Gifts of Healing

The following is a summary of Chapter 9: “Gifts of Healing,” in Dennis and Rita Bennett’s The Holy Spirit and You. I also put my own personal thoughts and notes in here too.

  • Healing is the Most Popular of the Spiritual Gifts. Bennett says, “Most everyone is interested in the gifts of healing since the need is so widespread. This is one of the most obviously beneficial gifts to man in this life. It is the most widely accepted of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit in Christendom today” (p. 111).
  • Healing of the Physical Body Comes by Praying with Reliance on the Spiritual Gifts (p. 112).
  • Before Praying for the Sick, It Helps to First (1) Tell the Sick Person About How Jesus Heals Today, and Then (2) Pray for Healing, Relying on the Holy Spirit in You. The disciples “went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following” (Mark 16:20; p. 112).
  • Faith Alone is Needed When Praying for the Sick. “These signs shall follow them that believe…they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:17-18; p. 112).
  • The Baptism in the Holy Spirit Increases Faith for Healing. “Any believer can pray for the sick and see them healed by the power of Jesus. Generally speaking, however, it is after the baptism in the Holy Spirit that increased faith for healing comes, and the Christian begins to minister to the sick. Like the other gifts, healing seems to be released with a far greater intensity and reality after the receiving of the Holy Spirit” (p. 112). I want to add here that speaking in tongues, whether in private or public “edifies” the Spirit-baptized believer’s faith, and may also contribute to increasing faith for healing (1 Corinthians 14:4).
  • The Laying on of Hands, Etc. Bennett said, “The ‘laying on of hands’ usually means touching the sick person’s head with one or both hands as you pray. Laying on of hands is not magic, but it is scriptural. It provides a ‘point of contact’ for the sick person to ‘release his faith’ as Oral Roberts puts it. It also can be a channel for real Spiritual power. The Bible says that we may lay hands on the sick, and so we do. However, notice also the great variety of ways in which the Lord Jesus prayed for the sick. Sometimes He laid hands on them, at times on their eyes or ears; sometimes He made no outward gesture, but just spoke the word and they were healed. Often He commanded them to do something as an act of faith. Once He put mud on a blind man’s eyes, and told him to go wash it off! Another time He simply said to some lepers” ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests’ (the health department), and as they turned to go they were healed!” (p. 113)
  • Encouraging the Use of Medication for Life-Threatening Illnesses; and Not Discontinuing Its Use Until a Doctor Says. Bennett says we should take note of “those who are suffering from diseases that need to be controlled with medication. We do not encourage people to discontinue such medication (for epilepsy, diabetes, heart trouble, etc., for example) until they have ‘gone and showed themselves to the priests’ (Luke 17:14)—the doctors—and their cure has been verified. The same would apply to a person suffering from tuberculosis, or other communicable diseases, who is healed by Jesus through the gift of healing” (p. 113).
  • Anointing with Olive Oil. Bennett says, “In the Epistle of James we read of healing in conjunction with ‘anointing with oil’ (Jas. 5:14-15) in answer to believing prayer. The elders, the leaders of the congregation, are to anoint with oil as they pray for the sick of that particular congregation. The disciples anointed with oil as they prayed for the sick (Mark 6:13). Oil is one of the symbols of the Holy Spirit in the Bible. ‘Anointing’ meant to pour oil (usually olive oil) on the sick person as prayer was said. Today the usual custom is to touch the forehead of the sick person with the oil. The Epistle of James goes on to say: ‘The prayer of faith shall save (heal) the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up…’ (Jas. 5:15, KJV). Note the unconditional nature of the promise!” (pp. 113-114).
  • It is Always God’s Will to Pray for Healing. Bennett says, “We have no scriptural warrant to end a healing prayer with the faith-destroying phrase, ‘If it be Thy will’! God has made it perfectly clear in His Word that it is His will to heal the sick—period! Jesus never prayed for the sick in a conditional manner. He tells us that we must believe that we have received the answer to our prayer even before we pray! (Mark 11:24)” (p. 114).

