Sunday, September 16, 2007

Osteen revisited...

I was having breakfast with my good friend, Bruce Hardesty, on Friday morning-- and we talked a bit about Osteen's book (and my review of it). In discussing the audiences to which Osteen may have been targeting-- and recounting the three enemies of the Christian (the devil, "the world (system)", and our own "sin nature")-- it occurred to us that Osteen's ministry is probably most applicable for two audiences.

First, Osteen is effective with those who have over-emphasized their sin nature-- to the point of paralyzing self-condemnation.

Second, Osteen's message is important for those who under-emphasize their sin nature and focus too much on their external challenges-- externalizing their problems to an extent that distracts from their ability to deal with problems internally (through dependence on God). If one believes that "the devil made me do it" (or more broadly, in a devil who is more powerful than he is) or in a world that is able to overpower us (easily) with various temptations, then the result will likely be blame-shifting, paralysis, fear, and so on.


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