I’m not a proponent of the prosperity Gospel. On the contrary, most versions of it sound like heresy. I am, however, a proponent of a Philippians 4:19 Gospel: “My God shall supply all your needs through his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
What are the consequences of such a view? First, I am confused when Will Willimon speaks of “the Lord’s meager human and financial resources” that need to be better spent than propping up small, tired, in-grown, self-preoccupied churches. Now Will is known for being pretty snarky. I think I would only need one hand to count the “snarkless” sermons or writings he’s put out in the past decade. The context of the comments seem to incline the reader to take the claim straightforwardly, however. I’m not a fan of hospice churches and see no reason to give in to sentimentality just to keep them open. But blaming God’s poverty is not the way to go about it.
Dan Dick goes the other direction, questioning our defeatist, victim mentality. He rails against the “we’re in a horrible state” mentality set up around fixing the broken church, but usually finding only despair.
Can we believe that God will provide all our needs through his riches in glory in Christ Jesus? Do we have it worse than Paul when he wrote this, chained to a wall in a Roman prison? Surely not.