I want to add, that in light of Mark 11:24, a key verse for the practice of positive confession in the Word of Faith Movement:–I don’t believe Christ was talking about positive thinking, mind-over-matter, or thinking the “right thoughts”; nor do I believe Jesus meant us to say, “These are lying symptoms,” “this sickness is not real,” or “in God’s sight this sickness is healed already,” or even the more pious version, “Lord, we thank You in advance that You have already healed this.” All of that is simply self-will; and mind-over-matter metaphysical philosophy. Jesus was talking about receiving a spiritual gift of revelation, such as the gift of faith, or a word of knowledge. Jesus said in Mark 11:22-24, NKJV:

Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

Roy Edmund Hayden, commenting on this passage in the Spirit Filled Life Bible, says the following, by comparing Jesus’ verbal expression of a faith-revelation:–to the imaginary counterfeits of Word of Faith, positive confession, and mind-over-matter cults:

From Jesus’ own lips we receive the most direct and practical instruction concerning our exercise of faith. Consider three points: 1) It is to be “in God.” Faith that speaks is first faith that seeks. The Almighty One is the Source and Grounds of our faith and being. Faith only flows to Him because of the faithfulness that flows from Him. 2) Faith is not a trick performed with our lips, but a spoken expression that springs from the conviction of our hearts. The idea that faith’s confession is a “formula” for getting things from God is unbiblical. But the fact that the faith in our hearts is to be spoken, and thereby becomes active and effective toward specific results, is taught here by the Lord Jesus. 3) Jesus’ words “whatever things” apply this principle to every aspect of our lives. The only restrictions are (a) that our faith be “in God” our living Father and in alignment with His will and Word; and (b) that we “believe”—not doubting in our hearts. Thus, “speaking to the mountain” is not a vain or superstitious exercise or indulgence in humanistic mind-science, but instead becomes an applied release of God’s creative word of promise (see Matt. 15:7-9; Acts 3:6).

Praying with a Gift of Faith. At this point I want to ask my readers: How in the world are you going to get the kind of faith that believes and “does not doubt” in the heart, such a faith and confidence that can tell a physical mountain to “Be removed and be cast into the sea”? Or, in Jesus’ actual case, when He cursed the fig tree and it withered (Mark 11:12-14, 20-21)? Jesus is teaching His disciples how to work miracles! [There is a tradition which has been passed down in the Eastern Orthodox Church, about one of the Desert Fathers by the name of Mark of Trache, also Mark the Anchorite, also Mark the Athenian (d. 400). He lived in total isolation for 95 years in a cave on Mount Trache in Ethiopia, in communion with God, relying on angels for his food! When Abba Serapion visited him, and they were talking about the subject of faith, Mark quoted the passage where Jesus speaks of a mustard seed of faith and commanding a mountain to move (Matthew 17:20). When he had quoted this, a mountain out in the desert lifted up, and moving like a wave, traveled in the air for about 1½ miles, and dropped into the sea nearby!!:–see St. Nikolai Velimirovic’s The Prologue of Ohrid, vol. 1, “April 5” (Los Angeles, CA: Sebastian Press), 2008. If we are to accept this story as historically factual, it is possible that Mount Trache is located in northern Ethiopia, near Eritrea or Aksum, where the first Christian bishop was appointed: Frumentius (d. 383). This may explain how Abba Serapion heard by word of mouth about Mark of Trache.] Jesus is saying the key is in believing this is possible, to such an extent as to “not doubt” in the heart. My only conclusion is that Christ was talking about the miraculous gift of faith, which sometimes drops into a Christian’s heart, through the prophetic power of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:9). All the great teachers on spiritual gifts say this gift is a divine revelation (a prophetic experience) that comes by either a dream, or a vision, an inner voice, or a “knowing” (intuition or impression). To pray for miraculous healing with a self-imposed “confidence”; or to speak a miracle into existence without a miraculous faith, or without experiencing manifestations of the Holy Spirit, is human presumption, and not faith. See Smith Wigglesworth’s Ever Increasing Faith, Chapter 14: “The Word of Knowledge, and Faith” (Pentecostal, 1924); Dennis and Rita Bennett’s The Holy Spirit and You, Chapter 11: “The Gift of Faith” (Charismatic Renewal, 1971); and Sam Storms’ The Beginner’s Guide to Spiritual Gifts, Chapter 4: “Faith and Healing” (Third Wave, 2002). To end the note on a confident prayer of faith for the healing of the sick (Jas. 5:14-15), Bennett says, “If we can’t pray with assurance and faith for the sick, we should wait until we can, or pray that God will send someone else who can…We do not need to make long prayers for the sick. When we have the faith to say it, a word of command can be effective: ‘Be healed, in Jesus’ Name!’” (p. 115).

