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Healed at Last

winter 2015

From triple helix - winter 2015 - Healed at Last [p20]

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Separating biblical truth from myth

Scott Blackwell

Matthias Media, 2014, £8.99 Pb 199pp, ISBN 9781922206565
Reviewed by Peter May, retired GP

This thoughtful, theological reflection on healing is written in the light of personal illness and pastoral experience. Christcentred, caring and well written, his motivation to write came from being told he should seek healing for his short leg, by a man who was visually impaired but could not see the irony!

The book gets better as it progresses but I have two misgivings. Firstly, he rather scolds miracle healers, which will make it difficult for them to read - which is a shame.

Secondly, and more importantly, he gives too much credence to Jack Deere's evidence (1993) supporting contemporary miracles. Healing presents great difficulties for lay people, who cannot distinguish between incurable, remitting, psychosomatic and hysterical illnesses. Everything seems to be miraculously cured at healing crusades, but that is not so. Sir John Houghton's consultation, involving over 30 charismatic healers, theologians and doctors, met four times between 1991-94. Not a single case of Christ-like miraculous healing could be verified (See Lucas E, ed. Christian healing - What can we believe?).Yet such miracles would make headlines. If a fixed curvature of the spine like mine was immediately healed (Luke 13:13), I would be four inches taller! Prayers may be mercifully answered, but Christ-like miracles must be very rare if we cannot properly document one.

Article written by Peter May

More from triple helix: winter 2015

  • Junior doctors and industrial action
  • A turning point in global health
  • Down's screening
  • Marris bill defeated
  • Atheism, science and liberal values
  • Avoiding Burnout
  • Why the NHS Needs Christians
  • Are we losing our compassion?
  • Should Christian Doctors Strike? YES
  • Legal Highs': Lawful But Not Helpful
  • should christian doctors strike? NO
  • The Changing Scene in Global Health
  • Healing God's way
  • Preaching
  • Crazy Busy
  • Ethics at the beginning of life
  • Healed at Last
  • Half the sky
  • Why we pray
  • Eutychus
  • Protestant social thought in Latin America
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