Name It & Claim It

Corrie Mitchell recently wrote an insightful piece about the popularity of the so-called prosperity gospel that focuses on ten Scriptures leading preachers in this movement often misuse.  While I have heard many people try to dismiss this version (or, if you prefer, perversion) of Christianity as a fad or as something that reaches only a small number, the longstanding popularity of people like Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, and Creflo Dollar suggest the movement is far too significant to be Read More …

Happy Christian Tweeters

While multiple research studies have sought to determine if Christians are happier than atheists, only one has considered this by relying solely on data from tweets.  The results of this new study conducted by a research team led by University of Illinois psychologist Ryan Ritter are published in the June edition of Social Psychological and Personality Science. Ritter and his colleagues focused on over 877,000 tweets written by over 7,500 individuals following one or more of five well known Read More …

Religious Rockstars on Twitter

Christina Chaey recently placed the following people on her list of religious rockstars on Twitter: Pope Benedict XVI (@Pontifex)  Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) Joel Osteen (@JoelOsteen) Joyce Meyer (@JoyceMeyer) Jesse Jackson, Sr. (@RevJJackson) Reverend Run (@RevRunWisdom) Rick Warren (@RickWarren) Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (@RabbiShmuley)   So What? My immediate response to reading this list was to see how many of the religious rockstars I was already following (3) and Read More …

Joel Osteen Meets Reality TV

I have never really understood  the popularity of the so-called "reality tv shows." I have never really understood, although I have studied it at far greater length, the popularity of megachurch pastor Joel Osteen. I don't pretend to know what will come of the agreement Osteen made to develop a reality tv show with "famed reality tv producer Mark Burnett." Each episode of the show will apparently feature 300-500 of Osteen's faithful (members of his Lakewood Church in Houston, TX) Read More …

American Faith at an All-Time High

Joel Osteen is truly unique.  He is Pastor of America's largest congregation; Preacher of happiness (above all else); and an Accidental popular author and preacher ("inherited" his dad's congregation and has no formal training - e.g. seminary). Cheryl Wetzstein's article in the Washington Post provides a look into his latest claim: "I see faith in America at an all-time high."   So What? Of course, Osteen bases this lofty assertion on nothing more than his own incredibly Read More …

America’s Largest Churches

Writing for USA Today, Cathy Lynn Grossman shares the largest churches in America according to Outreach Magazine's latest survey: Lakewood Church in Houston, TX, led by Joel Osteen, average weekly worship attendance: 43,500 North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA, led by Andy Stanley, average weekly worship attendance: 27,429 Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL, led by Bill Hybels, average weekly worship attendance:  24,377 Southeast Christian Church in Read More …