Even in the Old Testament, God Was Known as a Healer (p. 114).

Exodus 15:26: “If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His eyes, if you pay attention to His commands and keep all His decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I AM THE LORD, WHO HEALS YOU.” (Literal Hebrew: Jehovah rapha). The Self-Existent One Who Heals; I Am the One Who Cures; I Am the One Who Heals; Jehovah the Healer. God has always been a God of Healing! But note the two conditions of divine healing here: (1) man must “listen carefully to the voice of the Lord” (LISTENING PRAYER; CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER; CONTEMPLATION); and (2) man must “do what is right in His eyes” which means to “pay attention to His commands and keep all His decrees” (COMMANDMENT-KEEPING). Keeping the moral law of God sets the conscience at ease; the Holy Spirit within the Christian’s body is pleased (it keeps the Spirit from becoming grieved); and it brings supernatural health to the spirit, soul, and body. Is it any wonder, then, that cessationists are usually at the same time antinomians, who construct theological arguments for why Christians are not bound to use the moral law of God as a guide to Christian conduct? It is no coincidence that these men are very sick in their spirits, souls, and bodies, and without faith for healing and miracles, and without trust in the Lord God who heals, because they don’t pay attention to God’s voice or God’s commandments, but instead excuse themselves from these blessings in the name of a “dispensation of grace.” To me that sounds like no gospel at all. (However, I want to put a qualifier: all commandment-keeping in a Christian’s life is imperfect and gradual; and needs to be empowered from time to time by fresh baptisms in the Holy Spirit; and is certainly no means for a non-Christian to become a Christian—as if commandment-keeping could replace justification by faith alone as a means of conversion…it cannot, and never will; no amount of commandment-keeping standing alone can “endure the severity of God’s judgment;” but commandment-keeping springs “out necessarily of a true and lively faith.”—The Thirty-Nine Articles, Article XII: “Of Good Works.”)

After spending nearly his whole book on the subject of contemplative prayer, and holy living, Arthur Devine concludes A Manual of Mystical Theology (1903) with a chapter “On the Gift of Miracles,” as if contemplative prayer and godly living are the means to a miraculous end. The same can be said of Benedict XIV’s Heroic Virtue (1852), which for two volumes, thoroughly explains the quality of holiness required in the lives of Catholic saints, and makes frequent references to the contemplation of Christ; in the third volume, he explains in-depth about the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, and in Chapter 5: “Of the Graces Gratis Datae of Faith, of Healing, and Miracles.” Both of these mystical theologians partially rely on Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) for their doctrine of miracles (see Thomas Aquinas’ The Power of God, Question 6: “Miracles” translated by Richard Regan, 2012; see also Summa Theologica, 2.2, q. 178: “The Grace of Miracles”; and Summa Contra Gentiles, Chapters XCVIII-CIII). For the Desert Fathers’ view of miracles and spiritual gifts, see John Cassian’s The Conferences (429), XV: “The Second Conference of Abbot Nesteros; on Divine Gifts.”

Psalm 103:1-5: “Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits—Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the Pit and crowns you with love and compassion, Who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Note that verse 3, as in James 5:15-16, the experiences of confession, repentance, the forgiveness of sins, and the physical healing of diseases—are all linked together.

Exodus 23:24-26: “Do not bow down before their gods or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces. Worship the Lord your God, and His blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.” Here sickness, food poisoning, water poisoning, and a barren womb are linked in a cause-and-effect manner to idol worship. To reject idolatry and to worship the Biblical God alone, the Holy Trinity, puts man in such a position that God “will take away sickness from among” him. (This does not mean that sickness, food poisoning, water poisoning, and a barren womb are always directly caused by idol worship; but rather that impenitent idol worship can open people up to divine punishments such as sickness, food poisoning, water poisoning, and a barren womb.) How much more reason to have a Reformed[1] doctrine of God! Let Martin Luther, the Puritans, Jonathan Edwards, and John Wesley teach us the Doctrine of God (theology proper), that we may truly worship the God of the Bible! And not fall into the countless idolatries of the cults, the occult, Virgin Mary worship, saint worship, or the false Jesus of the “health-and-wealth” gospel.

