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Christian prayer for healing

and early 20th centuries revivals associated with respected figures such as Jonathan Edwards, Wesley, Whitefield and the Jeffreys were also characterised by unusual events which attracted controversy and blessings.

3. We rejoice with those who testify to a deeper level of commitment and joy as a result of their experience but would equally urge them to avoid excessive behaviour which may discredit the gospel or distance those who genuinely seek an encounter with God.

4. Whilst we would caution against indiscriminate enthusiasm, we would equally urge evangelicals to avoid preclusive or condemnatory behaviour which dismisses all unusual events out of hand.

5. Finally, we would advocate the Gamaliel principle; if the phenomenon is genuinely of God it will certainly bear lasting fruit.

another gospel?

Edwards shows twin concerns for truth and for unity. Internationally respected evangelical leader RT Kendall was prepared to risk the latter in his concern for the primacy of truth, as this extract from an

nucleus christmas ‘08

article (written before Bentley’s departure) shows: 3

What complicated things most of all was that people were apparently being healed. At last count there were 37 resurrections from the dead. If only one of them had a coroner’s death certificate it would be a very serious matter to say that what was going on there was not of God. The fact that ABC news could find no documentary evidence of a miracle was not enough to sway me one way or the other. I was even prepared – for a while – to overlook the claim that the angel Emma is the secret explanation for the special revelations and miracles. I believe in angels. What if Emma were a part of the ‘yuk’ factor?

But a funny thing kept gripping me. It would take even more courage to say that the Lakeland phenomenon is not of God. Did I have the courage to say this? After all, I was reluctantly coming to the conclusion that it was not of God, but would I say it?

Yes. It comes to one thing at the end of the day: is the Bible true or not?

The article continued with a critique of what was not happening at the meetings, as

well as a critique of what was, and it all led Kendall to conclude ‘I can only call this “another gospel” as in Galatians 1’.

The retrospectoscope is a very useful instrument – it is always easier to make diagnoses with hindsight! But credit to these two leaders for their wise foresight and for the courage of their convictions.

Christian prayer for healing

As we – probably – put Lakeland behind us, we should still conclude that Christians, including and perhaps especially Christians in medicine, should pray for healing. The rest of this article will analyse that whole issue, with much summarised from my CMF book Hard Questions about Health and Healing.

healing miracles in the Bible – a medical perspective

Decades ago, Dr Peter May analysed the characteristics of Christ’s miracles of healing and of the others seen in the Bible and concluded: 4

 The conditions were obvious examples of gross physical

disease 25

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