The Lure of False Gospels

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David Lumpp


The strong appeal of prosperity gospels in contexts of severe poverty and intense human suffering is understandable. Sadly, the dominant emphases of these prosperity gospels misunderstand the gospel itself and are typically a theology of glory rather than a theology of the cross. They routinely confuse law and gospel, promising temporal rewards for some human performance. They misunderstand the "already" / "not yet" eschatological structure of the New Testament, insisting that the "not yet" should be fully present in the here and now. Finally, prosperity gospels arise out of a thoroughly deficient hermeneutics (most notably, a philological carelessness and an altogether ahistorical and decontextualized reading of a very selective cluster of passages). Thankfully, the genuinely biblical gospel of Jesus Christ--which brings God's forgiveness of sins, new life, and eternal salvation--offers the theological resources and proclamatory power to address the needs that have given rise to the prosperity gospels in the first. place.

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How to Cite
Lumpp, David. 2024. “The Lure of False Gospels”. Global South Theological Journal 3 (1):21-33.