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Posts tagged "Prosperity Gospel"

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 form (and less the content) of the interchange, and distinguished the sentence structure of the devil’s temptations, versus the sentence structure of Christ’s replies. I had never noticed this before, but each of the tempter’s promises are conditional: “If…then…” If you just do X, you will have Y.

I suppose I…

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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 Gray’s recent book. Call it a study in contrasts. Apparently, with only very minor alteration, the Osteen quotes come from a couple of Joel’s recent sermons, his I Declare and Become a Better You, while the Schopenhauer parts were taken from The World as Will…

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My Seven Favorite (Heretical Crazy-Talk) Videos of 2009

As the year draws to a close and people everywhere begin reflecting on their favorite things from 2009, I’d like to offer you something a little different. During the year I dug up the following videos and filed them away for just such an occasion as this. So here are my top seven picks for “heretical crazy-talk video of the year”:

Number 7: Rick Warren on the “Gospel of Doing”…

Pastor Warren explaining to his congregation all of the things they have to “do” if they want to get to heaven:

Number 6: Bill Hybels on “Holy Motivation”…

Pastor Hybels explains how getting angry…

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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 his 2007 Become a Better You. He is hugely popular and hugely influential. Many people at the church where I work read his books, watch his shows, and listen to his sermons. He’s a really likable guy.

Steven Waldman, the founder and editor of Beliefnet.com, the…

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