What’s the Difference Between Gospel Benefits and Prosperity Theology?

Glen Scrivener begins the conversation by saying the problem with prosperity theology is treating Jesus as though he is the delivery system for a bunch of blessings apart from him. Scrivener then references Sinclair Ferguson’s book The Whole Christ, which says that the problem with our gospel presentations is that we talk about every blessing through Jesus when we should preach every blessing in Jesus—offering Christ himself to people. Therefore, Scrivener suggests, you’re not promised health and wealth and prosperity.

Scrivener says Christians really need a good doctrine of union with Christ and be far more Christ-centered in what we preach. We’re not just offering health and wealth, and we’re not just offering fire insurance. We’re offering Jesus himself, Scrivener says.

Sam Chan agrees and says that union with Jesus is what we as Christians should be focused on when sharing the gospel. He says if we can preach it that way, there’s this incredible prosperity in knowing Jesus. The climactic blessing is shalom—peace.

Chan references John Stott’s book The Cross of Christ. In the book, Stott says, “Union with Christ is the foundational blessing. Justification and forgiveness of sins, that’s the center blessing. But the cream on top of the pudding is adoption, it’s relationship, it’s shalom.”


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This episode was produced by Heather Calvillo and Steven Morales.