I may be biased toward Southern writers, and I may be biased because I’m a fan of Karen Spears Zacharias, but the truth of the story is this: her next book, Will Jesus Buy Me a Double-Wide?: (‘Cause I Need More Room for My Plasma TV)
, needs to be read by twentysomethings and by pastors and by anyone who is struggling with thinking “blessing” means “material things.” Or as she puts it: “there’s a built-in audience for golden-calf theology.” The book examines the Health and Wealth Gospel, the Prosperity Gospel, or whatever you might call it.
What are your thoughts about the prosperity gospel? How do you explain the correlation of blessings (understood often enough in material terms in the Bible) and obedience?
Karen was placed on this earth to tell stories, and this book is filled with stories — both uplifting and offputting — about Americans who are making their way in this world. What this book really is is an old-fashioned expose of greed and of humans so bent on their own satisfaction that they’ll bend God to fit their own portrait. There’s a place for detached analysis, and there’s a place to tell the stories of those making decisions about life on the basis of what the relationship of faith and the material world … and Karen tells us stories.
She makes her points, like this: “money should be a vehicle, not a destination.” Or this: “But companies, even Fortune 500 Companies, are made from mist. Sometimes, it grows so thick you can’t see anything else, but then, lickety-quick, everything you work for can all be gone with the snap of a finger or the bullet from a gun.”
The hardest thing about blogging about Karen’s books is that stories are impossible to summarize, so let me mention that she’s traveled all over the place probing into people’s businesses and hearts and she tells the stories. Not many names, just characters: The Evangelist, The Mayor, The Ambassador, The Lawyer, The Veteran, The Beautician, The Preacher, and my favorite The Entrepreneur.
She’s got blurbs from Paul Young and Jeff Foxworthy, and a foreword from Steve Brown and Susan Isaacs.