Lawrence Nchekwube Nwankwo


Every Christian will agree with Prosperity message’s emphasis that God wills the blessing of His people. While most will insist that the greatest blessing of God is Jesus Christ, Prosperity Message equates divine blessing directly with the good things of this earthly life – health, wealth, fertility, upward social mobility, ‘break-through’. These are seen as evidence that one has the right relationship with God; that one is sharing in the dominion of God; that one is a winner. This dominion is exercised through faith understood not as humble submission to the will of God but as the belief that whatever one wishes would come true if only one did not harbor any doubt. This raises the question with regard to the extent this form of Christianity is in accord with the Christian tradition. The view espoused here is that it is a recomposition of Christianity. Christian tradition does not condemn prosperity, but the projection of prosperity rather than the kingdom of God and its righteousness (Matt 6:33) as the focus, has far reaching implications. Notwithstanding the resonance between the emphasis in Prosperity message and what has been described as the anthropocentricity of African traditional religions, it seems to me that the globalized consumerist and neoliberal culture provides the hermeneutical key to its appropriation of the Christian tradition. Such appropriations of the Christian message into new cultural settings and emphasis is normal. It is the dynamic inherent in the translatability of the Christian message. It is also what makes possible the reception and reimagining of the faith into different cultural milieus so that one can speak of African, Asian or European Christianity. But the appropriation of the Christian message in Prosperity message seems to have downplayed important elements and resulted in one-sidedness and distortion. Prosperity message therefore challenges African Christianity to engage this relatively new cultural context shaping the sensitivities of many Africans today that has made Prosperity message popular; to plumb the undercurrent of this brand of Christianity in view, among other things, learn from it and to work out the best way to contribute to the prosperity of Africa.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.