A Jagged Contention: God the Commodity

As Marx said of a market-driven culture, “All that is solid melts into the air.” God, too, becomes a commodity—a product or therapy that we can buy and use for our personal well-being. Exemplifying the moralistic and therapeutic approach to religion, [Joel Osteen’s] message is also a good example of the inability of Boomers to mourn in the face of God’s judgment or dance under the liberating news of God’s saving mercy. In other words, all gravity is lost—both the gravity of our problem and of God’s amazing grace. According to this message, we are not helpless sinners—the ungodly—who need a one-sided divine rescue. (Americans, but especially we Boomers, don’t take bad news well.) Rather, we are good people who just need a little instruction and motivation.

– Michael Horton, Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church. Pgs. 70-71


Without delving too much into Osteen or Boomer-bashing, what do you think gives rise to the need to turn God into a commodity? What steps can churches and pastors take to proclaim God in all His “gravity?”

Share your thoughts in the comments below