  • Specific Gifts of Healing for Specific Diseases. Bennett says, “In 1 Corinthians 12:9 Paul speaks of ‘gifts’ of healing, not just ‘the gift’ of healing…The words are actually translated ‘gifts of cures’…Since there are many diseases, many gifts of healing are needed…Some Christians are given a ministry of healing—being used often in this way. It is not unusual for this ministry to be stronger in praying successfully for one type of ailment than another. For example, one friend of ours has a strong ministry to arthritics, another for dental problems, etc. Perhaps this is what Paul means by ‘gifts of healing’” (pp. 115-116). Personally, I am inclined to believe that anyone can become a healing minister by giving themselves “continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word” for the healing of the sick (Acts 6:4). If this is practiced continually, as in the case of Smith Wigglesworth, a ministry of healing can come about—that is, praying often and successfully for the healing of sicknesses. For this reason, I have provided an extensive bibliography on divine healing at the end of this article; and some of those books, especially the ones by Heather Curtis and Nancy Hardesty, make mention of other old-time books on divine healing worthy of study. Oh! That I would give MYSELF “continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word” for the healing of the sick! (Acts 6:4).
  • Singular Faith and Combined Faith. Bennett says, “A person can be healed through another’s faith when he is too ill and weak to exercise his own faith (Mark 2:3-5), though he may be unconscious or in a coma. Healing can come through the faith (in Jesus) of the sick person alone (Matt. 9:22, 29), or with the combined faith of the sick person and the one ministering (Mark 5:25-34). The last of course is the most desirable situation” (p. 116). This shoots down any condemning rhetoric that people sometimes say, “You’re not healed because you don’t have enough faith.” Look back at yourself! If you’re the one praying for healing, the burden of faith rests on you! Don’t blame someone else’s unbelief! “The prayer of faith shall heal the sick!” (James 5:15). If you are praying for healing, then it’s your responsibility to have the faith for healing:–but if the person isn’t healed, don’t jump to the conclusion that it’s because his faith is too weak! It’s probably your faith that is too weak. “The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’” (Luke 17:5).
  • How to Increase People’s Faith for Healing: Smith Wigglesworth’s Theology, etc. Bennett says, “It is important to take time to build the faith of the sick person, when at all possible, before laying on hands for healing. This may be done by sharing with him or her the Scripture about healing, and by sharing personal testimonies. As the Apostle Paul tells the Romans, ‘Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God’ (Rom. 10:17). Impress the fact that we need not even depend on the faith of others, but stand squarely on God’s Word” (pp. 116-117). Reading, talking, studying, sharing, thinking, and acting on a Biblical and experiential theology of healing—is what we need to increase our faith for healing. After you feel a high level of faith for healing, then it’s time to offer prayer for healing. “Smith Wigglesworth said that he never felt God’s power more strongly than when he was praying for the sick. He often had a vision of Jesus in the course of an earnest healing prayer” (p. 117). I think I hear a voice say, “Pay attention” to Jesus when you pray for the sick (CONTEMPLATION). “We recommend strongly that you read the life of Smith Wigglesworth in the books Ever Increasing Faith, and Smith Wigglesworth: Apostle of Faith. They are good faith-builders for healing. There are many others” (p. 118). The only thing I would caution about Wigglesworth, is that although he was an example worthy of imitation in many ways, he was also pretty rude and wild sometimes when he prayed for healing; which is something that is not very Christlike. While Jesus once put mud on a man’s eyes to pray for his healing (John 9:6), Wigglesworth was known to slap and punch people as he was “led by the Spirit!” Later on in his life, he found this rough behavior was not necessary, in order to be responsive to the Holy Spirit’s promptings.
  • Words of Knowledge for Healing. Bennett says, “The one who feels led to pray for the sick should take time to ask God how He would have Him proceed. Other gifts of the Spirit such as the word of knowledge and the word of wisdom should be expected to be manifested in conjunction with the gifts of healing. There may be something in the sick person’s life that is stopping the healing, and that could be revealed by the word of knowledge. The gift of the word of knowledge can be a great faith-builder. At times the Lord will show to one Christian that another has a certain physical need. As this is shared, it will give the sick person tremendous assurance and faith to reach out and receive his healing” (p. 118). For an entire 51-page booklet on this subject, see Randy Clark’s Words of Knowledge—which is basically from a Vineyard viewpoint. How to prophesy and perform miracles!
  • An Impression of Faith for Healing. Bennett says, “Faith is of course the most important of the gifts for the healing ministry. There are times when the gift of faith will be so strong that you will know, before you pray, that the person is to be healed” (p. 118).
  • Praying in Tongues for Healing. Bennett says, “Praying in the language the Holy Spirit gives (speaking in tongues) can also bring healing, as the Spirit guides us to pray for our infirmities and ailments, or for the needs of others (Rom. 8:26)” (p. 120).
  • Confessing and Repenting of Sin. Bennett says, “In praying for the sick we must be aware that unrepented sin, a deep-held resentment, or a seriously wrong attitude, can prevent healing” (p. 120).
  • What to Expect of Physical Healing! Bennett says, “Blind eyes are opened; cataracts dissolved (yes, and even empty eye sockets filled!); deaf ears are made to hear; tumors disappear; broken bones are instantly mended; damaged hearts restored; multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, cancer, paralysis, arthritis, and all the ills the flesh is heir to can be and are being healed by the touch of the Master’s Hand. Some of these healings have been instantaneous, some progressive, some partial” (p. 122).
  • Holy Spirit Manifestations in Healing Prayer! Bennett says, “The best way to learn about healing is to begin to pray for the sick. Ask God to use you in this way, then step out in faith. Some know when they are to pray for the sick by an inner witness; others may feel a warmth in their hands; still others may have an overwhelming compassion. We should not depend only on these outward signs, however, but if they confirm that inner knowing in your spirit, you have double witness to claim God’s healing, especially if circumstances make it possible for you to pray for the needy one. When healing takes place, be sure to give God the glory, and lead the healed one to Jesus if he or she hasn’t already met Him. As you continue to look to our Lord Jesus and stay in loving fellowship with Him, the signs will follow” (p. 123).


