Monday, September 29, 2008

Prosperity?

Scot McKnight links to an article by Peter Berger on the prosperity gospel. Berger goes against the consensus that the prosperity gospel is bad. It's an interesting read.

I'll be honest: I think the prosperity gospel (God wants you to be rich) is a bunch of bullshit. God doesn't want you to be hungry. That doesn't mean he's interested in giving you a BMW and a mansion (at least, not yet). I'm very mindful of Chesterton's quote that we can have a very interesting discussion about whether or not Jesus believed in fairies, but we cannot have a debate about whether or not Jesus thought rich people were in big trouble. There's simply too much evidence that he did.

Still and all, it's important to listen to people who disagree with you. And Berger does have some good points, such as the power of teaching optimism (You can do it!) and a good work ethic (see: Proverbs) to impoverished people used to discouragement, and the way Pentecostal-ish churches tend to do racial reconciliation and integration better than anyone else. It is humbling to watch someone like Joel Osteen and see how diverse his church is compared to my own, which is mostly made up of white middle-class people with (or getting) graduate degrees, aged 18-35, or as Tim calls us, "the educated poor".

But this guy still has it coming:

2 comments:

Mike said...

Guess what my favorite part of your blog was? ...still laughing...

Travis Greene said...

I know. Theology, schmeology, I just really wanted an excuse for fart humor.