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Current Events
Tim Schraeder has written a wonderful synopsis of Joel Osteen’s appearance on Oprah’s new show over the weekend.  I think it’s worth your read. Some of the more interesting things to me: On preaching prosperity: Why would people think preaching prosperity is a bad thing?
  • I don’t know who would say that you aren’t supposed to leave your children better off than you were.
  • Prosperity isn’t just financial… it’s abundant life… body, soul, mind, and spirit.
  • You can’t be a blessing if you are poor, broke and depressed.
If you are poor, broke, and depressed is it because you aren’t praying enough or aren’t in alignment?
  • It’s a mixture of things.
  • I think there are forces trying to hold us all down.
  • A lot of it is just that we choose to accept things as they are.
  • We have to choose to rise out of it.
On criticism: You have been criticized by fundamentalists about the lack of doctrine or Christ in the messages… 
  • I try to search my own heart every morning.
  • I feel like if I am pure before God and my heart is right, I don’t have to listen to my critics or answer to them.
  • I answer to God.
  • I try to stay focused on what God has called me to do.
On money: Where does the money you live your life with come from?
  • We don’t take a salary from the ministry.
  • It comes from books sales and other things like that.
  • I don’t make apologies for God’s blessings.
  • We’re big givers, we practice what we preach.
  • Money should never be the focus of your life.
  • Your focus should be to be a blessings to others.
  • Wishing you were someone else is an insult to God.
  • He made each one of us as a masterpiece.
Universalism and Homosexuality: Are there many paths to get to the one God?
  • Jesus is the way to the one God.
  • And I believe there are many paths to Jesus.
  • I’m not into excluding people.
Are gay people also included?
  • Absolutely.
  • I believe gay people will be accepted in Heaven.
  • We look at being gay as being a bigger sin than being prideful.
  • I don’t believe God categorizes sins.
  • We are all changing.
  • We need to be willing to change and grow.
  • Heaven is open for all of us.
Are you saying that being gay is a sin?
  • I believe homosexuality is a sin, according to the Bible.
  • When I read the Scripture with good faith, I see it as being a sin.
Overall, it looks like a good performance by Osteen. Your thoughts? Take a moment to read more of Tim’s synopsis of the whole interview here…      
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Controversy
Can I make a confession?  I’m about Rob Bell’d out. But this interview has been the best, or at least the most engaging yet.  Take a look… Was the interviewer too harsh, or was he pushing in the right direction? Actually… this turned more into a debate than an interview.  Who got the upper hand on this exchange?
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Controversy
Rob Bell has a new book coming out on March 29, and it’s already stirring a lot of controversy. Even the title of the book is provocative: Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. As you can tell from the book promo from the publisher, it raises some very important questions.  Even before Bell gives his answer to the questions he raises in this video, people are taking sides: Justin Taylor has a not so good feeling about the book, that he blogs about at The Gospel Coalition. John Piper tweeted the following:  “Farewell Rob Bell” with a link to Taylor’s post. But another blogger, Scott McKnight thinks all the jabs at Bell may be a little premature… especially since we haven’t seen exactly what he has to say about universalism… at least not yet.  McKnight is quoted at Christianity today as saying:
Justin may be right about what Rob believes, but if he is wrong then he owes Rob Bell a huge apology. I want to wait to see what Rob Bell says, read it for myself, and see what I think of it. Rob is tapping into what I think is the biggest issue facing evangelicalism today, and this fury shows that it just might be that big of an issue.
I think we’ll have to wait and see. But until then… what’s YOUR view of the video?  Is it just a great promotional video, or is Rob Bell really going to reveal his universalist theology? Leave a comment with your thoughts… Todd
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