Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Provision Promises by Joseph Prince

Joseph Prince's new book Provision Promises is a handy guide whose theme is based on scriptural promises for God in meeting our needs. Prince writes for the modern day reader in mind; simply and with humor.  Prince has complied just about every biblical reference related to God's promises to  to provide for our needs both spiritually and physically.  In Prince's own words on page 49, God "is the Possessor of heaven and earth.  He is not El Cheapo.  He is El Shaddai- the Almighty...".  He continues on to state that in Christ, God's abundance is all we need "for a successful family, career and ministry".  In other words, God desires us to have the abundant life where He desires for all believers to prosper materially, and financially as well as spiritually. 

Prince communicates effectively through short easy to understand passages, in a personal and  informal tone.  Simple but powerful passages or excerpts- similar to short daily devotionals are side by side with biblical verses.  He speaks out to the tired frustrated reader, and empowers those who have lost jobs or burdened with financial needs and wants. He speaks to the tired, weary, distraught reader who may not even have the energy to read through a full length book or bible.   In this easy to digest pocket sized book, the focus is God's word: scripture.  Prince lets the hand picked bible verses speak for themselves with simple clarification and real life anecdotes of changes lives- people who have started new careers, found jobs and made wealth.  He even gives practical advice about debt, credit and borrowing.  He offers hope for those who have little means by integrating biblical illustrations of how Jesus did much with very little such as in the feeding of 5000 with a little boy's lunch.  One suggestion for the reader is to read the biblical context of the bible passages and verses such as the case with Deuteronomy 28.  Short excerpts do not always give the greater picture of the bible's complete message.

Many might object to what they see as a prosperity type of gospel being preached.  Regardless of any objection, there is an abundance of biblical verses that promote the idea that God does desire to provide for His children.  Furthermore, Prince offers a quasi- theological basis in defense of the gospel of abundance when he states that Jesus "took your place of poverty at the cross , just so that you can take His place of abundance.  A divine exchange occurred at Calvary- your sin for his righteousness and your poverty for His provision".  page 55  This unique explanation bridges the gap between the sacrifice of Jesus and how it relates to physical needs and abundance.  There is a wealth of scripture to back up the belief that God desires to provide for his children such as Matt7:9-11.  Prince effectively mines the relevant verses, and rather than hide these bits of wisdom  in long winded passages of commentary or story telling- each scripture is highlighted for easy accessibility and reference.  This book is perfectly suited for those readers who find themselves in dire need: the unemployed, the displaced, the homeless, the rejected, the hungry and the neglected.  Even the pocket sized appearance of this book make it an easy resource to carry in a purse, pocket or car. And for those readers who have not been born again, and who have not yet been saved, Prince shares the basic gospel message- which is reiterated in the form of a prayer in the back of the book. 

One thing to consider when reading Charismatic Christian works is the belief in literal, modern day spiritual gifts such as healing- as evidenced with the inclusion of  an "Annointing Oil Prayer" in the prayer section in the end of the book.  Some Christians may be just asgrounded in their faith yet believe that "spiritual" signs like healing, tongues and other  miracles ended in the ancient days of the church. But  the power and effectiveness of prayer and God's living word in the bible is not simply a theatrical exploit limited to charismatics, but rather a fact that all believers need to meditate on. It is regrettable that many mainstream churches reject the real power of God's word   due to a perceived negative association with charismatic churches.  I've stated this before in reaction to other charismatic writings, but it can never be emphasized enough. This is an empowering book that is certain to encourage even the most apathetic and discouraged readers to act. It is a book to read, and re-read.   As a blogger for the Booketeria I received this book published by Charisma House for the purpose of writing this review.

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