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Jesus Needs New PR

BrianD (<-great blogger, btw) blogged yesterday about a very interesting excerpt from Cathy Lynn Grossman’s USA WEEKEND feature on Joel Osteen:

Ms. Grossman writes:

...In Osteen’s sermons, bad times can be reimagined as opportunities. Someone left you? Lost your job? Thank God! You didn’t need that person. A better job awaits. “God wants to double your blessings as he did for Job,” he says.

This all makes his critics livid. The Rev. Albert Mohler, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president and powerhouse traditionalist, whacks him for “platitudes with attitudes.” The Rev. Mark Driscoll, who packs a Seattle megachurch for doctrine-laden sermons, says Osteen reduces the pursuit of God to “lollipops and skipping while singing hymns.”

Mohler? Driscoll? “I don’t know who those people are,” Osteen says, looking genuinely mystified….

I’m shocked. But I must say, I’m also a little jealous. I wish I didn’t know who those people are! Haha… I’m kidding.

But seriously, how does somebody like Joel Osteen not know who Mark Driscoll is? It’s DRISCOLL! On Easter Sunday, he probably could have walked outside in Houston and heard Mark yelling preaching in Seattle!

Not knowing who Mohler is? Eh, not a big deal. Lots of people aren’t familiar with him.

But Mark?

What makes this even funnier is the fact that Mark has often (and very publicly) criticized Joel’s “theology.”

So who else has Joel never heard of? George Bush, Sr.? I hear they live in the same neighborhood, but maybe they’ve never seen each other? Does he know he has a wife named Victoria?

Has he heard of Facebook?

Anyway, here’s my thought: Most of the blogs I’ve read regarding this story question what this news says about Joel. And I get that. That was my first response when I read it.

But then I thought: Perhaps I should be asking what it says about me? You know, am I too much in the know? I mean, it’s not like I can “unknow” Mark Driscoll and what’s-his-name, but do I (we) spend too much time wanting (and pursuing) being in the know? Some knowledge just happens to us. But often I go out looking for it.

So yes, it’s odd (and perhaps telling) that Joel is unaware of Mark Driscoll, but maybe, just maybe, he’s the one who’s better off.

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