‘Bring to the storehouse a full tenth of what you earn … I will open the windows of heaven for you and pour out all the blessings you need’ – Malachi 3:10 I met Dustin Rollo one evening in Houston in an airless classroom at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church. About 25 men, mostly middle-aged, had gathered for their first session in the church’s Quest for Authentic Manhood night class. Rollo, a 35-year-old warehouse supervisor with a wispy beard and calligraphic tattoos on each hand, was supervising. Tell us who you are, Rollo asked, motioning me to the front of the class. I am a journalist at a global business newspaper, I said. I was here at Lakewood to learn about the so-called prosperity gospel.  Most of the men were dressed in tracksuits, cargo pants or jeans and T-shirts. There was a faint hint of deracination. The only refreshment to be found was moderately caffeinated hot water in styrofoam cups. My purpose, I went on, was to discover what drew people to Joel Osteen, the “smiling ...

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