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Category Archives: American Christianity

Is this really a church? 2.0

One of the best resources for theology on the Internet is a little site called Monergism.com. The web site contains a wealth of reference materials, sermons, audio files, and book reviews. I usually like to visit the new section to see what is the new thing. Today I found a link to the newest broadcast of White Horse Inn. White Horse Inn is a radio teaching ministry hosted by Michael Horton. It centers around the teachings of reformed theology. He usually hosts the broadcast with a panel of guests to discuss a particular subject. The newest broadcast subject was “Joel Osteen: A Case Study in American Religion”. This is quite a popular topic since Joel Osteen’s “church” is the largest one in the United States.

I would encourage anyone reading to go to the audio broadcast and listen to it. I will link to it at the end of this posting. I will just mention a few of the highlights in the broadcast. One of the most agreeable comments made by the panel was that the noun “church” should be removed from his congregation at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. But one of the most memorable comments in the broadcast was made by the host Michael Horton. He described a time when he was questioned by a 60 Minutes interviewer concerning Osteen. The interviewer asked him if he thought the teaching of Osteen was heresy? Horton reflected that he told him that he did not consider his teachings to have enough content to be considered heresy. Ouch! One of the guests in the broadcast points out that this theology is not just far off the gospel teaching that when we sin, or as Osteen calls it “do wrong”,  we are sinning against a holy God. But it is not even a social gospel that teaches when we sin we are offending our neighbor. The guest says it is a gospel that teaches when we sin it is a sin against our navel or against ourselves. There is much more insight into the bad theology taught in the American church, in particular by Joel Osteen.

 Here is the audio link for the broadcast