the normative Christians?
I could care less about what's happening at Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, but Robert Parham makes some excellent points in an essay about that church's current infighting:
"...what does the winner's circle theology say about those who live in crushing, inescapable poverty, who suffer from painful and bankrupting cancer or who never even make the team?
"Have you ever heard the last place runner say, 'Because God's in control, I lost. Give God all the glory?' Or do you known of a dying cancer patient who concluded: 'Because God's in control, God refuses to heal me and my family is now bankrupt. And we are so grateful for this blessing?' Or do you know of a church vote where the losers say, 'We're just praising Jesus. God's on the other side, the side of the winners?'
"Winner's circle theology is an emotionally understandable theology in a culture shaped by a strong sense of predestination and a powerful belief that success shows divine blessing.
"What is missing in our cultural narrative is a counter balancing note that God may be more on the side of the loser than the winner, the impoverished than the wealthy and the sick than the healthy. That thematic river flows through the biblical witness, even if it does not flow through our churches infested with positive thinking, prosperity theology and profiles of athletes, beauty queens and best-selling authors as the normative Christians."