In this book, J. Vernon Duncan, the leader of Divine Encounter Fellowship Ministries International in Trinidad, West Indies, posits that the Bible promises Christian believers “a package of God’s blessings” that is “beyond just money” and also includes “property, possessions, social, psychological and emotional well being as well as spiritual fulfillment.”
Duncan joins a host of bestselling preachers and teachers (Joel Osteen, Bruce Wilkinson) promoting a controversial brand of Christian teaching variously described as “the gospel of health and wealth” or “name-it-and-claim-it.”
The author bases his arguments about biblical economics on scripture passages that have been ripped from their contexts and made to sound like God is a heavenly ATM. Duncan’s favorite is Deut. 8:18: “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth…” But Duncan ignores God’s warning against materialism in earlier Deuteronomy verses in which God tells the Israelites, who have just completed 40 years of wandering in the desert, “Beware…when you have eaten and are full” you will “forget the Lord Your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” (Deut. 8-11)
Duncan claims that those who obey God and “sow” in faith by tithing (or better yet, double tithing) will reap material benefits. One doesn’t even need education, business acumen, or organizational skills to receive this “inevitable” wealth, though Duncan acknowledges that such traits will help one manage “three, four or five houses and a fleet of cars” after they materialize.
Duncan recommends readers “give first fruits directly to your spiritual leader.” Perhaps such techniques explain why Duncan’s system “works,” at least for Duncan. But it’s less certain that this approach will be successful for readers. For those who are inclined to believe that prosperity is a divine right, Duncan’s teachings may resonate. But many readers may need more than encouragement, scripture twisting, and magical thinking to acquire the wealth that this book promises them.
Also available as an ebook.