Costi Hinn, nephew of televangelist Benny Hinn, has announced he’s releasing a book critiquing the prosperity gospel. All proceeds from the book will be used to provide theological training for those who've been exploited by the controversial teaching.
In a recent blog post, Hinn, pastor at The Mission Bible Church in Orange County, California, announced that this July, Zondervan will release his new book, titled God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel: How Truth Overwhelms a Life Built on Lies.
The book aims to dispel the teachings of the prosperity gospel, which posits that believers have a right to the blessings of health and wealth and that they can obtain these blessings through positive confessions of faith and the "sowing of seeds" through the faithful payments of tithes and offerings.
“I am eager to see this book used as a tool for God’s glory — not for sordid gain,” Hinn said. “Here is a sobering thought: In a rat-race effort to sell books, it’s easy to become the very dragon that we’re attempting to slay.”
The pastor went on to identify what readers can expect from a book that “seeks to charge the prosperity gospel with the grit of a bull while displaying the grace becoming of servants of Christ.”
Operating under the belief that “A prosperity gospel book should give more than it takes,” Hinn said that he plans to “give away thousands of dollars in books and resources to those who pre-order in the coming months as well as pastors around the world.”
“In just the first month since pre-orders began, 100 books were donated to The Central Africa Baptist College and Seminary to support pastors who are training for ministry,” he said. “Africa is one of the most plagued countries in the world when it comes to prosperity theology.”
The pastor said that while his book will upheave people’s bad theology, it is also designed to help with the theological rebuilding process.
“After the initial wrecking ball tears down exploitive and abusive theology, there will be a hopeful and upward trajectory,” he said, adding that the book “contains numerous recommended resources for those who will need an ongoing roadmap.”
“The goal of this book is to destroy ‘speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God’ (2 Corinthians 10:5) and shed the light of truth into dark places,” he said.
Finally, Hinn said that any profits from the book won’t be used for his personal gain: “Imagine the irony of me writing a book on the prosperity gospel only to make a ton of money off of royalties so I can live like a king,” he quipped.
Instead, 100 percent of the royalties he earns from the book will be used for theological education and providing resources to pastors and people who have been exploited by the prosperity gospel.
“Prayerfully, God will use this project as one that gives more than it ever takes,” he said. “May it be blessed to be a blessing.”
Benny Hinn, who was born into a Christian family in Israel, is frequently accused of being a fraud and criticized for living extravagantly — all while leading a ministry that rakes in more than $100 million annually.
Hinn, who rejected the teaching of his "Uncle Benny" after working alongside him for years, often writes and preaches against prosperity preachers and their damaging beliefs.
Previously, he explained that the theology not only blasphemes Scripture and insults Christ, it also exploits the poor. He shared how he, alongside his uncle, would fly to numerous countries in a private jet and stay in some of the most expensive luxury hotels before “packing a soccer stadium with 300,000 desperate people in order to exploit them for money and good TV marketing.”
“I’ve been there and done that,” he said. “It's fun on the inside but scary once you think about eternal ramifications. God loves the poor. Exploit them and you’re going to be dealing with Him one day.”
"We get attacked for preaching prosperity, well it's in the Bible. But I think some have gone to the extreme with it sadly, and it's not God's Word what is taught, and I think I'm as guilty as others. Sometimes you go a little farther than you really need to go and then God brings you back to normality and reality," he said.
"We all want to finish right," Benny Hinn said of pastors. "We all start right. Sometimes we, you know, stumble here and stumble there. But when you come right down to it, we all want to finish right. I'm 65 years old, I surely don't want to blow it at this point in my life and I thank you for praying for me. I really mean that."