Beyond Clashing Proof-Texts

Scot McKnight has a post criticizing the prosperity Gospel (see here).  Under that post, Derek Leman comments:

“Another angle of critique of health and wealth (in addition to your community-cross-kingdom-ecclesiology answer) is a good read of Proverbs, such as Michael Fox in the Anchor-Yale series. Wisdom literature is self-correcting. The eudainonism (happiness-formula) of the secular proverbs in the book is corrected and offset by the religious proverbs. Fox does a great job of explaining why wisdom comes forth with both happiness-formulas and ethical-spiritual calling.”

I appreciated Derek’s comments because, so often in debates about the prosperity Gospel, it’s one sides hurling its proof-texts at the other side, and vice-versa.  I wrote a post about this a while back (see here).  The thing is, there are passages in the Bible that accord with the idea that God blesses people materially, and there are passages in the Bible that say “not necessarily” (albeit not in those exact words).  But, according to Derek, wisdom literature is self-correcting in that it has passages with happiness-formulas, and yet that is corrected by passages about religion and ethics. 

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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