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Festus Akinnifesi: Divine Healing

 

Akinnifesi wraps up his teachings with a call for balance. Such is especially needed, he writes, because “some have seen healing as opportunity for personal gain and exalting of egos, thereby creating more havoc in the body of Christ” (p. 334). Citing Midas Touch by Kenneth Hagin, Akinnifesi warns that present-day teaching is not balanced with scriptural accuracy and that many leaders have gone too far with the prosperity message.

In his closing chapter, Akinnifesi reminds the church that the best is yet to come. He cites some of the latter rain prophecies of the past that predict a great move of God in the last days.

 

An Analysis

Divine Healing is undoubtedly a sincere effort that offers much by the way of helpful instructions on the subject of healing. However, it is not without a few concerns, which may be minor when viewed in the context of his overall discussion.

First of all, it is surprising that Akinnifesi writes as if his message is new and not widely known by the church. After all, much of what he shares is indeed widely known by Pentecostals and Charismatics. The information can be heard in churches, over the radio and television airways, as well as in many books on divine healing. One might say, “He’s preaching to the choir.” Even so, the book has merit. Like T.L. Osborn’s Healing the Sick, the book includes the ideas and teachings of many popular writers on the subject of divine healing.

Readers who have been taught that miracles are not for today will find a strong argument for divine healing, as well as an antidote for unbelief.

Though not intended as a scholarly treatment on the subject, the book would have benefited, at least in some places, by more detailed exegesis, historical analysis and documentation of testimonies. For instance, when writing about the role of Satan and how he operates, Akinnifesi uses John 10:10 to support his argument. The verse states that the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy. Akinnifesi suggests this “thief” refers to Satan, but a closer look at the context shows it refers to false teachers. Akinnifesi’s view is popular but not faithful to the text.

Noticeably absent from the book is a bibliography. It also omits the use of a solid reference section, a feature that would make the book more reader-friendly, useful for researchers. An area that is sure to raise questions is Akinnifesi’s view of doctors and medicine, which appears to be contradictory. While he goes to great length to say doctors and medicine are gifts of God, and that it is not a sin to consult with a physician, he also suggests it is not the preferred method for Christians seeking healing. Even more, he argues that the use of medicine is a sign of unbelief and lack of spiritual power.

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Category: Spirit, Spring 2007

About the Author: Roscoe Barnes III, Ph.D. in Church History (University of Pretoria, S. Africa), is a writer, historian, ghostwriter, and prison chaplain. He is the author of numerous books including F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind ‘Christ the Healer’ (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009), The Guide to Effective Gospel Tract Ministry (Church Growth Institute, 2004) and Off to War: Franklin Countians in World War II (White Mane Publishing, 1996). His articles have appeared in Refleks Journal, The Journal of the European Pentecostal Theological Association, The Africa Journal of Pentecostal Studies, and in numerous newspapers and popular magazines. He blogs at Roscoe Reporting and shares his F. F. Bosworth research at FFBosworth.strikingly.com. Professional: Roscoe Barnes III. Twitter: @Roscoebarnes3

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