*We will NOT be meeting on Tuesday, October 12th. So be ready to discuss chapter 4 on Tuesday the 19th.
Horton pegs Osteen as the arch-prophet of legalism light, the perfect fit with the sinlessness we learned about in chapter 2. “We don’t have any real rules, we just need to love God and love our neighbor”—as if that were not law (Matthew 22) and as if that was within our reach as people characterized by NOT doing what is good and righteous (Romans 3)! Hopelessness and powerlessness will be the outcome of such religion given that it is void of a legitimate gospel.
While it is easy to throw stones at Mr. Million Dollar Smile, a sober listen to scores of evangelical sermons that assume the gospel and merely moralize with “biblical principles” (read laws) remind us that judgment should begin at home. Let’s call for and demand (of ourselves and others) that the gospel not be assumed, but proclaimed with clarity. For then and only then should the many important imperatives be proclaimed. In other words, everything needs to be deliberately grounded in the gospel (e.g. Romans 1-11/12-16; Ephesians 1-3/4-6).
Here is a helpful excerpt designed to help us to not assume the gospel. My favorite diagnostic question is “Could you have preached that sermon if Christ had not died on the cross?”
Here is also a good video follow up from Mike himself.
Hang in there with the reading and keep showing up for good conversation.
For those who wanted the MacArthur critique of Schuller, here it is in pictures: