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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Unhappy business

Why the prosperity gospel doesn't add up in good times or bad

Wealth is God’s desire for the faithful.” That’s the good news proclaimed by the prosperity gospel—and summed up by Jonathan Walton, professor of religious studies at the University of California, Riverside, in his book Watch This! (NYU Press, 2009).

photodiscOn TV, online and in countless books, the preachers of this gospel teach that affluence is both the goal and the evidence of a heart and mind fully in God. Material wealth belongs to us already, we’re assured, if we can but “name it and claim it.” If we confess with our lips we will achieve wealth. We should also put our money where our confession is — plant our wealth, in the churches and ministries of these preachers, and reap a bountiful harvest in return.


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November issue

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