Accessing The Riches Of Heaven: Keys To Experiencing God’s Lavish Provision, by Patricia King
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Chosen Books. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I must admit that reading this book was a disorienting experience for me. The author writes from within a particular part of the Pentecostal tradition and seems to be defending the legitimacy of her own views about the supposed Treasury of God while simultaneously attacking those who believe that at times Christians will be called to suffer in this world and that their godliness will not always be manifest in their circumstances. It appears that this particular subject, the legitimacy of the prosperity gospel and the extent of the physical blessings that are supposed to come to believers, is a very contentious one within the Pentecostal world and the author has some very strident views on the matter, which she expresses very passionately, as this book is part of a much larger debate. The author also spends a lot of time seeking to build her credibility to the reader by talking about her various efforts around the world to help with problems like human trafficking, where she notes that poverty has moral consequences in pressuring families to sell their children in order to make life better for the rest of the family, with tragic consequences.
This book is a little less than 200 pages and begins with a foreword by Shawn Bolz. The author then moves to looking at the desire for things to be on earth as they are in heaven, which clearly means something different to the author than it does for many others (1). She then discusses some hindrances to our accessing the riches of heaven, including fear and sin (2), before moving to the abundant life that believers enjoy as a result of being citizens of the Kingdom of heaven (3). The author discusses four different realms of abundance that believers can enjoy (4) and also discusses how realms of abundance can be created by believers (5). The author discusses how people can access the riches of heaven by faith (6) and ascend and descend between heaven and earth through mystical experiences (7). The author discusses how the riches of heaven can be accessed through praise and worship (8) before discussing the need for believers to be spiritual (9) and also fill the earth with the riches of heaven (10). Each chapter of this book ends with a summary, questions to ponder, and a declaration for the believer to make over their life.
This book would have been a lot easier to appreciate had the author spent more time discussing biblical words than her own language. Every culture has its own inspeak, though, and certainly this book has a great deal of Pentecostal inspeak. It hits the sort of high notes that one would expect from a book of this kind, showing a deep interest in the sort of power and blessings that believers expect from God, a strong interest in spiritual warfare and holiness, and an awareness that physical poverty can have moral consequences, and so therefore there is a moral purpose in building societies where the well-being of ordinary people can improve economically, which requires overcoming sin and corruption. Despite coming from a different faith tradition from the author, I found what the author had to say very interesting, and I was intrigued as to the way that she would distinguish her own theology from the theology of Job’s friends. This is certainly a worthwhile book to read and certainly part of a debate over the prosperity gospel within contemporary Pentecostal thought and doctrine.