The Lost Cause of the Prosperity Gospel

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While it's not surprising that a who's who of prosperity gospel televangelists held a prayer meeting with Donald Trump at the Trump Tower, it is at least striking that a group of Christian leaders would so readily discredit both themselves and the gospel they claim to believe.Truly, the prosperity gospel itself discredits everyone and everything associated with it, but this was just like, "Hey, gross abuse of the gospel for personal gain, I'm gonna see your 60 million dollar Gulfstream … [Read more...]

HBO’s John Oliver takes televangelists and prosperity preachers to task – and it is PERFECT


On Sunday night, John Stewart's true heir apparent set his sights on the still-booming televangelist/prosperity gospel industry, digging up current footage of the uber-slimy Robert Tilton, and treating us to more mainstream hucksters like Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Creflo Dollar, and Mike Murdoch - the latter of which may, by my reckoning, actually be the slimiest con-man of them all.In his characteristic style (with plenty of English fooking's), Oliver blows the lid off the IRS exemptions … [Read more...]

Five Problems With Grace


I know, I know. If there is anything sacred in the American church today, especially among younger, post-evangelical, and charismatic Christians, it would be the concept of grace.While the neo-Calvinists certainly talk about grace - doctrines of grace, irresistible grace, saving grace, common grace, etc. - they are often not so gracious, you know, to people who don't agree with them about homosexuality and hell (the latter being the place where those who don't fit their idea of grace end … [Read more...]

What Furtick’s Millions (& the “We Serve a Lead Pastor” Mantra) Might Mean


In the heart of the Bible belt, Steven Furtick's new-school Southern Baptist Elevation Church continues to boom - and make media waves.The latest hits have come in the form of a leaked infographic from the church listing 30 reasons why it's the best place to work, and yet another local news story about Furtick's million dollar home and how that connects to his salary and book sales.To be honest, none of this is surprising in the least, as it smacks of Southern prosperity theology and … [Read more...]

The Strangest Fire

I grew up charismatic, in the 80's and 90's.I grew up in a family that joined a pioneering kind of Pentecostal stream flowing out of the Jesus Movement of the 70's, a stream that had strong pastoral personalities founding brand new churches, some of them mega, and even denominations, schools, TV stations, and seminaries. Part and parcel of this pioneering experience was an atmosphere of resistance from the non-charismatic church. There was a kind of scorn that developed among the Billy … [Read more...]

Lifting Up Creative Christianity [& Authentic Shalom]

Some weeks ago, I published a post that was strong and, I believe, rightfully so. It was called "Calling Out Celebrity Christianity [& Counterfeit Justice]." It got some good feedback/pushback here and lots of action over at HuffPost Religion .I want to offer this post, not as a retraction, but a parallel, and perhaps balancing, affirmation in the midst of my previous denials.Where I sought to call out Celebrity Christianity before, now I want to lift up Creative Christianity. At … [Read more...]