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«Succeed Here and in Eternity»

The Prosperity Gospel in Ghana

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Wilfred Asampambila Agana

This book presents a qualitative study of the «Gospel of Prosperity» preached by the Charismatic and Neo-Pentecostal churches in Ghana, with a particular focus on its soteriological significance. The author explores the concept of the Gospel of Prosperity from a number of different angles, surveying its historical and ideological background, analysing its specific context in a Ghanaian environment and, finally, looking at its theological and soteriological relevance, compared with classical Christian teaching and especially Catholic systematic teaching. The theological investigation carried out here reveals both divergences and convergences, demonstrating areas where the Catholic tradition is challenged by the Gospel of Prosperity as well as vice versa. This analysis of the strengths and weaknesses within both traditions constitutes a springboard for a possible dialogue and access to common ground. Such a dialogue should be of great interest not only because of its significance for theological scholarship, but also because of the practical influence it could have on the lives of Christians, both in Ghana and elsewhere in the West African subregion.
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Chapter 5: The Soteriological Implications of the Prosperity Gospel

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CHAPTER 5

The Soteriological Implications of the Prosperity Gospel

Having seen from the preceding chapters how the Prosperity Gospel is upheld, believed and practised, we now need to turn to a theological reflection on the redemptive credentials of the Prosperity Gospel. In other words, the soteriological value of the Prosperity Gospel is the focus here. This evaluation will be carried out in the light of Catholic systematic theology in a more or less comparative way. When necessary, other mainstream Christian theologies and theologians will also be resorted to. An attempt will be made here to see what the Prosperity Gospel has to offer to Christian theological discourse and pastoral life. As already pointed out, the Prosperity Gospel lacks a systematic theology in the understanding of classical Christian academia.1 A standard systematic theory of the soteriology) of the Prosperity Gospel should likewise not be expected. This, however, does not mean that the Prosperity Gospel has no soteriology. It has, but not in an articulated discursive form. Theirs is a practical soteriology of life that is proclaimed, lived and practised in a real life situation rather than at the level of theory and speculation. Chapter 3 of this book has demonstrated that, beyond doubt, the Prosperity Gospel contains a clear notion of salvation and of how it is to be attained, as testified by the teachings and practices of the Neo-Pentecostal Churches in Ghana. Hence there can be a meaningful assessment of the soteriology...

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