An Updated Bibliography on Divine Healing
(Pentecostal and Charismatic)

With all the garbage theology and confusing ideas out there about healing, to increase our faith for divine healing, it becomes necessary to tap into a theologically accurate power source. I truly believe here you have the finest of the wheat. A. J. Gordon, A. B. Simpson, and Andrew Murray best represent the Divine Healing Movement (1879-1900), which is still partially alive today through the Christian & Missionary Alliance; Smith Wigglesworth best represents the early Pentecostal revival (1906-1947); Dennis Bennett and Francis MacNutt represent the Charismatic Renewal (1960-1977); and John Wimber represents Vineyard or Third Wave theology (1980s-Present).

For a more thorough study on divine healing, examine the prayer lives of various saints used in healing: St. Benedict of Nursia (d. 547), St. Columba of Iona (d. 597), St. Hildegard of Bingen (d. 1179), and to the surprise of some, Martin Luther (d. 1546) and various Protestant reformers, chronicled by Thomas Boys; add to this, the healing experiences of John Wesley (d. 1791), A. B. Simpson (d. 1919), and Smith Wigglesworth (d. 1947).

Adomnán of Iona. Life of St. Columba. Trans. Richard Sharpe. London: Penguin Books, 1995. Book Two.

Bennett, Dennis and Rita. The Holy Spirit and You. Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1971. Chapter 9. By an evangelical Anglican Charismatic priest.

Boys, Thomas. The Suppressed Evidence: or, Proofs of the Miraculous Faith and Experience of the Church of Christ in All Ages, From Authentic Records of the Fathers, Waldenses, Hussites, Reformers, United Brethren, &c. London: Hamilton, Adams, and Co., 1832. For Martin Luther’s personal involvement with divine healing, see pp. 195-204.

