Monday, January 08, 2007

SoJo: The Gospel of Bling, by Dr. Robert Franklin

Sojourners Magazine has an excellent article on the prosperity gospel by Dr. Robert Franklin of Candler School of Theology at Emory University: "I am convinced that the single greatest threat to the historical legacy and core values of the contemporary black church tradition is posed by what is known as the %u201Cprosperity gospel%u201D movement. That movement, however, is only symptomatic of a larger mission crisis or %u201Cmission drift%u201D that has placed the black church in the posture of assimilating into a culture that is hostile to people living on the margins of society, such as people living in poverty, people living with AIDS, homosexuals, and immigrants.

This is not a new challenge. Christians have grappled with their relationship to material goods and opportunities in this world since the first century. But in our era something new and different has emerged. Today, prominent, influential, and attractive preachers and representatives of the church now are advocates for prosperity. Perhaps this could only occur at a time and in a place where two conditions exist. First, Christianity is the dominant faith tradition; second, the nation permits and rewards extraordinary inequalities of wealth and power."


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