Read and unread

To exegete the culture
Every now and then I read a book for the simple reason that everyone else is reading it. After all, a faithful preacher needs to exegete the culture and the congregation as well as the lectionary texts.

On this theory, a while ago I picked up Joel Osteen’s Your Best Life Now. I had trouble with the initial pages and had to put the book down after two chapters. “Enlarge your vision,” the author urges. “If you develop an image of victory, success, health, abundance, joy, peace and happiness, nothing on earth will be able to hold those things from you. . . . God wants to increase you financially, by giving you promotions, fresh ideas, creativity.” As I read, I kept thinking about the people I know who face challenges that do not and will not respond to an “enlarged vision.”


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