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Will Jesus Buy Me a Double-Wide?: ('Cause I Need More Room for My Plasma TV)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  143 ratings  ·  40 reviews
What does it really mean to be blessed by God? With Southern charm and razor-sharp wit in Will Jesus Buy Me a Double-Wide?, author Karen Spears Zacharias shows how the "prosperity" gospel has led us astray from true Christianity and helped create people and churches focused on greed. Zacharias unpacks story after story of families and individuals using the name of God as a ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 20th 2010 by Zondervan (first published February 9th 2010)
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3.76  · 
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 ·  143 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, religion
All of the so called "Christian" candidates for the GOP should have to read this book-especially Herman Cain who claims people who don't have jobs are somehow at fault. Gently goes off on christians who are fans of the new prosperity gospel which seems to be the new rage-if you pray to God hard enough for "things" like money and a bigger house and car he will give it to you. And if he doesn't, well it must be something you did wrong, somehow you are not right with God. Pure hogwash IMHO because ...more
Chris Bannister
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Living in the most worn out buckle hole of the Bible Belt; where every thing from recieving a good parking spot to a million dollar house on the lake is attributed to the Divine, I enjoyed this book immensely. The author explores the idea of God as this mystical wish granter, and if we're "livin' it right" we'll be richly the way of being blessed with riches. But what of the poor? the sick? Are they somehow not deserving of all this goodness from God? Have they angered him somehow? ...more
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In my reading, in watching tv, and in interactions with people (in-person and on social networks), I encounter again and again people who combine "The American Dream" of prosperity (a dream of wealth, health, and more-A WHOLE LOT MORE!) with their beliefs about God. Biblical Christianity isn't about material prosperity. Having a relationship with the Father through the Son, Jesus, is about surrender and about loving God so much that you desire to be involved with Him no matter the cost (discomfo ...more
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
This is an extremely timely book that I think all Christians in America should read. It is mostly anecdotes, but backed up with a little explanation and a lot of Scripture. It takes on prosperity theology and squashes the idea that God's cosmic role is to function as a personal banker or an atm. In fact He is not even here to make us healthy and happy all the time. Failure, pain and sadness is not a sign that you have displeased God. What kind of good news would that be? Well written with an exc ...more
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Loved this book! The author discusses our modern concepts of Capitalism Christianity, of how we as Americans believe we are entitled to God's blessings in a material way, that He wants to bless us financially, and that if we just live right, and do all the right things, that blessings will come our way. She attacks the notion that we can attract money via positive thinking, and has a LOT to say about the pitfalls of the Prosperity Gospel.

We can always find someone who is both richer and poorer t
Mar 13, 2010 rated it liked it
I read this book for my local book club and it was certainly thought provoking and made me do a self-examination of my personal materialism and that of our country in general. This book focuses on various anonymous individuals across the nation as examples of what she proposes as the prevalent "what can religion or society give to me" versus the alternative "how can I help others" and which offers the best lifestyle bringing the most joy. Much of the book examines the "prosperity gospel" widely ...more
Mar 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Meditations on the Prosperity Gospel and its New Age counterparts in the form of sketches of a variety of people whose lives embody different attitudes toward the conjunction of faith, materialism, entitlement and magical thinking. Although the author and I come from very different places, we agree on the pernicious effects of greed dressed up as the spiritual path and of good fortune considered as a sign of divine favor.
Jul 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
In her recently published book, Karen Zacharias has done an excellent job, boldly taking on the evangelists who spread the 'prosperity' message of Jesus over the air-waves. Bravo Karen.
Emily Cooley
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
I really felt like this book should've been called "I Hate Televangelists". I'm not saying I don't agree with the mindset here, I just felt like this was used as the author's opportunity to bash big time evangelists under the premise of interviewing common folks. If she wanted to point out all the corruption, then write just about that. If she wanted to interview real people about their experience as a Christian and prosperity, then do that. These two did not blend well to me.
Steve Callahan
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Janis Joplin may have been ahead of the times..Oh Lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz, my friends all have Porsches...
Amazing this American belief in the Prosperity Gospel of a genie in a bottle granting wishes for godly behavior and belief while devout Christians around the world live in poverty, war, sickness, hunger, etc.
Rosanne Lortz
Oct 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
“Will Jesus buy me a double-wide?” is the question Karen Spears Zacharias asks in the title of this book, alluding to her childhood years when a double-wide trailer seemed like the height of prosperity. Another way of phrasing the question is this: “If I do all the right things, will Jesus make me happy, healthy, and rich?” Zacharias’ answer in this book is loud and clear: “No, not necessarily.”

