22/12/2007

Health and Wealth (by Andrew Brandon)

We have quite a selection of Christian books on our shelves. I have no idea where some of them came from. Every so often I pick one which I'm sure I've never read, and a recent seletion was 'Health and Wealth' by Andrew Brandon. I have never heard of this author before, and can't find any web site about him. According to the blurb on the back of the book, he was a Bible teacher and evangelist who travelled around the world, including Europe, India and the USA. However the book was written twenty years ago, in 1987, so this may well be out of date.

When I picked up the book, I wasn't entirely sure whether it was going to be something exposing the false teachings of the 'Health and Wealth' movement, or a book that tried to encourage people to believe in it. I was relieved that it was the former; had it been a prosperity gospel book, I would probably not have finished it.

The theology is very sound. Brandon takes one principle at a time from the 'health and wealth' teachings, showing what out-of-context Scripture led to the particular belief, and why it's incorrect. He writes about faith, fanatsy, presumption, sickness, sin, wealth, and more. It's well-structured, and the Scriptural backup is good. He does not attack the prosperity gospel teachers with vitriol; instead he tries to show where they went wrong, and to help them - or their followers - to find the truth.

Still, I'm afraid I did find it a bit dry. None of it was new to me - indeed, much of it seemed rather dated. I don't know if this movement is still as active as it was twenty years ago; if so, I haven't come across it. It took me about two weeks to get through the book, which is a long time for only 150 pages.

So, I'd recommend the book strongly for anyone who thinks there might be some truth in the 'Health and Wealth' ('Name it and Claim it') teachings. But if you're convinced, as I was - and am - that they're wrong, and unhelpful, then there's not really any reason to read this book. It's no longer in print anyway, though may occasionally be found second-hand.

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