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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

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[1] P.G. Vargis, “Prosper in the Fruits of the Spirit,” Faith Today, (June 1999), 2.

[2] Allan Anderson, “The Forgotten Dimension: Education for Pentecostal-Charismatic Spirituality in Global Perspective,” Unpublished paper, Society for Pentecostal Studies, March 2001.

[3] Roger E. Hedlund, professor of Mission Studies at Serampore College writes, “ (The) Indian Evangelical Team stands as an outstanding example of such a movement which is an authentic, Indian incarnation of Christianity.  The Indian Evangelical Team (IET) in 1996 was reported the largest indigenous mission in India with 1032 pioneer missionaries in 14 states.  Letter to P.G. Vargis published in the Silver Jubilee Souvenir (New Delhi: Faith Publications, 1997), 10.

[4] Focusing on one part of a person’s theology creates the temptation to form a caricature of that person that is one-dimensional.  I want to avoid that temptation in this research project.  The scope of my research is limited to Vargis’ theology of prosperity, but this is not necessarily his doctrinal emphasis.

[5] David Harrell, All Things are Possible, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975), 229.

[6] Ibid.  His use of “almost” qualifies his statement somewhat and prevents him from overstating the point.  The degree at which prosperity began to be preached by the independent healing evangelists is questionable, but Harrell’s dating of the emergence of the doctrine is accurate.

[7] For example, Bishop Dan T. Muse, who later became the General Superintendent of the Pentecostal Holiness Church, recorded the offerings that he received as an evangelist in the 1920s.  The offerings he received for the week ranged from $0.50 to $9.00, if he received anything.  See “The Diary of Bishop Dan T. Muse: Ordination and Early Ministry” compiled by the Holy Spirit Research Center, Oral Roberts University, 1996.

[8] Oral Roberts, My Favorite Bible Scriptures, (Tulsa: Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association, 1963), 47.

[9] Some scholars note that material blessings such as prosperity may go further back to ministers like E.W. Kenyon.  Dale Simmons writes, “Kenyon usually stressed healing and a sufficient financial supply as the two most tangible returns on one’s spiritual investment.”  Dale Simmons, E.W. Kenyon and the Postbellum Pursuit of Peace, Power, and Plenty, (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press,  1997), 235.  

[10] Edward Pousson, Spreading the Flame: Charismatic Churches and Missions Today, (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1992), 48.

[11] Quentin J. Schultze, Televangelism and American Culture, (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1991), 135. In an earlier statement, Schultze embraces poverty as the will of God.  He writes, “Is not poverty, and sometimes even bankruptcy, a blessing?”  This he writes with an understood affirmative response.   See also Gordon Fee, The Disease of the Health & Wealth Gospels, (Costa Mesa, CA: Agora Ministries, 1979, 1,2. D.R. McConnell, A Different Gospel: Updated Edition, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995) 179. Hank Hanegraaff, Christianity in Crisis, (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1997), 186-7.

 

[12] P.G. & Lilly Vargis, Convictions Shaking India with the Love of Jesus, (New Delhi: Faith Publications, 1995), 22.

[13] Ibid, 25.

[14] P.G. Vargis, “Untitled Editorial,” Faith Today, (May 2000), 1,2.

[15] P.G. Vargis, The Key To Miracles, (New Delhi: Faith Publications, 1984), 19.

[16] Personal interview with P.G. Vargis August 15, 2001.

[17] These are six primary themes in Vargis’ teaching on prosperity, although he has made other remarks on the subject.  Also because the term “prosperity” or “prosperity gospel” has received such negative criticism, he often prefers to use the term “biblical blessings.”

[18] Email from Aby Kallimel Vargis dated December 11, 2001.  Aby confirmed that Vargis (his father) was not strongly influenced by Kenneth Hagin or Kenneth Copeland.

[19] P.G. Vargis, “The Prayer of Jabez is my Prayer Today and Everyday,” Faith Today, (July 2001), 41.

[20] Vargis, The Key to Miracles, 40.

[21] Vargis quotes Prov 27:1; II Cor 6:2; Ps 51:1-12; Jer 17:14; John 8:32, 36; Mark 11:23,24; II Chr 7:14; Jer 31:34; II Kgs 20:5,6; Jer 30:17; Hosea 6:1; Luke 4:18; I Pet 2:24; Ps 72:12; Eze 13:21; Dan 3:29; II Pet 2:9; Ps 50:15; Ps 91:3,5,6,10,11,14-16; Titus 1:2; Num 23:19.

[22] P.G. Vargis, Real Peace, (New Delhi: Faith Publications, 1997), 45.

[23] Vargis, The Key to Miracles, 23.

[24] P.G. Vargis, Untitled Editorial, Faith Today (May 2000), 3.

[25] Vargis, The Key to Miracles, 44.

[26] See Vargis, The Key to Miracles, 46.

[27] P.G. Vargis, Untitled Editorial, Faith Today (July 1999), 2.

[28] P.G. Vargis, “Prosper in the Fruits of the Spirit,” Faith Today, (June 1999), 2.

[29] P.G. Vargis, “This is What God Did,” Silver Jubilee Souvenir (New Delhi: Faith Publications, 1997), 78,79.

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