Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Other Side of the Prosperity Doctrine

Carl Trueman on the prosperity problem:

"What always challenges me about prosperity doctrine is that many of us who repudiate it in theory still practice it in reality. Every time we suffer a minor setback and are tempted to curse God in our hearts, that's practical prosperity doctrine. Every time we measure our success by the size of our churches, or the near-eschatological importance of our conferences by the number of attendees and the calibre of the speakers, or our self-worth by the Reformed megastar names we can drop in conversation, we make ourselves vulnerable to accusations that we too are committed to a form of the prosperity doctrine, more subtle and all the more deadly precisely because of that subtlety.

"We are what we are in Christ, nothing more, nothing less. And in his final hours, Christ was friendless, an embarrassment to his disciples, with the fair weather followers and even his closest friends having long since abandoned him; and then, to cap it all, he was crucified. We shouldn't be complacent about the prosperity doctrine; it's not just a problem for 'them'; it's a problem for us too."