Joel Osteen didn’t get where he is today by staking out controversial positions on biblical and moral issues. America’s prophet of Your Best Life Nowbuilt his reputation, and his international following, on an updated version of prosperity theology, laced with ample doses of pop psychology. The ever-smiling and effervescent pastor of America’s largest congregation has done his best to avoid association with doctrinal matters. More to the point — he has done his best to avoid talking about sin.

Osteen would rather offer platitudes about attitudes. “God wants you to be a winner, not a whiner,” he asserts. Talking in any detail about sin would be to insert negativity into his relentlessly upbeat message.

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