Curtis, Heather. Faith in the Great Physician: Suffering and Divine Healing in American Culture, 1860-1900. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.

Deere, Jack. Surprised by the Power of the Spirit. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1993. Not only the best arguments against cessationism, but also a good introduction to a truly solid view of the charismatic gifts, especially as they relate to healing. Based on the author’s experience as a Dallas Theological Seminary professor and several years of healing ministry in the Vineyard churches.

Frodsham, Stanley. Smith Wigglesworth: Apostle of Faith. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1973. The standard biography on Smith Wigglesworth (d. 1947):–the model Pentecostal healer, saint, and prophet who came from a Salvation Army background.

Greig, Gary, and Kevin Springer, eds. The Kingdom and the Power: Are Healing and the Spiritual Gifts Used by Jesus and the Early Church Meant for the Church Today? Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1993. This is a Third Wave manifesto with Biblical and experiential insights into spiritual gifts by scholars such as J. I. Packer, Wayne Grudem, Stanley Burgess, and others. 463 pages!

Gottfried and Theoderic. The Life of the Holy Hildegard. Trans. James McGrath. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1995. Third Book.

Graf, Jonathan, ed. Healing: The Three Great Classics. Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1992. Contains A. J. Gordon’s The Ministry of Healing (1882), A. B. Simpson’s The Gospel of Healing (1885), and Andrew Murray’s Divine Healing (1900).

Gregory the Great, St. Life and Miracles of St. Benedict. Trans. Odo Zimmermann and Benedict Avery. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, n.d.

Hardesty, Nancy. Faith Cure: Divine Healing in the Holiness and Pentecostal Movements. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2003.

Jennings, Daniel. The Supernatural Occurrences of John Wesley. Sean Multimedia, 2005. Chapter 3.

King, Paul. Genuine Gold: The Cautiously Charismatic Story of the Early Christian and Missionary Alliance. Tulsa, OK: Word & Spirit Press, 2006. Goes in-depth into the healing experiences of A. B. Simpson and other related Christian healers from his era.

MacNutt, Francis. Healing. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1974. The standard book on healing put out by the Charismatic Renewal. Ecumenical in outlook; by a Catholic Charismatic.

—–. The Power to Heal. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1977.

—–. The Prayer That Heals. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1981.

Simpson, A. B. The Fourfold Gospel. Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1984. Chapter 3.

Tozer, A. W. Wingspread: A. B. Simpson: A Study in Spiritual Altitude. Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1943.

Wigglesworth, Smith. Ever Increasing Faith. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1924. Wigglesworth’s classic sermons on spiritual gifts; influenced Dennis Bennett.

Wimber, John, and Kevin Springer. Power Healing. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987.

Against “Mind-Over-Matter” Healing
(Occultic and Metaphysical)

Ranging from the holistic health and psychic healing of Spiritualism and Christian Science, to other metaphysical cults from the New Age Movement, to the subtle infiltration of mind-over-matter ideas into Pentecostalism, through the doctrine of positive confession in the Word of Faith Movement:–these three books should provide a clear picture of what NOT to base a theology of healing on.

Groothuis, Douglas. Unmasking the New Age. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1986. Chapter 3.

McConnell, D. R. A Different Gospel. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1988. Chapters 9 and 11.

Weldon, John, and Zola Levitt. Psychic Healing. Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1982.


[1] I use the term “Reformed” loosely in connection with the Calvinist and Arminian theologies of the Protestant Reformation; although most understand the word “Reformed” as synonymous with Calvinism (represented by John Calvin, William Perkins, William Ames, Francis Turretin, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Hodge, William G. T. Shedd, etc); I also consider some forms of Arminian theology to have a Reformed or Reformational character (such as James Arminius and John Wesley; and Wesleyan Methodist theologians like Adam Clarke, Richard Watson, William Burt Pope, Thomas O. Summers, John Miley, etc). Personally, I consider myself a “Reformed Arminian,” or a “conservative evangelical Arminian,” because I hold to the Five Articles of Remonstrance and a Wesleyan view of the Thirty-Nine Articles.

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