Sean Lucas has written a very helpful piece on Joel Osteen, which gets to the heart of the matter (Watching Joel Osteen).
The part that particularly caught my attention was,
“I couldn’t help but think about John Piper’s question from God is the Gospel (and other places): do you delight more in the fact that God makes much of you in the Gospel or that the Gospel frees you to make much of God? The fault in Osteen’s message is that it overplays and wrongly prioritizes the fact that God makes much of us (and God does make much of us: as I read in my morning worship today, God cried out to a wayward Israel, “How can I give you up, O Ephraim?…My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender” Hosea 11:8). The biblical priority is that God in the Gospel rescues, delivers, frees and sustains us to make much of God. He is the great good in the Good News…”
As I have stated previously (Two Things That Must Always Be Remembered in Justification), the glory of God lays at the center of the Gospel’s focus. The Gospel always takes dead aim at the glory of God. Or as Calvin wrote in the Institutes, “…we must hold this as a universal principle: whoever glories in himself, glories against God,” (3.13.2).