October 25, 2020

Internet Monk Radio Podcast #156

podcast_logo.gifThis week: Osteen’s back. Chris Buckley’s book. Reader mail on the Evangelical Wilderness and how to get out of it.

Support the IM sponsors: New Reformation Press. Reformation theology for everyone. Rockbridge Seminary. Family, ministry and online seminary all coming together. Modern Reformation Magazine. Featuring my current article on discipleship. The Ministry to Children blog is “information central” for children’s ministry on the net. The Theology Program is your best non-seminary educational option. Sign up for classes or buy the whole program.

Osteen at the White Horse Inn
Losing Mum and Pup by Christopher Buckley

Want to support what I do? Use the Paypal button to make a donation or visit the Amazon Wish List.


  1. From talking with some “lifer” Catholic and Lutheran friends, it sounds like there is a generation that was not taught the significance behind liturgy, word, and sacrament. This seems to have occurred perhaps as early as the fifties through the eighties. They may not be able to explain it, because it was never properly explained to them. There were a lot of voices at that time, particularly from the charismatic movement which took mainline denominations by storm at that time, which were saying that word, sacrament, and liturgy are not important. It left these traditions in shambles, because it replaced substance with hype and empty promises. What the charismatic movement didn’t kill the church growth movement and seeker-sensitivity has since picked to the bone. I think protestants need to consider the far-reaching influences of Vatican II even on protestant worship practices (I have seen some discussions on this very point, particularly on the Calvin College website).

    Consider also how witnessing efforts during that time were focused on “saving” Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, and other main-line folks, rather than reaching out to those who had never been exposed to Christianity at all. That had to have left mainline churches short of gifted volunteers who could assist with Sunday school and instruct the younger generations. It also created a generation of unreached people in America. The destruction of nuclear and extended families probably also prevented nuances of the faith from being passed on.

  2. Preaching is an interesting issue and the perspective that folks have reveals a lot about their upbringing and their faith. I am a Baptist turned Anglican/Episcopalian and I think that my evangelical roots come out in my preaching. I tend to have a more narrative and story-telling approach to preaching, but I also give the historical background of the text, since I honestly don’t think we can properly apply scripture today when we don’t have any idea what may have been going on in peoples’ minds at the time. Because, as you say, the sermon is *a part of the liturgy* in my tradition, I try not to make the service lop-sided by going on too long or being overly didactic. I shoot for 15 minutes, but usually come out around 18, and occasionally go on for as long as 25 if I’m preaching on an in-depth topic. I stick to one take away point and try to hammer it home in several ways, rather than attempting to make multiple points in one sermon.

    I give that as background because I have actually had the experience of having widely divergent comments about the same sermon, based upon the experience of the worshiper. I had an elderly woman–a former Methodist–come up to me and say “wonderful sermon, as usual… maybe a little long, but still good..” on the same day we had a visitor–we’ll call him a lapsed baptist–that said to me later “Man, I was just getting into your sermon when you stopped…”

    All I could say was… “Well, I do this every week, you can come back for more…” :-p

  3. i wonder what osteen would say to man who has dedicated his life to ending osteens ministry?

    “Take your dreams and the promises God has put in your heart, and every day declare that they will come to pass.

    Whenever life grows difficult, and the pressure is turned up, that’s a sign that your time is near. When lies bombard your mind. When you are most tempted to get discouraged. And when you feel like throwing in the towel. That’s not the time to give up. That’s not the time to back down. That’s the time to dig in your heels. Put on a new attitude. You are closer than you think.”

    gee – thanks for the encouragement joel. =]

  4. Probably worth posting this, Driscoll on Osteen:


  5. In my church (a rather sizeable seeker-sensitive church–how’s that for alliteration?), I frequently hear the critique of the liturgical churches that they are “irrelevant”. While this is probably true, especially if they have no interest in attracting new people because they don’t want to become like “those Baptists”, I think that this is also driven by a basic misunderstanding of the liturgical ethos. If a liturgical church places a high premium on the word of God, that is going to look quite different than it would in the evangelical world; we evangelicals seem to have trouble recognizing this. I plan to write something on my own blog which speaks to this.

  6. just listened to the podcast. I wonder if one of the difficulties that evangelicals have with getting used to liturgical worship is that we are ingrained with “knowing today” mentality. The idea of spending time with something like liturgy without a sense of certainty can be really difficult for us because as we grew up in the church we were always confronted by a sense of immediacy of the gospel.

    I had some more thoughts, but they are flitting away and I’d rather not ramble. GOD bless you Michael.