Maura, Mbugua & Piper, Gaining the World, Losing the Soul: How the Prosperity Gospel Distorts the Good News, ACTS: Nairobi, 2012.
Reviewer: Susie Harker
This book seeks to challenge the widespread false teaching that is leading many away from the Lord Jesus and the gospel of the Bible. Two Kenyan pastors, Michael Otieno Maura and Ken Mbugua show passionately from the Bible how this prosperity teaching is far from true Christianity and so damaging to the church. And there is a chapter from John Piper appealing to prosperity preachers to preach what the New Testament preaches: e.g. to lay up treasure in heaven not on earth, the dangers of being choked by riches or of loving money, that suffering is a normal part of the Christian life and actually a gift.
It’s a short book, though the content is deep, and the authors argue thoroughly from Scripture, making it not a light read. But it is brilliant and much needed. I would love for every Christian to read this and be convinced of how the prosperity gospel denies Christ, and of how far this false teaching has subtly penetrated the church. It’s also a call to rejoice in the true spiritual blessings we’re given in Christ, and follow Him in the cross-shaped life now as we wait for His return and to enjoying him in a restored creation forever.