Author: Kenneth Copeland
Info: Copyright 2011: Kenneth Copeland Publications, Fort Worth, TX.
Where acquired: Gift from the author.
Why: The prosperity message; is it from God, or is it some get-rich-quick scheme invented by preachers? Are people just putting a few random Bible passages to make poor people feel better? Why is it that the people who say they believe in Biblical prosperity are often poor, while those who don't give it a second thought seem to be well off? Something's missing, or the message has gotten bogged down somehow.
Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags): # # # #
What it's about: God's blessing to Adam and Eve to "be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it" in Genesis chapter one; did it end when sin entered the world, or does mankind still have that mandate? What does God's blessing mean to our post-garden society?
Copeland takes a romp from Genesis to Revelation to reveal God's true plan for prosperity. He states very clearly that prosperity isn't using the Lord's name for a selfish pursuit of "stuff." God's prosperity is for the financing of the Gospel, aiding the poor, and bringing pockets of the Garden of Eden to a lost world. The author uses solid scriptural examples and stories from his own life to demonstrate the application of the principles of prosperity.
"We must see that what we have learned is not a campground. It's a building base. We must understand that if we want to go on and grow up, as the Bible says, into "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13). - p. 14
"The Light God spoke forth on the first of Creation wasn't just visible illumination. It wasn't a kind of night light that lit up the darkness so God could see what He was doing." - p. 39
"To expect fallen humanity to live like Jesus did by following His good example would be like expecting a stubby-legged, sway-backed donkey to win the Kentucky Derby by following the good example of a race horse." - p. 165.
"I like to paraphrase it (John 15:9-12) this way: 'Now boys, let Me make it easy for you. I know there are a lot of commandments but I'm going to give you just one. You walk in love and THE BLESSING will work.'" - p. 300
"Unlike the world, we aren't BLESSED because we're rich; we are rich because we're BLESSED." - p. 348
What I Liked:
- Copeland stresses Scripture as evidence. His own experiences and opinions are illustrations, not the proof he's standing on. He does not consider his book to be the definitive work on the subject; he encourages the reader to research and study for himself.
- I really enjoyed the mix of scholarly and down-to-earth writing styles. It was like a cross between Charles Spurgeon and Lewis Grizzard.
- The author's use of footnotes and the avoidance of the "aside box" is refreshing.
- Many of Copeland's Old Testament commentary referenced The Chumash, which is a Rabbinic commentary on the Torah. That piqued my interest, so I'd really like to get a copy of this commentary and study it in detail.
- This book did get slightly long winded in places.
- One particular passage confused me. On pages 345-346, Copeland compares the "Babylonian" financial system to the Biblical Financial system. I understood that part, but the origins of the "Babylonian" system puzzled me. I understood anything Babylonian referred to the decadent, depraved culture of ancient Babylon; the dictionary even defines it as such. However, he stated the origins as referring to the city of Babel in the Book of Genesis. Both cultures did essential the same thing; tried to meet there own needs without God. However, wouldn't Copeland's example be the "Babel-onian" system? It wasn't a deal breaker for the book, but it did leave me scratching my head thinking Do what?
- I understand that the capitalization of the words BLESSED and BLESSING throughout the text was something the author felt was a directive from God, however, it was a little distracting.