Posts from the ‘Written by Arthur’ Category
Is ‘Africa’ really rife with a false gospel? Here’s one version of the story:
As we’ve seen, however, examples like Lizzy and Mwakatwila mean we can’t automatically equate prosperity talk with ‘prosperity gospel’. Tanzanian headspace is concerned with everyday questions, and Tanzanian Christians are connecting those questions with the parts of the Bible geared towards the everyday world (the wisdom literature). There is more going on here. Here are some further reflections.
It’s a pretty well-worn story in some circles: the idea that ‘Africa’ is rife with the prosperity gospel. The American pastor John Piper, in his eagerness to promote good theology, gives the impression that this entire continent is flooded with bad teaching about health, wealth and prosperity.
In the previous month, Tamie and I have had more of an opportunity to begin listening in on what Tanzanians are teaching. Our Swahili has slowly made it to the point where we can understand bits and pieces — from time to time, at least — and we’ve begun to have more contact with the student fellowships on our campus.
We’ve seen a lot of focus on wealth, financial management and success, and it’s not hard for us to connect this with the prosperity gospel — especially when the speaker is wearing a shiny white suit!
But what’s the reality? What we’ve witnessed appears to be something more complex. In this post and the next, I want to sketch out — even with our limited insight — what seems to be going on. To begin with, here are two examples. Read more