Not Praying Jabez
J. Daryl Charles on a Little Book with a Big Problem
While the religious book publishing industry is currently experiencing something of a boom, one book—all 93 pages of it—has taken the industry by storm, putting its publisher, tiny Multnomah Press of Sisters, Oregon, on the map overnight. As of this writing, sales of Bruce Wilkinson’s best-seller, The Prayer of Jabez, are somewhere between eight and ten million (it is difficult to be precise, since the volume is flying off the shelves as fast as the shelves allow themselves to be stocked).
While people outside the Protestant Evangelical community might wonder what all the fuss is about, The Prayer of Jabez (PJ ) needs no introduction to Evangelicals, who, based on sales, really do believe that the book is not merely the best thing since, but better than, sliced bread.
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J. Daryl Charles is the Acton Institute Affiliated Scholar in Theology & Ethics. He is the author or editor of twenty books, including Retrieving the Natural Law (2008), Natural Law and Religious Freedom (2018), and, most recently, Just War and Christian Traditions (forthcoming). He is also co-editor of Abraham Kuyper, Common Grace: God's Gifts for a Fallen World, Volume 3 (2020). He is a contributing editor to Touchstone.
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