Published earlier this year by Zondervan, Will Jesus Buy Me a Double Wide? is an expose and critique o
Lee Harmon
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Karen’s new book is a collection of short introductions, mostly anonymous personas such as “The Bookseller” or “The Grill Man.” Some are inspirational in the way they spread kindness with their lives and/or money, while others are downright sickening in their greed or coercion through a prosperity gospel. Think TV evangelists who promise that if you send your $100 now, today, God will bless you by returning far more. The book is sometimes heartwarming, sometimes disturbing.

Karen writes with wit
Apr 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
First off, the title made me pick up this book at the library. At first I didn't "get" this book. I wasn't sure if the author was giving her opinion or not. By the time I finished this book (and discussed it with my husband) I realized it's not about the author's opinion, it is a catalyst to think about and talk about our beliefs. The chapters are written like short stories about various people and how they perceive God's purpose in their lives. Is God our "genie in a bottle" to grant us all of ...more
Aug 18, 2011 rated it liked it
I feel like this book should be read sitting on a porch, on a lazy summer evenin', drinking ourselves some lemonade.

The Author told some good stories, but I'm not sure they always made her point. Or maybe they did make her point, but it was too subtle for the rest of us Yankees to fully understand where she was a comin' from.

Also, The Author lost a little bit of face with all of her shucks ya'lls and yeehaws. It didn't feel like she'd done a lot of research-type work - that most of what she esp
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book opened my eyes to the "prosperity gospel." God's love for us is not represented by the material items we've acquired nor answering our prayers for this and that. God's love for us is proven in his sacrificing his son to atone for our sins so that we may also have everlasting life. A few excerpts that struck me:

"It is easy to tell the poor to accept their poverty as God's will when you yourself have warm clothes and plenty of food and medical care and a roof over your head with no worry
Alison Kuhlman
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was a nice quick read, I ended up breezing through it in 5 days,which I was a bit sad on as some of those stories I wanted to linger on. I really enjoyed the format of this book, it only really got preachy in certain areas. The bulk of it were stories of different people- their life story, view on finances, God, and how the two relate. Each chapter was the story of a different person. Some people were inspiring and you wanted to know more and made me question if I could ever have their ...more
Apr 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010
This was an interesting book. Each chapter was a story about a person and their views of God and money. Zacharias uses caricature names for each of the people, "The Mayor", "The Redhead", "The Marine" and I found it really bothered me. I mean these are real people and real stories and the labels deterred from the reading. I would have been fine if she'd made up names and had a footnote mentioning the names were changed for privacy or something. Odd sidenote, but really it affected the way the bo ...more
Aug 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Normally my tastes lean toward fiction. This is a collection of character sketches around the theme of God and mammon (Bible word for money). Surprisingly, I found myself reaching for this book instead of my novels, eager to read about the next brief bio.

