8/11/2014

Healed at Last: Separating Biblical Truth from Myth

Scott Blackwell, the author, was stricken with meningitis at age three. As a result, he suffered serious health issues, the most noticeable being that he walks with a severe limp. He addresses the apparent conflict between the God who is able to heal a stricken person of diseases and ailments, yet often does not do so physically, as God did not with him. Yet Scott declares without a doubt that God has indeed healed him profoundly and wholly through Christ, even if God did not heal him physically. Reading his book reminds me of the often passionate dichotomy and disagreement between Charismatics (God can and does heal today) and Cessationists (God no longer heals people today as in the time of Jesus and Acts). Scott writes a balanced biblical account between these two sometimes extreme positions that disses the other side.

Several people, noticing his limp in church, have said to him, "Do you know you can be healed, really healed?" to which Scott responded, "Yes, I've been really healed." He does not say this facetiously but truly means it.

This paragraph in chap. 6 (p. 134) perhaps captures well Scott's book: "This is why I become anxious when I read endless volumes that exhort the faithful to embrace the power and authority of the kingdom now, but use language that makes it clear that embracing the kingdom is not so much for the glory of Christ and the advance of his rule as it is for bolstering our own self-esteem, benefit or prosperity. The 'power' language of the apostle Paul is almost never connected to healing, or even to evangelism. Rather, Paul uses such language to encourage and exhort the saints to: ...perseverance, faith, hope, love, spiritual stamina, endurance under trail, and growing conformity to Jesus Christ."

Though the book deals extensively with healing, it is primarily a glorious proclamation of the gospel and a proclamation of Christ, from whom and through whom we receive complete healing. Like our salvation and the coming of the kingdom that is already, but not yet, so is our healing: In Christ, we are already healed, yet not yet...till he comes again.

Thanks to Matthias Media and Cross Focused Reviews for a hard copy of this book in exchange for writing a book review.