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  1. hm. it doesn’t matter to me who knows and doesn’t know driscoll or mohler. as long as they know and love Jesus Christ. however, joel osteen is a bit far from orthodoxy so…sure it would help to know great teachers. i’m still a young guy so i may be ignorant, don’t bash me. but does it seem like everyones starting to worship these good teachers? keller, piper, driscoll, mohler, etc. i love these guys. but i’m not about to bash osteen for not knowing who they are.

    1. I agree. I like these teachers as well, but we need to be careful and remember they are just dudes the same as the rest of us. We should only be Worshiping Jesus.

  2. Victor, you’re not ignorant, you’re right on. This type of blog entry should have never made it on the Gospel Coalition website. There has to be more important issues to put on their main site. I hope this is not the type of “news” that the GC wants to promote.

    C’mon, we can do better than this…

    1. Victor and Brian and now Jacob,

      The point is not to bash Osteen. Don’t you think it’s revealing that the man who pastors the largest congregation in America doesn’t know the name of the president of one of the largest seminaries in the world?

      I’d say it’s analogous to a political candidate being asked about major political figures who have criticized him, and rather than engage the issues or the dispute, the candidate shows that he’s unaware that he has critics. Doesn’t even know who these people are. Blissfully ignorant–not bashing. It’s a telling interaction . . .


      1. i understand. well, i would have to say it would be a bad thing if he said in his usual manner, “well, Larry, I just don’t care. my goal is just to love these men with the love of Christ and leave at that :).” but he basically said, “um, who? who are you talking about?” i think we can start blaming him when he dismisses criticism and refuses to back up his theology. but if the man has no idea who certain people are, we can’t blame him. maybe he is so caught up in his own ministry that he really doesn’t know. or no one has told him. or maybe he doesn’t google his own name. we can’t say he was being careless. right? well, i don’t dislike your blog post. just the part that it was “funny and sad”. you’re right it is very telling, but its neither funny nor sad to me. just notable.

  3. The fact that you would critique (sad), slightly mock (funny), and think it says something (telling commentary) about a fellow Christian for not knowing the names of two men is heartbreaking. While you may not be a fan of Osteen or his teachings there is a way to critique a person and it is not through this manner, especially in a public setting. If Christianity and the Gospel Coalition has gotten to a place where we mock other Christians on our blogs for comments they made about not knowing other people then we have reached a sad state of affairs. I think you would be wise to remove this from your blog and apologize for the manner in which you would treat a fellow Christian in a public forum.

    1. Jacob,
      If you can’t stand the sight of your own blood, then public ministry is not for you. I think you would be wise to cancel your membership to the Society of the Easily Offended and apologize to Dr. Hamilton for pouting on his blog.


    I don’t think it’s necessary to apologize and remove this post. Dr. Hamilton’s analogy was quite appropriate, I would say. In a similar manner, for the governor of New York not to know the name of the governor of California wouldn’t be encouraging in the slightest.

    Furthermore, these aren’t just teams with fans where there is little consequence for supporting one or the other. This is about getting the Gospel right. That’s nonnegotiable. An impromper view of sin can lead people astray quite easily.

    1. James. I agree with you. these are higher stakes than teams with fans. But ultimately this post does not create a division over the Gospel (although that might be the underlying issue). It creates division over whether or not another person acknowledges someone we respect, admire, like, etc…By all means critique Osteen on his theology, his teaching, the ways he can at times undermine the Gospel, but don’t critique him for not knowing certain people. Doing that only makes us look bad, not him, and hurts our testimony to the Gospel.

      And if we feel like Osteen is just using this as a way to dismiss his critics, then ask that questions, don’t just assume it as fact. The article didn’t take it in the light and we don’t help ourselves to just read it in there. If we are going to do these things in public, that is critique each other, than we need to do it delicately and with great care, otherwise let’s take it behind closed doors.

    2. James, right on! The great doctrines we get from the Bible of sin, judgement, hell, Jesus, the cross, and righteousness are to never be compromised.

  5. It could be funny as in “who are these 2 guys to criticize me?” It was a bit witty, Joel’s comment.

    But it certainly is sad that he doesn’t know who these men are, or seemingly care to know. They are not obscure men. It is a sign that he does not know what is going on in the greater church.

    One of the things I find in reading the letters of John Newton (or some of the other great pastors of the past) is how they knew or knew of the other influential pastors of their time. These men, busy with ministry, did not live in a hole under a rock. They were aware of what was going on. They cared about the Body of Christ, not just their congregation. That meant more than writing a book (or having a TV show). It meant and means listening and dialoging.

