Joel Osteen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Born in Houston, Texas, Osteen is one of five children of John Osteen and Dolores ("Dodie") Pilgrim. His father, a former Southern Baptist pastor, founded Lakewood Church where Osteen is the current senior pastor.[4] Osteen married his wife, Victoria L. Iloff, on April 4, 1987.[5] They have two children, Jonathan and Alexandra. His older siblings, Paul, Lisa, and Tamara, and his younger sister, April, are also involved in full-time ministry.[6] His half-brother Justin does missionary work out of New York.[7]
After 17 years producing the church's television program, Osteen succeeded his father on October 3, 1999, as pastor of Lakewood Church. He had only preached once in his life, the week before his father's death.[7] Today, Lakewood Church services, led by Pastor Joel Osteen, are seen in over 100 nations around the world.[8] Joel Osteen's first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, was released in October 2004. In December 2006, he was named one of the year's "Ten Most Fascinating People" by Barbara Walters.[9] Former presidential candidate John McCain has described Osteen as "inspirational".[10]
The Lakewood Church in Houston.
Currently, Osteen and several Lakewood Church personnel travel across the nation, presenting programs in large arenas. The event, titled "A Night of Hope", includes worship music led by the church's music ministry, a sermon from Osteen and a testimony by his mother, Dodie. In 2007, the tour expanded to include stops in several other countries, including Canada, England, Northern Ireland and Israel.[11] Osteen released his second book, titled Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day in October 2007, which also topped the New York Times Best Sellers List with a first printing of four million copies.[12][13] Osteen told Larry King the new book will focus more on relationships and not getting stuck where we are in life. "Just my basic message of becoming all God's created you to be," he added.[14]
Osteen at a Nashville book signing, 18 May 2007
Osteen's popularity led to him being featured as one of ABC News' "10 Most Fascinating People of 2006",[15] and was named "Most Influential Christian in America" in 2006 by The Church Report.[16]
It has been widely reported that Osteen attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a two year period without receiving a degree.[citation needed] Likewise, it has been reported that he has no higher level training in religious matters or Bible studies.[citation needed] In an appearance on Piers Morgan Tonight in January, 2011, Osteen mentioned that he had never attended seminary.[17]
Preaching style
On the December 23, 2007, edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday brought up Osteen's lack of Scripture reference in his sermons, as well as his hesitancy to discuss sin as an integral part of life. Osteen responded: "And I am ultimately trying to do that, but I'm trying to teach people how to live their everyday lives, and so I do focus on it, probably not as much as some people would like."[18] Osteen says that he chooses to focus on the goodness of God rather than sin.[19] Osteen explains that he tries to teach Biblical principles in a simple way, emphasizing the power of love and a positive attitude.[20]
Osteen's sermons and writings are sometimes reproached for their use of the concepts of prosperity theology, or the prosperity gospel, a belief that wealth and power are rewards for pious Christians.[21]
Political and social views
Osteen said that he is opposed to same-sex marriage in an interview wth Fox News.[22] In an interview with CNN, he further said that he believes "that homosexuality is a sin".[23][24]
In an interview on Fox News in 2008 during the U.S. Presidential primary race, when discussing whether he thought that Mormons were Christians, Osteen indicated that he believed that they were. He further noted that he had not studied the religion.[25]
On October 14, 2007, 60 Minutes ran a twelve minute segment on Osteen, titled "Joel Osteen Answers his Critics", during which Reformed theologian Michael Horton critiqued his message. Horton told CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts that Osteen's method of teaching is "heresy".[26]

    1. ^"Obituary: Pastor John H. Osteen". Houston Chronicle. 1999-01-26. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
    2. ^"Joel Birthday-1963-March-05". Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-05-08.
    3. ^"Joel Osteen's still the name leaders know". The Washington Times. 2008-09-05.
    4. ^Christ Notes, Joel Osteen Books and Ministry
    5. ^ Vital Records – Harris County, TX – Marriage 1987
    6. ^ Osteen, Dodie. "Choosing Life: One Day At A Time." New York: Free Press, 2001
    7. ^ ab Mathieu, Jennifer. Power House. HoustonPress News. 4 April 2002
    8. ^Lakewood Church, Joel Osteen Ministries. About Pastors Joel & Victoria
    9. ^ Kwon, Lillian. Joel Osteen Dubbed 'Most Fascinating'. 11 December 2006.
    10. ^[1][dead link]
    11. ^Joel Osteen Ministries Events
    12. ^
    13. ^New Osteen Book at Three Million. Publisher's Weekly. 13 April 2007.
    14. ^CNN Larry King Live: Interview With Joel and Victoria Osteen. 11 December 2006.
    15. ^"The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006". 20/20. ABC. 2006-12-12.
    16. ^"The 50 Most Influential Christians in America". The Church Report. Jan 07. Christy Media, LLC.. January 2007.
    17. ^ Joel Osteen (January 24, 2011). Piers Morgan: Joel Osteen: Homosexuality is 'a sin'. Turner Broadcasting. Event occurs at 1:11. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
    18. ^"Transcript: Pastor Joel Osteen on 'FNS'". FOX News. 2007-12-23.,2933,318054,00.html. Retrieved 2008-01-06.
    19. ^Fox News on Osteen
    20. ^ Joel Osteen Answers His Critics. 14 October 2007.
    21. ^"Meet the Prosperity Preacher". BusinessWeek. 2005-05-23. Retrieved 2008-06-21.
    22. ^Joel Osteen: Being Gay Is A Sin, But I Don't Dislike Gay People retrieved 11 May 2011
    23. ^ Piers Morgan (January 24, 2011). " Video". CNN.
    24. ^Tenety, Elizabeth (January 28, 2011). "Joel Osteen: 'Homosexuality is a sin'". Washington Post: p. B2.
    25. ^"Transcript: Pastor Joel Osteen on 'FNS'". FOX News. 2007-12-23.,2933,318054,00.html. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
    26. ^"Joel Osteen Answers his Critics". CBS News. 2007-10-14. Retrieved 2011-05-13.