And We will try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives, and fruits; but give glad tidings to the patient, who, when a misfortune overtakes them, say, ‘Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.’
It is these on whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy, and it is these who are rightly guided. (Al Quran 2: 155-157/156-158)
Suggested reading and viewing:
Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times
Joel Osteen has no less than a thousand, half hour wonderful presentations, about positive thinking, hope, optimism and success. Most of these are available in YouTube and a few will be linked in this post.
Some of these are repetitions but almost every sermon has some new materials and metaphors.
He is a Christian Pastor but I felt that it would be such a loss if I don’t share these with our Muslim readers. He mostly talks about God of the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism and Christianity. Additionally, for the Muslim readers, whenever he speaks of the Bible we could choose to substitute it with the Quran and whenever he refers to Jesus we can suitably imply Allah or Muhammad, may peace be on him.
By such simple substitution almost all of his presentations become perfectly kosher and halal for the Muslim audience, who can greatly benefit from his oratory and scholarship.
Listening is the modern form of reading and by listening for a few hours, audience can gather years of reading of Osteen.
Some Muslims worry about the influence of the Christian dogma and I don’t have the slightest fear of those false doctrines, as we have scores of amazing articles to present a rational form of Christianity and expose the absurdity of her dogma like Trinity, divinity of Jesus, birth of God, Original Sin and Eucharist.
Nevertheless, Islam and Christianity, both share the theology of Providence of God and compassionate and just living among the humanity and there we can share and work together and applaud each other and need not create artificial walls. Allah says in the holy Quran: “Say, `O people of the Book ! come to a word equal to us and you – that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partner with Him, and that some of us take not others for Lords beside Allah.’ But if they turn away, then say `Bear witness that we have submitted to God.'” (Al Quran 3:64/65)
In the last century, Dale Carnegie with his book, How to make friends and influence people, set the tone for social and business life, during this century with his televangelism, Joel Osteen is setting the tone for positive thinking and optimism.
According to a BBC survey a billion people in the world are suffering from anxiety and depression and the world badly needs a voice of hope and optimism.
In that spirit I will catalog several of his presentations over time.