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Randy Clark: Stories of Divine Healing, reviewed by J. D. King

Stories of Divine Healing

One notable example is the latest release from Randy Clark,[8] Stories of Divine Healing: Supernatural Testimonies that Ignite Faith for Your Healing. Clark, a gifted missionary-evangelist, culled compelling testimonies from his healing schools and international travels.

Although Clark’s collection is not made up of detailed case studies, the reports are cogently organized around “every physical part of the human body.”[9] The compilation references healings in the circulatory, digestive, endocrine, immune, integumentary, muscular, nervous, reproductive, respiratory, skeletal, and urinary systems.

The scope of the testimonies varies throughout this 288-page work. Most of the narratives originate from mission team members who traveled with Clark—physicians, pastors, blue-collar workers, and students. Clark acknowledges, “Some testimonies sound rather simple and straightforward while others confront us with the reality that God indeed does perform creative miracles.”[10]

We have “no tools to measure God, nor can we assess the authenticity of miraculous healings.”[11] Some analysts will find the testimonies in Clark’s book more credible than others. Regardless of one’s position, stories like this deserve consideration.

Inexplicable healing stories are one of the fascinating ways that God is re-centering twenty-first century Pentecostalism.

I am comforted by what others might see as a weakness in Clark’s work. His testimonies are sometimes punctuated with erratic elements. While some are fully developed, others provide little detail. Nevertheless, this type of writing is precisely what one would expect from a group of individuals who have gone on a mission. This book’s rawness and lack of polish is a sign of its authenticity.

Again, I must reiterate that it is advantageous for the academic community to peruse this collection of testimonies. Consider the questions and practical implications that come up when one reads the following account:

I saw a small cluster of guys pointing to their friend, who tentatively raised his hand. I went to check things out and saw a man with part of his back missing on the left side. I couldn’t tell if it was actually missing or deformed. On the left side just about at his waistline, there was this big indentation, which was so pronounced that I could put my hand partway into it. We were meeting in a soccer field at night, and there was very little light. I could barely see his back, only feel it. He was small, perhaps one hundred twenty pounds, but the muscles in his back were as hard as a rock, as if he might be a laborer. I called someone else on the team to come over. We prayed for a healing and a creative miracle as we weren’t sure which we needed. Very soon, his back began “moving,” but not as if he was flexing his muscles. Although the man showed virtually no emotional reaction, which is very common among the Makua people, all three of us who were praying were sure that his back was “filling in.” The place where the indentation had been felt much more normal. We knew we had just witnessed a wondrous miracle, and we were pretty excited. [12]

Clark, along with other twenty-first century renewalists, believes that healing testimonies spark exploration and discovery. Astounding stories encourage people to press into the mystery and wonder of God. Clark reminds us, “Every testimony brings fresh revelation of Jehovah-Rapha—the Lord who heals you.“[13]

 

Reminded of Our Heritage

Leave it to a former Baptist[14] to remind us what it means to live a Spirit-filled life. We are in a crisis when Pentecostals are more like David Hume than William Seymour.[15] Randy Clark’s Stories of Divine Healing might be precisely what this movement needs. The stories provide a necessary corrective for academics entangled in textual and philosophical matters. In many ways, Clark’s marvelous book brings us back to where Pentecostalism was a century ago.

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Category: Fall 2018, Spirit

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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