The author did a great job of illustrating her thesis -- following Jesus will not necessarily make you rich and famous -- through profiles of real life people averaging about 10 pages each. Some were inspiring; some were cautionary; and a few s
Ms. Marie
Apr 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Interesting. I picked this book up because I thought it was going to a funny tongue in cheek examination of religion. But it goes much deeper than that - it picks apart the increasing "name and claim it" Prosperity Gospel belief through stories of people from all walks of life. If you believe that God wants you to be rich, you might not enjoy this book. But if you believe, as some of the people in the book do, that Christians are meant to be the hands and feet of Jesus than you might read this b ...more
Mar 09, 2012 rated it liked it
This turned out to be a little different than I thought. Initially I thought it was fiction but in fact it is non-fiction. Some good comments on "prosperity theology" which in the authors view isn't really Christianity! I agreed with her premise on some issues...but she failed to provide a good solid writing to support her view of the alternative. Mostly provided her experiences with individuals who truely live as Christians do which was okay but I think she could have elaborated in more detail ...more
Sep 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
I was drawn by the title, which I thought was funny, but I ended up thinking the book was just weird. The author did research and interviews but rarely named the people she was actually writing about, instead giving them descriptions like Cheerleader. There was a disconnect... The writer couldn't seem to figure out whether she was trying to be serious or funny, and it ended up not really being either one. That said, there were a few good chapters, and she did make some good points.
Sarah Frobisher
Oct 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and agree with the premise of it. I think Karen makes a valid point and it made me think about some generalized notions held in the Christian community. The stories of the people are genuine, however I wish that she had put in more Biblical support for her view rather than relying so heavily on anectdotal evidence. It's definetly not a theology book, but a good starting point to get you thinking.
Dec 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: American followers of Christ
Alternately down-home funny & stunningly convicting, this is an excellent book on American materialism and cultural Christianity. Written w/warmth & humor, it uses the stories of individuals to convict of Biblical truth... and though it was disconcerting at first, the avoidance of name dropping (she calls the real individuals she profiles by titles - The Marine, The Biscuit Lady, The Redhead - rather than by their names) makes the book stronger.

Highly recommended.
Julie Schoerke
Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I met the author at the Alabama Book Festival and became an instant fan. Karen Spears Zacharias is a long-time journalist and it shows in the excellent writing of this book. Her faith shines through in the telling of real-life extraordinary folks' experiences, each getting their own chapter. Zacharias reminds us that "rich" comes in many forms and most usually has nothing to do with monetary currency.
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: inspirational
This is a book that challenges the prosperity gospel with brief vignettes from the lives of contemporary people. Some believe that believing in Jesus will bring wealth and good health. Others don't believe that at all. The book made me think about how I use the goods that I have received and what I need to change.
Anna Todd
Nov 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Zacharias does a good job of making her point through stories of people she has interviewed, her personal experience, and researched statistics. With this and her unique way of storytelling, she will definitely challenge the reader as it is thought-provoking. At the same time, I went away from it inspired!
Paul J
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you are concerned about those that proclaim a "health and wealth" gospel, you will enjoy Karen Spears Zacharias' book. With skill, humor, and an ability to tell it as it is, she gets across the point that this is no gospel at all and we are called to be better (even richer) than this. Read and enjoy.
Patrick Frownfelter
Feb 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
Good read, though very lacking in Scriptural support. There's some there, sure, but not much, it seems. Very journalistic style (and large print) might almost insult some readers at its easy reading, but otherwise carries an important message and sharp delivery.
Feb 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
It was a nice little read, but a lot of redundancy. Strikes me more as something that would have made a good weekly newspaper editorial. You could read the first couple chapters and the last couple and get the gist. I also think she's maybe a bit unfair to Olsteen.
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Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
You just have to love the title. Zacharias takes on Christian prosperity theology, skewering televangelists, A.I.G., and the misuse of power and green in general. If you can overlookt he down-hominess and preaching, this is a quick, fun read.
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Karen Spears Zacharias grew up in a military family. Her father was killed in action in 1966. That early experience led Karen into a career as a journalist. She studied at Berry College, Oregon State University and Eastern Oregon University.

Karen has worked at newspapers around the country. Her commentary has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, CNN, National Public Rad