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Posts tagged "Joel Osteen"

Freedom's Just Another Word

Freedom’s Just Another Word

The first time I heard an Aussie ask “How are you going?” I thought he wanted me to give him directions, which is hilarious because I know how to get to, like, three places here. Then I realized I was being presented with an alternative to our American phrase “How are you doing?” And I […]

The Culture of Narcissism, Part 3: The Religion of "Me"

The Culture of Narcissism, Part 3: The Religion of “Me”

Here is the penultimate post in a series inspired by Christopher Lasch’s book, The Culture of Narcissism. Back in 1987, when the New Age movement had not yet become just another part of the spiritual background noise of postmodern America, ABC television mainstreamed one branch of the movement in the miniseries “Out on a Limb,” […]

The Prosperous Gospel of Stage 4 Cancer

The Prosperous Gospel of Stage 4 Cancer

In church yesterday, we read the “Temptation in the Wilderness,” the passage where Jesus is tempted to turn stones to bread, to throw himself down from the Temple in a spectacle, to kneel to the devil in exchange for infinite power. Jesus has fasted forty days, but he does not waver. The sermon at our church focused more on the […]

Critical Thoughts on the Evangelical Embrace of Thomas Kinkade's Art

Critical Thoughts on the Evangelical Embrace of Thomas Kinkade’s Art

A year and a half ago I wrote a post on Mockingbird about Thomas Kinkade, the prosperous “Painter of Light,” mostly responding to a then recent article highlighting his death due to a drug and alcohol overdose. I attempted to offer a thoughtful interpretation of Kinkade, his art, his unfortunate demise, and the Evangelical embrace of his […]

Your Best Story, Now!

Your Best Story, Now!

Here’s how I know God exists: he ruined my life. Multiple times. The guy can’t seem to nail my happy ending! In my late twenties, I had finally finished my doctorate, summiting my professional goals–and I was ready for my personal happy ending: perfect man, two kids, beautiful home. Instead, my third roommate in a row became engaged […]

Another Week Ends: Flannery Prays, Calvin Outsells Luther, More 'Millenials'-ism, Next-Next-Gen Gaming Consoles (PSILOVU), Backfiring Discipline, Zombie Impressionism and Noah: The Movie

Another Week Ends: Flannery Prays, Calvin Outsells Luther, More ‘Millenials’-ism, Next-Next-Gen Gaming Consoles (PSILOVU), Backfiring Discipline, Zombie Impressionism and Noah: The Movie

1. Well, we knew about Mary Flannery’s early life of training chickens to walk backward (1932); it appears that God marked O’Connor out as different from pretty early on. We remember the short stories of violent grace and brilliant essays, and we even got to read some excerpts from her year-and-a-half-long prayer journal (written while still studying for […]

When Schopenhauer Met Osteen

When Schopenhauer Met Osteen

What can I say? We try our best to avoid easy targets (or “targets” period) on here, but Book Forum’s recent “Hope Against Schope”, in which Kerry Howley imagines a dialogue between prosperity posterboy Joel Osteen and 19th century German pessimist extraordinaire Arthur Schopenhauer, was just too inspired/hilarious to resist, especially in light of John […]

Floyd Little #44 and the Gospel

Floyd Little #44 and the Gospel

Floyd Little caught me on Saturday evening as I was watching the NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Sandwiched between the great Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith, he outshone them all. Why? Because he did what neither of them did. He did not preach about his own success. He did not tout his own greatness. […]

Joel Osteen: Crazier Than We First Thought?

Proofs that can be derived from this video: 1) We always thought Joel Osteen interpreted the Bible wrong. Now we can rightly assume that he has simply never read it before (especially the New Testament). 2) If Joel Osteen is going to live under the law, at least he has the moxy to live under […]

Good News? Shut Up About It. Mockingbird at the...TV

Good News? Shut Up About It. Mockingbird at the…TV

Can the news be that good if no one wants to hear it? I often find myself chuckling derisively at the preaching in churches that I see on television. “Ha!” I’ll snort. “What an offensive message. No one’s going to like that very much!” Then, as you might imagine, the camera pans around to reveal […]

Joel Osteen: Great Smile, Crushing Theology

Joel Osteen: Great Smile, Crushing Theology

Pastor Joel Osteen is, in the words of (fake) fashion icon Mugatu (played by Will Ferrell in Zoolander), “so hot right now.” The 46-year-old pastor heads America’s largest church, the Houston-based Lakewood Church, with 43,000 people in attendance per week. His 2004 book, Your Best Life Now, was a New York Times bestseller, as was […]