A Study in Contrasts
I came up with the idea for this sketch after seeing one of Joel Osteen’s books featured in a bookstore in the same section as one of John Piper’s books. The reason I use the title “the self-centered life” is not intended to be condescending, but to illustrate that all of Osteen’s books focus on the self (ie. Your Best Life Now, Become the Best You, It’s Your Time).
The title of the book in front of John Piper shows a contrast in the emphasis in his writings when compared to Osteen. Piper encourages readers to find their sole delight in God alone. The title “the cross centered life” is actually a book written by C.J. Mahaney (a friend of Piper’s). The cross calls us to self denial and self sacrifice. Jesus once said that unless we are willing to take up our cross daily we are not worthy to be his disciples. Joy is found, not in self actualization, but in the partnership of the sufferings of Christ.