I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life by Joel OsteenI think its fair to say that I was a little shocked by this book - I was not prepared for the outlandish extravagance of Joel Osteens rejection of biblical Christianity! Error, layered on top of error, layered on top of error.
Here are my notes:
- More than half of the biblical passages quoted were clearly misinterpreted or wrongly applied. This was apparent with only a moments reflection, or a brief check on the verse in context.
- Many of the 31 declarations are phrased almost in a horoscope style, with a magical/mystical flavour.
- The entire book is I-centred. I dominates the 31 declarations. A summary statement from the conclusion: There is nothing more powerful than you declaring victory over your life (169).
- Osteens underlying theological approach seems to be to take the biblical promises of the blessings which Christians will experience after Christs return and apply them to life now. Multiple verses were blatantly misapplied in this manner, taken from passages which explicitly describe promises of blessing after death or Christs return. The Christians experience of blessing after death is not mentioned at all in the book, replaced by the view that life now can and should be like heaven.
- Some obvious & basic errors - incorrect verses quoted, translations wrongly attributed or perhaps altered, errors in basic definitions etc.
- My favourite outlandishly ridiculous interpretation: God anointing Davids head with oil (Psalm 23) means that our lives are meant to smooth and easy, because oil is a lubricant that makes things flow. Seriously! Page 105.
- Osteen universally assumes that our dreams equal Gods plan for us. Whatever we desire, God will give us, as we speak it into existence. Its not hard to see why Osteens message is so alluring - all that you dream of can be yours!!
- The other-focused chapters werent too bad - encouraging and building others up.
- I dont particularly object to Osteens positive thinking approach, and some of his be positive encouragements are fine. I do object to the way he coopts and distorts the Christian message to make it a vehicle for these motivational messages.
- The books basic message: You must do all this (persevere in speaking blessing into existence, etc etc) in order for God to bless you. Gods blessing is thus dependent on human performance, rather than on Gods sovereign grace. Behaviour leads to blessing. The gospel, in its declaration that God has decisively and completely done everything necessary in Christ to ensure our eternal blessing, is quite absent. (My reflection: The bitter end of this path must be that if anyone is not experiencing Gods blessing, the fault is within themselves. This is the horribly damaging aspect of this kind of teaching - in their most vulnerable moments, people will be stripped of the comfort of the gospel and instead told that if only they had more faith, they would be healed or restored.)
Joel Osteen - Declare Favor
21 Quick Powerful Declarations
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Download PDF Read online. Broken into thirty-one segments, this book defines the most powerful blessings in Scripture and encourages readers to declare one each day for a month. The declarations will affirm God's blessings in the area of health, family legacy, decisions, finances, thoughts, outlook, and overcoming obstacles. Don't focus on what's. Search this site. Download Key of Z pdf by Claudio Sanchez.
From the fullness of grace, we all have received one blessing after another".
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