Posted by: Damon Whitsell | January 19, 2012

David Jones and Russell Woodbridge argue that the Prosperity Gospel has overshadowed the Gospel of Christ

Health, Wealth and HappinessSOURCE: David Jones and Russell Woodbridge. Wealth, Health & Happiness: Has the Prosperity Gospel Overshadowed the Gospel of Christ? Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2011.

During my senior year at Hillsdale College, in part because of the influence of Rev. Everett Henes and Dr. Richard Gamble, I found myself engaged in discussion on the question of the prosperity gospel.

This form of evangelical preaching promises God’s blessings in the concrete forms of healing, financial security, and general wealth, provided that listeners support the ministers who proclaim this message.  Preachers of this stripe have gathered thousands of adherents.

Dr. David Jones of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Russell Woodbridge have co-authored a short monograph on the subject.  Their work outlines the history of the modern prosperity gospel movement, and then compares it with an orthodox protestant understanding of the gospel. They conclude that prosperity preachers alter the message of Christ too far to be considered orthodox

Health, Wealth & Happiness: Has the Prosperity Gospel Overshadowed the Gospel of Christ? is a compelling read which addresses an need within current evangelicalism. If preachers such as Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, and T.D Jakes claim to preach the gospel of Christ yet link their message to financial prosperity, they have left the fold of Christianity.

Wrestling with defining orthodox Christianity (in a broader sense than the Orthodox denomination) was a large part of my Hillsdale experience, and this book contributes to that continuing discussion.

– Josh Herring, ’11.


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