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Book Review on Costi W. Hinn’s “God, Greed, And The (Prosperity) Gospel by David P. Craig

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The Truth About The False Gospel

One of the first papers I wrote in Bible college in 1985 was a critique on the so-called “Prosperity Gospel.” At the time, the big name prosperity preacher in America was Robert Schuller. As I compared his teaching with the Bible it was very clear that what’s been come to be known as the “prosperity gospel” is clearly a false or non-gospel. It’s not good news because it’s not the biblical gospel – it’s a mirage that is synonymous with the so-called “American Dream.”

As I did my research for my paper on Schuller, something really caught my attention. One, I realized that nobody in the Bible lived with total health, wealth, and prosperity. Pick just about anyone from the Old Testament or New Testament. What they all had in common wasn’t health, wealth, and prosperity, but suffering, pain, and ultimately death – many of them martyrs deaths for the sake of the real gospel. Compare the American dream with the life of Joseph, Job, Paul, Peter, and Jesus – and you have a clear bifurcation of the real and unreal gospel.

Another thing that stood out to me was how Schuller’s “Hour of Power” (his TV show watched by millions of people around the world) couldn’t get traction in communist Russia. I talked with a Russian evangelical pastor and he told me that Schuller couldn’t get traction in Russia because what he was teaching didn’t work in Russia. He wasn’t preaching the gospel because the gospel works everywhere: among the poor and rich, free and suppressed; educated and uneducated; every language; every ethnic group, etc. The gospel has never changed. The reality of the gospel is it works everywhere because it’s true and has the power of God behind it (Romans 1:16). If it can’t be preached everywhere and to everyone than its simply NOT the biblical gospel!

Unfortunately, the false gospel known as the “Prosperity-Gospel” continues to be propounded world-wide. Among the most famous proponents of this false gospel has been Benny Hinn – the uncle of the author, Costi W. Hinn. First of all, kudos to Costi for his courage in writing this book. One of my first thoughts was how hasn’t he been sued by his family for writing this book? I hope he doesn’t get sued because Costi clearly understands the difference between the biblical gospel and the false gospel promoted by Benny Hinn and those of his ilk. Costi understands that people’s eternal lives and earthly lives are at stake as to how we understand and what we believe about the gospel. It’s essential that we get the gospel right.

Who should read this book? Everyone! I have been an evangelical pastor for over 30 years and it never ceases to amaze me how many church going people don’t read their Bibles, don’t understand the gospel, and are prone to believe in deceptive lies of the enemy that are proclaimed by wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Costi does a wonderful job of bringing the reader into the world view of prosperity gospel ministries. He gives an honest assessment of its strengths and weaknesses and testifies to how he was deceived growing up in this movement. He then goes on to compare prosperity theology with biblical theology. He compares false teaching and doctrine with biblical doctrine and teaching.

He has some very helpful sections in the book that help you biblically detect false teachers and false doctrines; shows how the prosperity gospel contradicts the real gospel; and gives a balanced view of healing, health, and wealth that is truly biblically based. He also has a great section on helps to reach those who are lost and caught up in false religions and cults.

Costi Hinn by God’s grace has been spared from a life apart from truth and the genuine gospel. Now he proclaims God’s grace and the genuine gospel as a pastor and writer. May our Lord use this book to help many flee from the darkness and run to the light of the gospel: That Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, and rose again according to the Scriptures, and that those who repent of their sins and trust in Him may have eternal life. May all those who are deceived have the blinders taken off and may God use this great book to help us in reaching those who were once like Costi – who was once dead spiritually and is now alive spiritually because of the mercy of God delineated by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-6 & Ephesians 2:1-10.

 

 

 

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