselves in terms of a world citizenship (a few aspects of post-modernism, broadly defined). The gospel confronts and transforms all such zeitgeists, so that those who embrace the gospel by God’s grace value Christ above all, define their values in terms of His teaching, and identify themselves as members of His body.

  4. Jack Winter Says:

    Joel Olsteen, does preach the Bible, but he’s a “cafeteria Christian”, picking only those items that fit his unbalanced messages, but eschewing the full Word. The result is an unblical presentation of God that misleads the saints and does nothing to redeem the lost.

    There’s a famous quote from Adm. Bobby Ray Inmam about testifying before Congress. It’s like talking to 10 year olds about sex. They know all the words but they haven’t got a clue.

    That pretty much sums up Joel Olsteen’s flock. It’s very sad.

  5. Barry Says:

    In a sense, Jack, aren’t we all “cafeteria christians”?

    Look at how we chronically cherry-pick the OT and NT to suit our own ajendas.

    How many times have we read someone state that “this or that” refers to an episodic, ceremonial or topical point of the day and doesn’t really apply to us now–or, more importantly keying on a few references in Scripture that support our leanings while not wanting to take an honest, balanced view of a subsequent Scriptural portion.

    For me, this is the most tantalizing aspect of all movements. How we define and delineate ourselves from one another and then how we suddenly come back to being on the same page–even if only for a moment before we start the process over again.

    By the way, how does the process for the membership delegates work for the June get together? What if you have a small church in Mississipi (90 families) and a mega church (20,000) in Missouri? How does the process work relative to votes?

  6. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    zeitgeists

    and the poltergeist of Who-mas future.

    people today value comfort, define values according to personal preference

    Narcissism is definitely the zuppa d’ jure, to mix my derivations and prove I truly identify with a pluralistic weltenshung that gives me membership in the right zeitgeist, the all embracing one we can all agree to disagree with as long as you don’t touch my figgy pudding.

    Seriously, it will be either as Andrew says, or it will not. Those who embrace the teachings of Christ are going to challenge the non-comiddle to take sides. Extremists right or wrong are going to attract followers. But, as time has shown, it is the majority who prevail to get their way. That is so contrary to Christ, who calls the minority to give way without compromise to gain the kingdom. At the next SBC Conference, or the next National election we hope that it will be the paradigm of Christ’s righteousness that will hold sway, not of a narcissistic need for self-gratification and comfort, but simply because it is right and good.

  7. kelly Says:

    I would’nt hold my breath while waiting on that statement from the SBC.


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