The concept of "prosperity preaching" reached its height when Jim and Tami Bakker were on the PTL Club five days a week coast to coast in the 1980s. The good news for them was that they made a fortune. The bad news was, they lost it all and Jim was sent to prison. That scared a lot of Christians for a long time, but now it seems that "cash flow Christianity" and "portfolio preaching" are making a comeback. In Rev. C. Thomas Anderson's Becoming a Millionaire God's Way he states bluntly, "The work of the church simply cannot happen without money" (p. 19). He adds, "I hate church doctrine. I don't preach church doctrine...Doctrine is too often the result of twisting the principles of the Word of God" (p. 124). But there will be those who will read this book and think that maybe Anderson is guilty of this crime himself.
To be fair, there are many sound, wise, financial principles in this book. Anderson advocates tithing, but he says it is because without it you don't have "an insurance policy" that God won't protect your other assets. He also advocates a certain amount of risk taking, and he uses the story of Joseph storing up grain for seven years to offset the seven years of famine as a great "commodities" speculation. (Speculation? Didn't God tell Joseph point-blank that that was going to happen?)
The tone of this book is set in the guest preface by Robert T. Kiyosaki, author of the best-selling book Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Kiyosaki says that as a boy, his home church claimed that anyone who became rich loved money more than God, but Kiyosaki felt (and Anderson is his disciple in this) that rich Christians were the ones who accomplished more for God than poor people. So, Kiyosaki became rich. Later, on a long plane ride, Anderson read Kiyosaki's book, and he, too, decided that being rich was God's plan for him and others. He returned to his church and preached wealth training for months on end. People bought into it.
Can readers learn from this book? Yes, and a lot. Anderson talks about self-discipline that leads to controlling expenditures. He teaches the value of investing in assets rather than liabilities. He promotes honest, hard work, but only as a way to build a portfolio so that one's money can do all the work after that. He emphasizes that the purpose of becoming wealthy is not for self-aggrandizement but for greater service to the Lord.
On one hand, there is a lot of pragmatic wisdom here about everything from budgeting to investing. On the other hand, there are some quoted verses of Scripture used to endorse Anderson's points that make God seem more like a banker and broker than a Savior and soul winner. It's a doctrine (despite Anderson hatred of that word) that espouses financial wealth as mankind's top priority after salvation. My guess is, there are probably a lot of missionaries, soup kitchen volunteers, small town pastors, Red Cross workers, and military chaplains who won't be writing endorsements for this book. – Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, Christian Book Previews.com
In this revolutionary book, Dr. Anderson refutes the widespread idea that one must be poor to be Christian and shares biblical perspectives on money, business, and investment.
By decrying the myth that Christians must be poor to be righteous and offering examples of Christians who combined financial success with a faith-filled life, Anderson provides a new, relevant slant on a timeless area of popular interest. His message in a nutshell: the Bible teaches that God blesses the work of your hand, but if your hand isn't doing anything, there is nothing for Him to bless! Dr. Anderson explains the process of experiencing God's blessing through the increase and investment of wealth.
An invaluable resource for current or would-be investors and entrepreneurs, this book not only inspires readers to become educated about finance but gives them tools for action and compels them to move forward confidently in the direction of their financial dreams.