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12.30.2005    |    Catholicism Wow!
If you don't recognize this version of our savior, perhaps you've not been paying close attention to Joel Osteen. Sort of. The image is part of the new "Catholicism Wow!" that Cardinal Glick unveiled in the movie "Dogma". Oh, that's not real, is it? Neither is Joel Osteen's views of the Gospel.

In life-imitating-art, we have Joel Osteen and his feel-good boosterism approach to God. Joel is hardly unique in this. It's a soft gospel that doesn't deny the real Gospel. Doesn't much affirm it, either. It just seems to be a vanilla-verging-on-unflavored gelatin brand of Christianity. With promises of joy and properity if you just behave yourselves. Oh, deeds.

As should be evident from his appearance with Larry King (transcript here), Osteen basically neither affirms nor denies our Lord as the way, and only way, to God. As for condemnation for those who reject Christ as Lord? Fugeddaboudit. You are all good; it is all good. Why bother with those pesky biblical thingies?

Well, my name is John Luke for a reason. I'm named after John and Luke the Evangelists. From Eagle boy John, Chapter 12:48, this on affirmation of the Lord:
The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.
In context, this verse means that when that last trump sounds, baby, you're going to be separated from God forever unless you confess Christ as Lord. In your heart, with full repentance.

Of course, you may think that Buddy Christ is the way to go. He's certainly not limited to Catholics. In the Buddy Christ-Joel Osteen universe, witches and worshippers of Baal can get in. What a downer if they couldn't!

Oh, and by the way -- you can get your very own Catholicism Wow! t-shirt, with the imprimatur of Cardinal Ignatius Glick. Don't wait; supplies are limited.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.