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Healing and the History of Redemption: An Interview with J. D. King

[3] Abbot Aelfric of Eynsham (955–1010) talked about a place of pilgrimage that “was hung round with crutches, and with the stools of cripples who had been healed, from one end to the other on either wall, and not even so could they put half of them up.” Aelfric, Lives of Saints, Volume 2, ed. Walter Skeat (London: N. Trübner & Company, 1881), 431–434.

[4] Luther reached out to Friedrich Myconius (1490–1546) who had become ill with tuberculosis. He wrote, “I command thee in the name of God to live because I still have need of thee in the work of reforming the church… The Lord will never let me hear that thou art dead but will permit thee to survive me. For this I am praying, this is my will, and may my will be done because I seek only to glorify the name of God.” Shortly thereafter Myconius was healed. Martin Luther quoted in John MacArthur, Ephesians New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1986), 103.

[5] Due, in part, to Luther’s prayers, Phillip Melanchthon quickly recovered from this illness. He would later write, I was recalled from death to life by divine power.’ Martin Luther quoted in Bengt R. Hoffman, Luther and The Mystics. (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1976), 196. Philipp Melanchthon believed that the healing ministry “remained in the church also later, [than the apostles] and it is certain that many are still healed by the prayers of the church.” Cited in Pavel Hejzlar, “John Calvin and the Cessation of Miraculous Healing,” Communio Viatorium 49:1 (2007), 45.

[6] Frederick Dale Brunner, A Theology of the Holy Spirit: The Pentecostal Experience and the New Testament Witness (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1970), 141.

[7] Keith Warrington, “Acts and the Healing Narratives: Why?” Journal of Pentecostal Theology 14  (2006), 189.

[8] R. J. S. Barrett-Lennard, Christian Healing After the New Testament: Some Approaches to Illness in the Second, Third, and Fourth Centuries (Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1994), 159.

[9] W. H. C. Frend, “The Place of Miracles in the Conversion of the Ancient World to Christianity,” in Signs, Wonders, Miracles: Representations of Divine Power in the Life of the Church, eds. Kate Cooper and Jeremy Gregory (Rochester: Boydell and Brewer, 2005), 18. Sadly, we do not have exhaustive records. Ronald Kydd states, “The spread of Christianity into Egypt or along the southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea cannot be traced. It appears full blown in these places toward the end of the second century.” Ronald Kydd, Healing Through the Centuries (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson, 1998), 20–21.

[10] W. N. C. Frend, The Rise of Christianity (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984), 565.

[11] Candy Gunther Brown, Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Healing (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 3.

[12] Craig Keener writes, “In many countries, healing is the main reason for . . . Christian growth rates. As of about ten years ago, it was estimated that perhaps half of all conversions to Christianity were because of experiences with healing.” Craig Keener, professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary, quoted in Larry Sparks and Troy Anderson, “The Healing Miracles Preacher,” Charisma 40:8 (March 2015), 22.

[13] According to researcher Lamin Sanneh, around 4,300 people per day are leaving the church in North America and Europe. See Lamin Sanneh, Whose Religion is Christianity? The Gospel Beyond the West (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003), 15. Expanding on those findings, Elizabeth Isichei shockingly places the number closer to 7,500. Elizabeth Isichei, A History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 1.

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Category: Church History, Winter 2018

About the Author: J.D. King was a supporting leader in the Smithton Outpouring in the late 1990’s and has served as an itinerate speaker, author, and college instructor. In addition to contributing to Charisma Media and Pneuma Review, King wrote Regeneration: A Complete History of Healing in the Christian Church. He is not only pursuing the Kingdom of God but also has a burden to share its wonder with everyone that he meets.

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