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ss triple helix - spring 2003,  Jesus, MD (Book Review)

Jesus, MD (Book Review)

Jesus, MD - David Stevens with Gregg Lewis - Zondervan Publishing House 2001 - $16.99 Hb 224pp - ISBN 0 31023 433 6

David Stevens starts from the premise that very few people these days have contact with shepherds, princes or kings, but to describe Jesus in terms of the Great Physician will strike a chord as everyone has had contact with a doctor. Stevens is currently the Chief Executive Officer of our sister organisation in the United States but writes from his life experience as a doctor in the USA and as a medical missionary in Kenya. He is a great storyteller.

In his introduction he asks what sort of doctor Jesus would have been, and which speciality would have claimed him as its own. He made the lame walk, the blind see, the deaf hear, cured infectious diseases, heart failure, palsy, menorrhagia and had much contact with children and the mentally ill. More importantly, he suggests, 'by looking at both the practice and the person of Jesus I have begun to see not only the kind of doctor but the kind of person I want to be'.

Using the template of a doctor's working life, Stevens develops his theme using intriguing chapter headings, each starting, 'The Great Physician…', and ending, 'regularly spent time with his chief', or, 'established his own residency programme', or, 'knew the power of touch'. Stevens goes on to say that people didn't require an appointment to see Jesus, interruptions were taken as opportunities and that Jesus knew what it was like to be 'on call'. Jesus practised excellence with compassion, knew how to 'properly scrub', 'advocated a unique saving plan' and 'specialised in impossible cases'. This is a scripturally based book but the Americanisms are a bit off-putting and it took me a while to work out what some of them meant. The book is lavishly illustrated with stories from Stevens' own experience and having been a missionary doctor himself he can't help but identify Jesus as the missionary medic par excellence.

He hopes that the book's usefulness will extend beyond the medical fraternity. I doubt this, but it will certainly open the eyes of doctors to the excitement and challenge of missionary medicine and I would love to see it put in the hands of all students setting off for an elective overseas. It shows us all the way that Jesus approached people and how we should practise medicine if we want to follow in his footsteps and walk in his ways.

Reviewed by
Peter Armon

CMF Overseas Support Secretary and formerly a Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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