November 25, 2020

Rerun: Witherington on Osteen vs. Jesus

I ran this post when the link from Ben Witherington first came out. It’s one of the best discussions of the issue with Osteen that I’ve read. Worth rerunning.

moneyman.jpgGod bless Ben Witherington, who takes on the THEOLOGY of Joel Osteen, particularly as it applies to the teaching of Jesus. Thank you, Dr. Witherington, for doing what so few others are willing to do.

American Christianity, if not staying focused on Jesus, gets in big trouble in a culture where entitlement is a tremendous temptation. Paul urged Christians to be “…holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.” That’s Jesus. This is in contrast to a kind of spirituality that grows from a person who is “…puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind…” (Colossians 2:18.) That’s a mind that says “whatever feels good is God.”

We need much teaching like Dr. Witherington does in this post: the explicit contrast of the teaching and meaning of Jesus with the errors of this subtle prosperity method. Jesus described “Your Best Life Now,” but it isn’t the Osteen positive thinking message.


  1. I’m a long time charismatic. Frankly, in the past some of these people had some impact on my life, but what’s being preached by most of these people has nothing to do with life in Christ.

    I lead a small church on the streets with homeless men. People who would want to grab hold of that kind of message. It seems every week, God brings us back to the message of dying to self – embracing the cross and following him.

    I think I’m done with traditional “charismatic” meetings. I’ll stick with my homeless guys.