March 7, 2010

Is Joel Osteen the New Face of Christianity?

The UK's Guardian has an interesting story today about American Christianity. The Guardian apparently believes Osteen is the new face of Evangelical Christianity.

According to the Guardian, "Powerful politicians from both parties crave to be seen with him, just as in the past they paid homage to Billy Graham (who has endorsed Osteen). The Republican governor of Texas, Rick Perry, made sure to attend the grand opening of Lakewood in July 2005; Osteen in turn led the prayer during Perry's inauguration two years later. But Osteen doesn't pick political favourites; when Houston elected its first openly gay mayor this year (a Democrat), he said the prayer during her inauguration. The Clintons like to be seen worshipping at Lakewood when they're in town, and John McCain was happy to sing the praises of Osteen while campaigning in 2008. And while Obama is yet to pay a visit, last December he found the time to receive Osteen at the White House. These disparate and often opposed politicians recognise one thing: if anybody is the face of evangelical Christianity in America today, it is Joel Osteen."

The way the Guardian article begins, however, is most interesting. The piece says, "Forget Billy Graham and Jimmy Swaggart – the most popular and influential pastor in the US is Joel Osteen. On the surface he is modest and quietly spoken, but his belief in the 'prosperity gospel' is changing the way people pray."

It's interesting that the piece notes Osteen's Word-Faith theology because that may be something about Osteen that many people are unaware of.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Let's just hope that the Guardian's prediction of Joel Olsteen as the idtntity of Christianint is not correct. It is no wonder he is popular with many of the politicians and with a large contingent of Americans. He tickles the ears with messages of how great you can be. What he needs to do though is to prick the heart with the reality that we are all sinners desperately in need of a Great and Merciful God that loves us and offers salvation through what He has done, not through who we can be.