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Pavel Hejzlar: Two Paradigms for Divine Healing

The author traces the roots of these four healing ministries on the 20th century to one of two sources: Wesleyan soteriology and New Thought.

Wesleyan soteriology taught perfectionism or entire sanctification which was immediately available if claimed by faith. The premise developed that if total freedom from sin can be achieved, then sickness which is the fruit of sin should be totally abolished as well in the here and now. A sinless life should be accompanied by a sickness free life. They rise and fall together. The two healing evangelists inherited this train of thought.

New Thought was a spiritual movement that taught spirit is the ultimate reality, true human self-hood is divine, divine thought is a positive force for good, all disease is mental in origin and right thinking has a healing effect. Both the pastoral healing ministers reflect some of these influences, especially Sanford.

What can be learned when results don’t match expectations? Does allowing for persistent disability stifle the pursuit of wholehearted faith? What do we do with scriptures that don’t line up with our system of belief? Do we negate them, denigrate them, or simply ignore them? How can we encourage faith to rise up for the extraordinary?

That which strongly comes across to the reader is the author’s sense of charity, seeking what may be gleaned from each of the four ministers under review, even when he insists their views must be modified.

At the end of the book, I believe the author does a brilliant job of drawing all this to a positive conclusion. Indeed, it is a most difficult task to have a charitable spirit that deals with things that might be considered extreme, overbalanced, and out of sharp focus, but modify and qualify them so they still promote a most positive view of The author is able to affirm, through the writings of these four healing ministries that:

1) healing is a tangible expression of God’s love and his power is revealed

2) Jesus is alive

3) the one who can heal the body can heal the sin sick soul

4) creation is affirmed as good

5) the human body is important and destined for resurrection

This book is a valuable tool to those who seek to understand foundations, to those who teach, to those who care for the lost, to those who care for the saints, and to those who want to pursue God and his power.

As a Pentecostal minister who has spent much time on the mission field and as a pastor, I yearn for a well balanced approach to ministry that fully embraces and combines both the reality and present giftedness of the Spirit together with the sound exposition of the scriptures. Spirit and Word must agree!

Thus I am blessed to hear the heart of this author, who encourages the supernatural, the pursuit of the power of God, but tests it with the wider panorama of theology and scripture, seeing how the part of divine healing fits into the whole counsel of God. This book is a valuable tool to those who seek to understand foundations, to those who teach, to those who care for the lost, to those who care for the saints, and to those who want to pursue God and his power.

Reviewed by Eugene Smith

 

Preview Two Paradigms for Divine Healing: https://books.google.com/books?id=8tN2UmtDb9sC

Publisher’s page: http://www.brill.com/two-paradigms-divine-healing

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Category: Spirit, Summer 2015

About the Author: Eugene Smith currently pastors a church in Northern Ireland. He spent over thirteen years in global ministry, constantly travelling from country to country as a missionary teacher, participating in pastors’ seminars, conferences, Bible schools and church services. Eugene has a strong burden that Spirit and Word be brought together to speak with one voice.

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