Joel Osteen is the American author of myriad self-help books describing how Christians can live up to the Bible's ideals. The senior pastor of Houston Texas' Lakewood Church, Osteen is also a prominent televangelist whose broadcasts are viewed by over seven million people throughout the world.
Osteen's father was the founder of Lakewood Church and a Baptist pastor himself. In 1999, Osteen's father died, leaving Joel to take over as pastor, though he had delivered only one sermon in his lifetime. Despite his inexperience, Osteen excelled at preaching and his ministry continued to grow. He began writing books based on his teaching and his first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, was published in 2004.
Osteen's preaching style, which focuses on God's love rather than the effects of sin, has been heavily criticized by the Evangelical community. He has also changed his position on whether a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven, sparking criticism from Michael Horton who remarked that Osteen's teachings were Christian heresy. Despite the criticism, Osteen and his ministry have achieved worldwide success. He was named the Most Influential Christian in America by The Church Report and continues to broadcast and publish his views of Christianity.
For an inspiring Christian motivational manual, try Daily Readings from Your Best Life Now, available on audio download. Also available on MP3 format is It's Your Time, Osteen's manual on raising expectations and your hope for a better future. Finally, there is Your Best Life Now, available as an audiobook on download or CD, which shows readers how to reach their life goals and lead a more rewarding life.