I recognize that Joel Osteen is a great communicator (even Forbes does), and there are numerous things I appreciate about him and his ministry. Nevertheless, there is a repetitive theme in his ministry that I find troubling. And it is particularly troubling given the millions of people who listen to his sermons and assume that […]
As leaders, we are often told that we need to “lead like Jesus,” we need “to behave like Jesus.” But here is a sobering truth: If you do not have and are not […]
There seems to be a growing number of Joel Osteen “haters” out there. So, I thought I would point out a few things I really like about the guy and his ministry at Lakewood Church.
We packed into our green minivan and drove into the small town at the foot of the mountains. Even though we were camping, we managed to clean off our camp smell and still arrive at the small Pentecostal church a few minutes early. Upon entering their worship space, I got the suspicion that this was […]
There are not a lot of worship songs directed to the Holy Spirit. The Bible never says we would worship the Holy Spirit, but is it okay?
Pentecost Sunday is coming soon. Did you even know? If you are Pentecostal, probably not. Yet, I have heard some Pentecostals complain when their pastor hasn’t mentioned Pentecost on Pentecost Sunday. Is this a problem? Not Liturgical Most Pentecostal churches I know aren’t liturgical. The closest they come to following the liturgical calendar is celebrating Christmas and Easter. […]
“What do I need to do to become a Christian?” I asked my theology class this question today. Thankfully, no one said “invite Jesus into your heart.” Nevertheless, I was struck that their answers largely assumed that Christians have to say something to be saved—for example, say a prayer where you confess your sin, […]
Does having anxiety/depression mean that you are not good with God? (asked by a student) Very unlikely. First, if the answer were “yes,” this would mean that mental health is only a spiritual issue, which it is not. Rather, our mental health is shaped by “a complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors” […]
Many pastors in North America have complained that the college or seminary that they attended didn’t adequately prepare them for the realities of pastoral ministry—when they graduated, they didn’t feel competent for all aspects of the “job.” Hence, last year, Horizon College & Seminary (where I teach!) made a significant change from time-based education (i.e., […]
Why do some people get healed immediately after prayer, but others never get healed, even after praying for a long time? The short answer is, we don’t know why God chooses to heal some, but not others—at least not for each individual case. Hence, I’m hesitant to ever answer the question beyond this. While there […]