Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Tip From My Wife, the Travel Agent

If you want to spend New Year's weekend at a luxury hotel in Vegas, don't try to book your trip on December 26 or 27. You won't get anything.

If you want to fly to the Caribbean and stay at a resort over New Year's weekend, again, don't try to book your trip on December 26 or 27. It won't happen.

Thank you, that is all.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Hallelujah Everybody Say Cheese.....


Merry Christmas...from the family

Monday, December 18, 2006

Joel Osteen and Openness Theology.

When someone like John MacArthur or Al Mohler goes on Larry King, they do not shy away from Scripture. Here, Joel Osteen dances around a basic Christian belief: the exclusivity of Christianity.

I think this is sad, but I have to admit, I am not surprised. I think Osteen represents the best case (unknowingly to himself) of a form of Openness Theology.
When I say that I mean this, he does not believe God is in control as a Sovereign God.

Here are a few things Osteen has said and I will compare them to some quotes from the book, The Openness of God.

Osteen:
"You can cancel out God's best plan by speaking negative words." -"Speaking Faith Filled Words," Tape # 223. Daystar Television, May 2, 2004

"Many of you today know this, you believe it down here in your heart. But the reason that your not experiencing as much as you should is because your not declaring it. You've got to give life to your faith by speaking it out. Your words have creative power. When you go around saying, 'I have favor, people want to be good to me and supernatural doors are opening.' When you make those declarations of faith, you are charging the atmosphere. And your own words can help to bring it to pass. That is why we should get into the habit of every day consistently speaking God's favor over our lives." -"Experiencing More Of God's Favor," Tape # 212, Daystar, July 10, 2004

"And really, we are who we are today in large part because of the words that have been coming out of our mouth. Understand this--our words will become a self fulfilling prophecy....The Bible says in Proverbs, 'We're snared by the words of our mouth."
(Joel Osteen, "Speaking Faith Filled Words," Tape # 223. Daystar Television, May 2, 2004)

"Don't use your words to describe your situation--use your words to change your situation. You are prophesying your future."
(Joel Osteen, "Speaking Faith Filled Words," Tape # 223. Daystar Television, May 2, 2004)

Now some quotes from The Openness of God:
We believe God can never know with certainty what will happen in any context that involves freedom of choice. (163)

We do not believe that God can unilaterally ensure that all and only that which he desires to come about in our world will in fact occur. (159)

The will of God, therefore, is not an irresistable, all-determining force. God is not the only actor on the stage of history.
-----------------------

Now, I do recognize that OVT is basically interacting more with salvation history and prophesy in most of their writings. The Openness writings I have read have not been filtered down to a "practical level" of how to teach this from the pulpit, but it translates well into Osteen's overall message: you are powerful enough to make God work for your benefit.

I think that's the overall problem: for Osteen, God is good to his people, not because he chooses to be, but because his people declare stuff, so he's obligated to make it happen. In essence, man has this dynamic relationship with a dynamic God, who does not fully have the future mapped out. In Osteen's construct man can miss out because he thwarts God's best for his life.
For instance, if Osteen were to meet the OT Biblical character Joseph, it would not be God that put him in the pit and later into slavery, but the onus would be on Joseph. We know that Genesis teaches that God was orchatrating the events despite what happened, but what I have seen and heard from Osteen seem to indicate he does not believe that.

I would love to hear Osteen's take on St. Paul's "thorn in the flesh" that is mentioned in 2 Cor 12. Was it Paul's wrong declarations that kept him from deliverance?

Herein lies the chief problem in Osteen's view of the power of our words: it does not match Biblical data. We simply do not have the liberty to pick and choose portions of Scripture, ripped out of context, to make them say what we want. It's dangerous. The idea that we can miss out on God's plan because of US does two things: it diminshes God's glory and elevates man to a level that Scripture does not teach. Instead of man being in God's image, God has been made into man's image in the way Osteen teaches.
I think a very helpful discussion on human freedom can be found in Calvin's Institutes, Book 2, Chapter 2. In paragraph 10, after a discussion on philosophical teachings on human freedom, as well as Patristic teachings, Calvin basically warns that when we come to the area of teaching more freedom for humanity than Scripture allows, we rob God of his glory. I think this is the crux. The relationship between God and man is Creator-creature. God as the Creator has the right to rule over his creation, not the other way around. That is not to say humans are unfree in their will, but it is to say that we cannot best God.
Remember Jesus' prayer: "your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." He did not say, "your will be done hopefully on earth since your creatures have so much power with their words, as it is in heaven."

I hope that more Evangelicals will wake up as Osteen gains more publicity and see that his strains of Openness Theology are dangerous. Let us pray for Osteen to see this and for others to see this as well.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Posting has been light...

I've had finals and others issues like that to deal with. Fun times.

Oh, and I found out that the reason I thought I had a broken wrist, isn't because it's broken, but because I have a benine cyst that needs to be removed. Hopefully that will take place shortly.

Now back to writing my final paper for Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion class.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Adrian Peterson 2005 Highlight Video

Man, I wish he'd not gotten hurt this season. I miss him.

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