A Reluctant Review: Joseph Prince's "Destined to Reign"

I am a compulsive reader. I'll read nearly anything. Last night my wife brought home a book given to her by a work acquaintance. Apparently, the lady thought I needed to read a Christian book after she read my most recent publishing, "The 80% Solution: Christians Doing the Right Thing." I guess praying for me wasn't enough. What follows is a reluctant review of "Destined to Reign," by Joseph Prince.

Chapter 1 lays all the cards on the table for me as the first two lines tell the entire story.

"You are destined to reign in life. You are called by the Lord to be a success, to enjoy wealth, to enjoy health and to enjoy a life of victory."

That certainly sounds like "prosperity preaching to me, but if I wasn't convinced all I had to do was read the third paragraph.

"He [God] wants you to have a position of influence, so that you can be a blessing and an asset to your organization."

Lines like the previous permeate the book and by the time I finished it, there was no doubt that the book is a "prosperity gospel" byproduct. The author makes a case for grace as the deciding factor in living a Christian life and prosperity rather than adherence to Biblical law. This idea also appears throughout the book and usually follows text that speaks of living a victorious life, which, again, is tied to material wealth. The rest of the book is the first two chapters, repeated, reorganized and redundant.

If there is anything that stands out, it is the low level of writing. I did not expect a scholarly level of exposition, but I did expect writing at least comparable to newspaper composition. Juvenile explanations and constant returns to the author's childhood wear the reader down, as well as reveal the paucity of the subject matter, which reads like a sermon rather a guide to living a successful life.

The author often says to leave it all in God's hands because the "victory" is already guaranteed, which is another way of saying "put your brain on hold" and trust me. The same theme also appears throughout the book. It intrigued me because it gave a better understanding of how people might be taken-in by prosperity preaching.


At last, I finally finished it!


Product Details

The 80% Solution: Christians Doing The Right Thing by Donald R. Barbera (Hardcover - Apr 28, 2012)

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Comment by Donald R Barbera on June 8, 2012 at 5:14pm
I've always thought religion would make a great intramural club, meaning that as long as it operates like social club, like Facebook, it could be "relatively" harmless. However, the desire to spread the "good news" of such a club leads back to where we are today. Sadly, it infects nearly everything it touches and is particularly resistant to known cures like truth, proof, reason or logic. My thought has always been "keep it to yourself!" God hasn't said anything in 14 billion years, despite the claims and if he did speak he surely doesn't need a middle man of questionable repute to tell the world. The same could be said of his purported "son." Why is a "scape goat" needed? In this case I'd say, "You're in charge. If it's broke, fix it." Apparrently, this God needs plenty of help and an audience.
Comment by Donald R Barbera on June 6, 2012 at 5:28pm
Sentient: I feel like a load has slipped off and hit the ground, but it didn't stay there long as old family friends said I shouldn't discuss the church's "shortcomings." Of course, I replied that I am just a messenger. As in the book, I made it very clear that I didn't pull this stuff out of "thin air" like many that never read it seem to think.



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