License To Thrill

Jesus wants you to be much happier than you are.

Jesus wants you to be much happier than you are. Really.

So argue three extraordinarily popular recent books, one on prayer by a preacher who thinks we pray too little blessing for ourselves, another by a workplace motivator who sees Jesus as the ideal entrepreneurial guru, and a third by a prophet for a new kind of men’s movement.

Nothing is new about their ideas - this sort of prosperity gospel has been part of the American religious scene for some time. What is striking is the number of books they’re selling and the best-selling lists they’re gracing. Alongside the better-documented publishing successes of the Left Behind series, The Da Vinci Code, and The Purpose-Driven Life are these promises of unbridled happiness for those who follow Jesus in the way these authors describe. The market for religious publishing is apparently not exhausted; it is only just beginning to be tapped.

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Sojourners Magazine December 2004
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