JoelSo Joel Osteen is coming out with a new book on November 3. The title of the book is It’s Your Time, which considering the current economic depression a title like that is bound to sell millions. Obviously I am not angry with Joel for writing a book–he can write whatever he wants–but he cannot call this a “Christian” book. Why do I say that? Well, Joel is offering an excerpt from his book that contains an introduction and the first chapter. All in all this selection is 14 pages long and not once, NOT ONCE, does he pen the words “Jesus” or “Christ”. How can you write a whole chapter of a book without mentioning the central character of our faith? This is just another sad case of American Evangelicalism reducing its message to nothing more than platitudes that narcissistic man can’t get enough of.

Joel does talk a lot about “faith”, but he never gives that faith an object. It is just generic faith, at least what I read here. Faith has to have an object and that object is Christ and all he accomplished. From what I can tell, faith for Joel is a belief in blessings from God, material and physical blessings right here and now. Sure we can trust in God to provide for our needs, but our faith is in Christ and Christ alone. What Joel is giving is what Martin Luther called a “Theology of Glory” instead of the proper “Theology of the Cross.”

There is a lot more I could say, and I might use this popular form of Evangelicalism to springboard into the truth of the Bible concerning Christ and our redemption through him. In the mean time I want to point you to two resources that are invaluable in evaluating the theology of Joel Osteen. The first is a “Case Study” on Joel Osteen and the Glory Story which can be found here. This essay discusses the “Prosperity Gospel” and the need for a proper understanding of the Law of God especially as it relates to our sin. The second is a review of Joel’s last book, Become a Better You, which gives a really great insight into the “theology” of Joel and how it works itself out. That great review can be found here. If you know people who are enamored with the message of Joel Osteen then please pass along these documents to them.