God's Economy: Redefining the Health and Wealth Gospel
by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
Rev. Terrye Williams
As one who finds herself frustrated in the rising popularity of the Prosperity Gospel, I was encouraged with the author’s concept of identifying God’s abundance and living within it. Fear of scarcity is a constant within our churches and a challenge to address in any important way, and I hoped I might find a more meaningful way to move hearts away from the idea of prosperity by the world’s means toward the abundance God offers.
As I read however, I found myself becoming more discouraged than encouraged. Although I have no argument with the theology for undertaking the lifestyle chosen by the author and the community he lives within, I was discouraged personally and as a pastor, knowing the large vision he presents would be too overwhelming to be wholly embraced.
It is clear that the author had a significant conversion experience to be able to make such a radical change in his life’s journey, and was fortunate to find a community of like-minded sojourners. Most folks within our congregations have had no radical conversion experience, so the challenge would be to present in such a way that the ideas are not rejected at hand. I can only imagine the response to the suggestion of not saving for your child’s college education or the lack of necessity for life and health insurance…
While I do believe this would be an excellent seminary text, for it to speak to congregational study groups effectively, I would strongly suggest suggestions as to practical “first steps” for those trying to begin changes as well as ways to identify the steps already taken.
Wilson-Hartgrove lives the kingdom of God as the “already;” for those of us trying to survive in the “not yet,” there must be a way to bring the vision in a way that encourages movement forward without asking folks to jump off the cliff.
Rev. Dr. Terrye Williams, Pastor, Hilton Christian Church (DOC), Newport News, VA