Evangelist: Joel Osteen
Agenda: Find God through positive, self-esteem building message.
(yum, yum, this attracts many. positive message, encouraging, builds you up, up up! but wait.... hidden agenda... look carefully)
A former (?) Morman, his sermons and writings are sometimes reproached for their use of the concepts of prosperity theology, or the prosperity gospel, a belief that wealth and power are rewards for pious Christians. Osteen has received criticism from some in the Evangelical community.
After a 2005 appearance on Larry King Live, he was accused of not clearly affirming that Jesus Christ is the only way a person can reach Heaven. He stated repeatedly that only God knows a person's heart, but that as a believer in the Christian faith he believes in an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. In late 2006, Osteen again appeared on Larry King Live and clarified his prior statement, saying he does in fact believe a personal relationship with Christ is the only way to Heaven.
On October 14, 2007, 60 Minutes ran a twelve minute segment on Osteen titled "Joel Osteen Answers his Critics" during which the Reformed theologian Michael Horton can be seen critiquing him. Horton tells CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts that Osteen's method of teaching is Christian heresy.
On the December 23, 2007, edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace brought up criticisms of Osteen's lack of Scripture reference in his sermons, as well as his hesitancy to discuss sin as an integral part of life. Osteen responded: "And I am ultimately trying to do that, but I'm trying to teach people how to live their everyday lives, and so I do focus on it, probably not as much as some people would like."
Joel Osteen's first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, was released in October 2004. In December 2006, he was named one of the year's "Ten Most Fascinating People" by Barbara Walters. Former presidential candidate John McCain has described Osteen as "inspirational".
Name: Osteen, closely resembles esteem, or "overly esteemed"