March 13, 2007

Prosperity gospel

Tony has another interesting post, this time on a Lifeway quarterly story that sure appears to endorse the "prosperity gospel." Guy is a slacker, then 20 years later is a rich guy dressed in Armani. You do the math.

Two things about this bug me. The Prosperity gospel, of course, is ridiculous, and embarassing. How damn convenient for rich suburban Americans to decide that their wealth is because God likes them better? Or because they attend church.

Of course, a good many American Christians reject this message, but in the age of Church as Consumer good, it will always be popular, just as Ronald Reagan was popular because he told Americans things would be better and they didn't have to be ashamed to be rich and spoiled. Kind of.

The other personal annoyance is the quarterly itself. I have bad memories of Sunday School lessons drained of nuance, depth or, well, anything. Quarterlies seemed to have that as a goal--to oversimplify and avoid anything controversial or difficult.


1 comment:

Nicole said...

The more I reflect on my upbrining in the SBC, the more it is obvious to me how much doctrine there was and how little actual experience of God or grounded theology.

There are some congregations within the SBC doing amazing things, some of my family members come to mind in their churches. But as a whole, the denominational powers just keep walking toward fundamentalism grounded in culturalism, not Christ.