Friday, August 19, 2005

Interesting article on Houston's Joel Osteen

Texas Monthly is one of the magazines on my personal reading list, but it is one that I usually just scan to get a sense of what is going on around the state. If I find something interesting, I usually read it. This month (August 2005), the cover story is the article "Prime Minister" written by William Martin. It covers the life and ministry of Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church and widely known for his television program and books; his bestseller, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, is a book that I have often seen people read on the commute to work. As a note, you need to be a subscriber to read the article online, which is why I did not link to it. However, if you live in Texas, odds are this is one magazine most public libraries will pick up. While the article is a bit on the rosy side, rosy in the sense that it seems to be very favorable to the pastor, it is still interesting nonetheless. For anyone who does not know much about the pastor, and that includes me), the article gives some background on the church, how Joel Osteen came to become its pastor, and how the church is moving into the future. I found particularly interesting how he answers some of his critics who see his brand of religion as "Christianity Lite." I will note that I am transplant to Texas, and before I came here for my job, I had seen the preacher while channel surfing, but kept on surfing (ok, so maybe I stopped for a minute or two. The guy does have an enthusiasm that is hard to ignore, even for heathens like me who do move on after the minute or so of peeking). I have come to learn that he is quite the presence in Houston, enhanced by the church's move into the Compaq Center. Regardless of where readers stand, the article presents a very optimistic man who seems sincere in his faith. Overall, the article is well written and worth a look. While readers do not have to read the Harper's piece, for me at least, it made a nice complement.

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