Turning his back on the false prosperity gospel

God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel: How Truth Overwhelms a Life Built on Lies
By Costi Hinn
Zondervan, 2019, 224 pp.

5 Stars

Prior to accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and being born again, I had a semi-awareness of Pentecostalism and the charismatic movement via flamboyant televangelists such as Oral Roberts, Ernest Angley, Jim Bakker, and Jimmy Swaggart. After my wife and I were saved, we began attending an independent fundamental Baptist church, which taught that the apostolic gifts of the spirit had ceased after the apostolic age, which made sense to me. From my perspective as an ex-Catholic, the fact that members of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement, including tens of thousands of priests, could manifest the requisite charismatic gifts of the spirit (glossolalia, prophecy, healing) while still adhering to Catholicism’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit was an irreconcilable red flag.

After I returned to the Lord following my long prodigal season, I was amazed to see how the charismatic movement had proliferated. Most of the new non-denominational churches that had popped up around our town were charismatic. While the new generation of televangelists were still pushing the apostolic gifts of the spirit, there was also a great emphasis on health and wealth. The loud and constant drumbeat was, send in your “seed faith” money (credit cards accepted), and ask God in faith, and you too can have wonderful health and financial prosperity. I had no direct knowledge of the prosperity gospel movement, but I knew it was making tremendous inroads into evangelicalism worldwide.

Costi Hinn grew up as an insider in the prosperity gospel “empire.” His uncle, Benny Hinn, had been the #1 “faith healer” in the country for several decades and his father, Henry Hinn, was also a faith healer with his base in Vancouver, British Columbia. Costi enjoyed the Hinn family’s lavish lifestyle sitting atop the pinnacle of the health and wealth pyramid scheme and was being groomed to carry on the the family enterprise. But Costi providentially attended a Christian college where the genuine Gospel was taught and began to have increasing doubts about his family’s prosperity gospel. After MUCH familial sturm und drang, Costi attended a Biblically-solid seminary and is currently on staff at a Biblically-solid church in Arizona.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit with its insider details of the shenanigans of Benny Hinn and the other prosperity gospel shysters. It was difficult for Costi to turn his back on his family and walk away from all of the financial perks, but he could not reconcile God’s Word and the genuine Gospel with his family’s false prosperity gospel. What’s missing in this book is a description of Costi’s conversion moment, when he actually accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior by faith alone.

Postscript: I wish Zondervan was as agreeable to publishing books about the errors of Roman Catholicism as they were in publishing this good book about the errors of the prosperity gospel.

35 thoughts on “Turning his back on the false prosperity gospel

  1. Hey, Tom! The first time I heard Costi Hinn denounce the prosperity gospel and his former ministry I thought it was a joke. Watching the American Gospel Christ Alone doc gave me appreciation for his insider knowledge and what he is doing for the Kingdom today. Thanks for this review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Mandy! Thanks for the comments! I wrote and published my review of “American Gospel” immediately after I watched it because I was so enthusiastic, but I’ve had this review of Costi’s book sitting in my queue for awhile. His book nicely complements “American Gospel,” providing an insider’s perspective as you mention. Lot’s of very difficult decisions for him. Some people might assume Costi is exploiting his connection to his famous uncle, but I see it as a false gospel ex-insider warning others, kind of what my efforts are in regards to Catholicism. Costi could have made a lot more $$$ by staying in the prosperity gospel movement.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, he really emphasizes his love and deep concern for his family in the book. Not to keep bringing it back to me, but similarly I am regularly accused of “hating Catholics” when most of family and friends whom I love are still Catholic (albeit mostly nominally).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This is totally unrelated to this post so please forgive me for that. Where did Richard Rohr get his theology? How did he come to these positions? When Nathan, Mom and I watched American Gospel Christ Crucified we were like, who is this guy?! I said I would ask you. I hope that’s ok?!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I don’t know a ton about Richard Rohr except that he’s a Franciscan Friar who pushes ecumenism really hard and draws from “Eastern spirituality.” He’s popular with New Agers.

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      4. Which is fascinating to me because I thought the RCC/Western Christianity threw stones at the Eastern Orthodox Church/Eastern Christianity for being too focused on mysticism leading to a Tritheistic view of the Trinity. At some point I would like to do a compare and contrast on the RCC/West and Eastern Orthodox. There was a time when the Eastern elect lady was more Biblical than the Western elect lady. I was introduced to a few differences in my Systematic Theology class on the Trinity. I would like to learn how the East views atonement, death etc. Thank you for your time!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Just to clarify, Mandy, by “Eastern spirituality” I meant that Rohr is heavily into Hinduism and Buddhism. I actually don’t know a lot about Eastern Orthodoxy other than it mirrors a lot of RC beliefs, except for Petrine primacy obviously.

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  2. I’m grateful for God saving Costi away from the whole prosperity gospel mess. He’s also been very biblical in his view of Gospel and Church! So glad for that and his testimony. Good review brother

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, sister! Yes, I appreciated this book and I’m grateful for Costi’s (and your) journey out of word of faith/prosperity pseudo-Christianity.
      RE: Zondervan
      Yup, it’s regrettable that most of the Christian publishers have caved to ecumenism with Rome.

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    1. Thank you, Crissy! So many are being deceived and fleeced by these prosperity con artists. The “Christian” bookstore that was near us was chock full of books from the TBN prosperity gospelers. I’m so glad this testimony is out there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a friend caught up in this deception, and can’t see it. Speaking the truth in love for me can be difficult with her, I have no problem speaking the truth but the “in love” I must confess I fail at times.😩
        Maybe I can buy the book and give it to her for her birthday.🙏

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I said a prayer for your friend and that the Lord help you with the best approach. My wife’s sister is caught up in this as well. The church we used to attend was so wishy-washy that a couple of people in our small group happily proclaimed that their only Scripture reading came from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional. The shepherds were allowing the flock to wander because they were afraid to say anything “negative.”

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