June 26, 2005

Critical Christians

Much has been said in the past few days about criticizing our fellow believers. Should we or shouldn't we?

Most of the commentors responding to my Joel Osteen posts have said NO. "Judge not," they say, "lest ye be judged." And that is good advice. We shouldn't be quick to condemn people. And that's why I posted concerning Osteen's apology as soon as I read it on his site. If I was only interested in condemning someone, I'd have never done that, nor would I have recognized the spirit in which the apology was given. Osteen is truely sorry. He doesn't try to blame anyone else for what happened (which his defenders were quick to do). He admits that he wasn't clear, he reaffirmed what he and his church believe, and he promised to do better in the future. I am praying that God will strengthen him, and give him the opportunity to do just that.

But were we wrong to criticize him? Was it wrong to call the problem to his attention? And what about "Judge not?" more...

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Osteen Apologizes

Many of you have called, written or e-mailed regarding my recent appearance on Larry King Live. I appreciate your comments and value your words of correction and encouragement.

It was never my desire or intention to leave any doubt as to what I believe and Whom I serve. I believe with all my heart that it is only through Christ that we have hope in eternal life. I regret and sincerely apologize that I was unclear on the very thing in which I have dedicated my life.

Jesus declared in John 14; I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me. I believe that Jesus Christ alone is the only way to salvation. However, it wasnÂ’t until I had the opportunity to review the transcript of the interview that I realize I had not clearly stated that having a personal relationship with Jesus is the only way to heaven. ItÂ’s about the individualÂ’s choice to follow Him.

God has given me a platform to present the Gospel to a very diverse audience. In my desire not to alienate the people that Jesus came to save, I did not clearly communicate the convictions that I hold so precious.

I will use this as a learning experience and believe that God will ultimately use it for my good and His glory. I am comforted by the fact that He sees my heart and knows my intentions. I am so thankful that I have friends, like you, who are willing to share their concerns with me.

Thank you again to those who have written. I hope that you accept my deepest apology and see it in your heart to extend to me grace and forgiveness.

As always, I covet your prayers and I am believing for GodÂ’s best in your life,

Joel Osteen

from website. more...

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June 21, 2005

Joel Osteen

I've been in debates elsewhere about Osteen, and his ministry. There are a lot of people who value his ministry, and look at the success that he's experienced as a blessing from God that we shouldn't question.

Osteen was on Larry King last night -- the transcript is here. He certainly made it clear what he believes.


more...

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June 14, 2005

Is Anyone Surprised?

You scored as Reformed Evangelical. You are a Reformed Evangelical. You take the Bible very seriously because it is God's Word. You most likely hold to TULIP and are sceptical about the possibilities of universal atonement or resistible grace. The most important thing the Church can do is make sure people hear how they can go to heaven when they die.

Reformed Evangelical

82%

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan

75%

Fundamentalist

75%

Neo orthodox

64%

Emergent/Postmodern

46%

Charismatic/Pentecostal

43%

Roman Catholic

32%

Classical Liberal

25%

Modern Liberal

7%

What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com

Boy, this thing was tough to get formatted to fit!! Had to leave off the picture.

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June 10, 2005

Open Source Theology -- The Update

This seems to be the week for revisiting old posts! No, I'm not going to repost anything this time (though I'm tempted, considering how many hits this topic gets at the old Pew), just a link to my original posting here.

A bit of an explanation -- my original post wasn't a critique on the idea of open source theology; in fact, I hadn't heard of the site until after I made the original post (and I noted it here). I'd actually never seen anything called "open source theology" and thought that the title sounded interesting. And I enjoyed carrying the software metaphor out throughout the piece. It's been included in a couple different places (including the King of the Blogs tournament) and has NEVER goten this much attention.

NOW, there are a couple comments over at the old place (both in the past week, to a post almost a year old!) -- one in particular deserves an answer.

How do you know which patches constitute an "authorized upgrade from the Manufacturer"? How do we know Reformation 1.5 was authorized? The church didn't seem to think so at the time, and now the church is in the same boat, criticizing any new work in theology because it doesn't fit well with the status quo.
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