    Yes, I hope this will prompt him to investigate these men, listen to what they have to say and maybe even talk to them. It would do him good.

  6. Oh mercy, such a short post, yet so many overwrought hand-wringings!

    So Joel Osteen repeatedly fails to enunciate even the fundamentals of the Gospel — and that’s being kind — but it’s really Jim Hamilton (sound, passionate, Biblical) who needs to be called to repentance for this mild expression of display. Now, that’s sad and telling — but not funny.

    Meanwhile, Dr. Mohler himself notes that there is another credibility-issue in there somewhere.

      1. Yeah, exactly what I was thinking. Sounded more like a lie or a jab to me than an expression of ignorance

  7. I think that Joel Osteen is a dangerously smart guy…smart enough to play dumb about guys of whom is almost certainly familiar as a means of perpetuating his positive image on a grand scale. I am deeply concerned for those who are following this man.

  8. You guys are hilarious! I’m just kidding about not knowing who these two are but you guys are funny going back and forth like this. Get a grip! Osteen is not going to know these guys and who cares? You think Driscoll is paying attention to every “Osteen” that wanders across the T.V. screen…I doubt it. This is a great site, I love it but sometimes you guys do silly things but that’s ok…it makes me laugh!

  9. i am as critical of osteen as anyone i know, but i’m with the people who are confused as to why this is sad. who gives a rip if someone doesn’t know who driscoll is? sure the guy is being used by God, but a lot of people are. he isn’t CH Spurgeon. and Mohler is a bit harder to miss as he isn’t just influential in the academic world but he’s in magazines and on TV a lot speaking for conservatism into culture, but i still don’t see why this is “sad”. their just men. maybe this is sad to the people who relish in the “Christians as celebrities” culture. i respect these guys, and i check mohler’s website often and love to read him, but come on people. it’s way more “telling” that he once said his job wasn’t to exposit Scripture.

  10. As a Christian living in Houston, I am often presented with the “Osteen problem.” I don’t want to unnecessarily criticize a brother in Christ, but much of what Osteen says – including this remark about Mohler and Driscoll – is deserving of critique. It’s a constant tension of speaking the Truth but doing so in a way without sinning.

    Sadly, I have many friends that attend Osteen’s church, listen to his teachings, read his books, etc. and as a result believe they are saved from Hell, deserving of riches, etc. Unfortunately, Osteen’s flock often falls for lies from his pulpit. I wish it weren’t so, but it often is the case. It’s frustrating because he is so influential.

    1. My dad lives in PA and I once asked him about our friend Joel. He said, ” yeah, I like him, he makes me feel good.” Reminds me of what Piper mentioned before while preaching…”i am not here to apply happy icing to the cake of your self-esteem.”

  11. No one is making idols out of these guys. The point is when you have that much influence,
    you should be well read and know what is going on in the christian world besides “your thing”. Pastors need to be pastored. Most of the time listening to these type of men
    who you know are following and preaching the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” helps you to
    stay encouraged and faithful to the truth. There is nothing funny about that. It is a major
    responsibility for anyone standing in the pulpit to preach the truth not their version of it. A lot of pastors of small churches are out there alone and need all the help they can get. If we are smart enough to know that, then you would think Joel would care enough about the people he is pastoring to want to lead them down the “Narrow Path” and not the “Wide” one. But of course it is costly to do that now days. People want a “show” not a pastor that will challenge them to live like Jesus lived. Just try it and you will see what I mean.

  12. wood, the encouragement you are talking about can come from many places. believe it or not, there are a LOT of wonderful, godly pastors out there that have zero idea who driscoll is. not knowing doesnt mean anything. he is one pastor among many. again, osteen is leading people astray, but i still havent heard why him not knowing who driscoll is has anything to say about that. why should i know who he is? ive read 5 of driscolls books and their fine, but there are other people out there that i would hope people were aware of way before driscoll. i still dont see why its “sad” that someone, even someone influential, hasnt heard of him. this post just doesnt make sense. its a fallacious attempt to slam osteen for something other than the things he should be slammed for, and lifts mohler and driscoll to some plateau that no man should be placed on. as much as i love these guys, they dont deserve it. no one does.

  13. I used to attend Mark Driscoll’s church. It was quite refreshing to get out of it and realize how many genuine, orthodox Christians in Seattle had little if any idea who he was.

  14. I’m no Osteen fan, but I’m not sure Jesus would know, or care, who Driscoll and Mohler are.

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