Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Will Jesus (Introduction)

Karen Zacharias' introduction makes reference to the heavily Oprah-plugged The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, and that becomes the perfect launching pad for her discussion of American prosperity doctrine in general. Pretty quickly, she gets into some pithy observations.

  • "It's a perfect theology for people with means."
    • Yah, nothing says "You're right!" like success. It's a gimme from the peanut gallery most of the time. We say, "Well, he must be doing something right..."
  • "However, it's a terrible theology for the poor and downtrodden."
    • Yah, once again, we reaffirm this like it was true: "'s just my luck..." "I must not be living right..."
  • "...whatever blessings we enjoy may be more the result of good geography than good theology."
    • I really, really like Karen's willingness to let the fur fly. This is hard for a lot of Americans to come to grips with. We've been so schooled to believe that our wealth is a direct result of 1) the Christian principles of the founding fathers, or 2) our ongoing support of Israel, or 3) our exceptionally large number of televangelists (more about that in Chapter 1). Anyway, since we believe we got the good stuff because we were good, we tend to think that we can keep it - yah - protect our stuff by continuing to be good (our version of good). It boils down to this: we operate under an illusion of control. I think this book is going to punch that notion right in the solar plexus. In fact, the next Karen quote does that very thing.
  • "...we are not masters of our own universe."
    • Told ya. We'll finish up the introduction next time.

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