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Derek Vreeland

This paper was written by Derek Vreeland.

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Derek Vreeland holds an M.Div degree from Oral Roberts University. He is the assistant pastor of Cornerstone Church in Americus, Georgia.


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Articles > Charismatic Theology > P.G. Vargis and the Indian Prosperity Gospel

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Footnotes

P.G. Vargis and the Indian Prosperity Gospel

Theology Interest Group

 

Derek E. Vreeland, Cornerstone Church (Americus, Georgia)

Presented at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies

 

 

I believe in prosperity gospel. I preach prosperity gospel within the confines of the Bible.  I tell the people who have no home, “Come to Jesus. He will give you a house.  If you are sick, come to my Jesus.  He will heal you.  If you are poor, come to my Jesus.  He will take care of you.”[1]

P.G. Vargis

 

From the Margin

The global expansion of Pentecostalism has caused a shift in the academic community from focusing on the renewal theologies of the West to the theologies of non-Western indigenous groups.  Emerging Pentecostal theologies through the various streams of charismatic renewal were unapologetically Western in their structure and focus.  Non-western theologies have often been treated as marginal and somewhat unimportant in the shaping of a “Western religious phenomenon.”   Yet the cry has sounded to uncover and explore these theological expressions and allow their contribution to reflect the global nature of the Pentecostal experience.  Allan Anderson, director of the Research Unit for Pentecostal Studies at the University of Birmingham (England), presented a compelling call to reclaim these “voices from the margin” during the 2001 SPS meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  He writes,

A serious and extensive rewriting of Pentecostal history needs to be done, in which the enormous contributions of the as yet unnamed indigenous pioneers is properly recognized, so that US American classical Pentecostals in particular shed their often-heard assumption that Pentecostalism is a “made in the USA” product that has been exported to the world.[2]

It is a misrepresentation to only explore the theologies of Pentecostals that are sophisticated and structured according to Western academic standards.  While we in both the church and academy owe a great debt to the Pentecostal theologies of the West, we cannot concentrate our attention upon them alone and claim that they represent Pentecostalism as a whole.    This research project is an answer to Anderson’s call.  One such “unnamed indigenous pioneer” is P.G. Vargis, president and founder of the Indian Evangelical Team (IET) based in New Delhi, India.

IET is an indigenous church planting movement established in 1972.  As of March 2000, IET had ministries in 20 states in India.  Currently, Vargis has raised up 2,297 churches and 1,776 missionaries throughout India, Nepal, & Bhutan.  Vargis’ goal is to establish 7,777 churches by 2010.  The growth of IET and Vargis’ vision and passion for ministry has caused him to break out as an emerging leader in Indian Pentecostalism.[3] While research is necessary into the systematic theology of this influential evangelist, the confides of my research is upon his theology of prosperity, that is his teaching on the prosperity gospel.[4]

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Footnotes

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