What Is Triumphalism?

One of the core convictions I will explore in my podcast is that triumphalism is toxic to Christian faith.

What is triumphalism? My definition: it is worshipping or chasing after success as the world defines it.

Being obsessed with numbers, attendance, or offering sizes over faithfulness is triumphalist Christianity.

Being obsessed with political power is triumphalism. So is equating any ethnic/cultural expression of Christendom with the Kingdom of God.

Christianity that focuses on success or glory in excessively human terms: numbers, wealth, political power, etc., is triumphalism. This value system is antithetical to Jesus’ description of the Kingdom of God in Matthew.

Here’s what Gordon Fee says: “Such a theology focuses on the Christian life being one of glory while neglecting that it is also to be one of suffering. Now while it is true that we are promised glory in this life (though not the kind we may crave) we are most certainly promised suffering as well. This obviously is not appealing to most, how much more so to those living in a highly consumeristic land. Nevertheless the New Testament makes clear that it is fully natural for believers to suffer. Yet somehow this suffering aspect is either not talked about or referred to as merely a footnote in ‘prosperity gospel’ teaching.”

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